You’ve heard of Musicians in Residence… This is about Musicians in Exile…

Two professional violinists, Magnus and Marije Johnston, who comprise one half of the distinguished Navarra Quartet, were staying here in Southwold with friends when the lockdown started, and as income for all performing musicians stopped more or less overnight, they had no choice but to give up their rented accommodation near London, and remained in Southwold mainly because they had nowhere else to go.

During the lockdown, Magnus and Marije took to playing their violins outside their front door on Thursday evenings as part of the NHS clap tributes. As lockdown was released, these informal ‘soirees’ took on a life of their own, attracting a socially distanced audience of locals overjoyed to hear live music again.

Many of the audience insisted that they wanted to make a financial contribution to the musicians, and the Southwold Music Trust was delighted to establish a ‘Musicians-in-Exile’ fund, receiving donations and adding Gift Aid for the benefit of the musicians. 100% of this money went straight to these two musicians.

After a break over the summer, these events started again in September, since when they have been blessed by unseasonably warm, balmy autumn evenings. All are most welcome. When the weather gets a bit chilly for al fresco music-making, we hope to move indoors somewhere, restrictions permitting. Join our mailing list to be kept informed.