Sarnia Festival Arts bids farewell

Sarnia Festival Arts is working closely with the management of St James in devising a programme of chamber music for the next couple of years.

Artistic director Richard de la Rue is now working with St James Guernsey in the selection of classical musicians and is to retire completely from the work of Sarnia Festival Arts LBG.

Formed in 2002 to organise the first Victor Hugo International Music Festival for the great man’s bicentenary, Sarnia Festival Arts has:

Brought many international classical musicians to perform in Guernsey including

  • Orchestras English Chamber Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia, Southbank Sinfonia & Musica Antiqua Köln
  • Ensembles Berlin Philharmonic Octet, The Lindsays, Quatuor Ébéne, Martinu Quartet, Ysaye Quartet, Camera Obscura, Psophos Quartet, St Petersburg Quartet, Coull Quartet, Storioni Trio, Southbank Sinfonia Quartet, Cropper/Welsh/Roscoe Trio, Knight/Owen/Latarche Trio, Nash Ensemble, Benedetti/Elschenbroich/Grynyuk Trio, Beresford/Russell/Webb Trio, Burning Bush, Samba Burros, The Celtic Viol, Pavel Haas Quartet, Strand Hugg, Club Ceilidh, Cuan, Marinade, NYX Trio.
  • Vocal The Harp Consort, Clara Sanabras, Paul Hillier, I Fagiolini, Carys Lane, Ommm, Ensemble de Caelis, Karina Gauvain, Veronique Gens, Jonathan Lemalu, John Mark Ainsley, Michaela Selinger, Casey-Joe Rumens, Susanna MacRae, John Surcombe, Máire Ní Chathasaigh, Chris Newman
  • Soloists Piotr Anderszewski, Jean-Philippe Collard, Matthew Sharp, Graham Instrall, Dimitri Ashkenazy, Kathryn Stott, Roger Vignoles, Lise de la Salle, Thomas Zehetmair, Ruth Kilius, Romain Guyot, Lucy Parham, Thierry Escaich, Nadja Zwiener, Benjamin Grosvenor, Jun Sasaki, Richard Watkins, Angelique Lihou, David Le Page, Jean Owen, David Ayre, Anna Markham, Rachel van der Tang, Andrew Lawrence-King, Evelyn Glennie, Nicola Benedetti, Pascal & Ami Rogé, Yu Kosuge, Stefan Dohr, Wenzel Fuchs, Daishin Kashimoto, Olaf Maninger , Jordi Savall, Richard Dubugnon, Tatiana Probst, Tom Hicks, Pamela Wyn Shannon, Frank McGuire, Bridget MacRae, Lucie Skeaping, Rainer Goebel, Tom Napper, Tom Bliss, Pete Quinn, Peter Donohoe
  • Composers Richard Dubugnon, Olivier Kaspar, Guillaume Connesson, Thierry Escaich, Angus MacRae
  • Actors/speakers Martin Jarvis, Rosalind Ayres, Trevor Eve, Sharon Maughan, Joss Ackland, Bernadette Thompson, David Foote, Jenny Kendall-Tobias, Richard Dubugnon
  • Dancers Steven Player, Dervla McGee, Nicholas Yenson, Guy Shalom

Organised jazz and folk music sessions with dancers, singers and instrumentalists from London & Dublin celebrating Irish, Latvian and Portuguese folk traditions.

A full education programme of master classes and workshops was devised for island schoolchildren delivered by many of the above artists.

Fifteen songs were commissioned from the cream of French composers presenting Victor Hugo’s poems in a new light.

Sponsored a CD by Harmonia Mundi USA of Andrew Lawrence-King and The Harp Consort “Les Travailleurs de la Mer” settings of Guernesiaise poetry to music.

Negotiated five hours of airtime on Radio 3 including hosting Brian Kay’s programme “3 For All” Brian Kay went on to host the festival.

Current team

Directors: Peter Lane chairman, Nigel Taylor & Richard de la Rue Committee: Alan Cross, Jonathan Bates, Jon Bond, Michael Lihou, Patricia Grover.

Past committee members

Alan Cross
Angus Bodman
Barbara Minta
Bridget MacRae
Chris Idle
David Farrimond
David Lihou
Fran Bourget
Gill Freeman
Gordon Dawes
Helen Coombs
Helen Grand
Jeanne Golay
Jo-Ann Brouwer
Katherine Wegerer
Lauren Ker
Michael Surcombe – artistic director 2012 festival
Peter Falla
Rob McGhee
Sarah Maguire
Stephen Oliphant
Tina James
Trevor Davies


Ansbacher Group
Bank Julius Baer
Betley Whitehorne Image
Collenette Jones
Deutsche Bank
Fauchier Partners Asset Management
Guernsey Arts Commission
Heritage Group
HSBC Securities Services
Kleinwort Benson
Lé Coumité d’la Culture Guernésiaise
Northern Trust
Rawlinson & Hunter
Royal Bank of Canada
Sarnia Hotels
SG Hambros
State Street
States Arts Committee
Yorkshire Bank