What do you do when the leader of a famous string quartet falls ill just before a concert ?
What you don't do, if you're Swaledale Festival's Artistic Director Malcolm Creese, is cancel.
"Can you play Brahms's String Quintet?", he asked another of his artists, who had just performed in Aysgarth.
"I've never even heard it", she answered, "But I can give it a go."
They leaped into his car and whizzed over the moors to Grinton Church, where the concert was due to start. If you know that road, you'll be amazed that the artist managed to balance the music in front of her while she tried it out on her violin. At Grinton she met the rest of the quartet, they had a quick rehearsal, and in came the audience.
Reader: it was a fantastic performance, a masterclass in unflappable cool.
The artist was Mathilde MIlwidsky (in the photo). Watch out for her - she's a star in the making. The quartet was the magnificent Doric Quartet.
If you'd like to know more about next year's Swaledale Festival, where excellent music of all types is the norm, and such excitements are definitely not, register your interest at www.swalefest.org. The Festival takes place in Swaledale and Wensleydale in late May/early June, and there are normally about 10 events in Richmond. Start planning now!
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