Investec International Music Festival (IIMF) is delighted to announce rescheduled dates in September 2021 for its full original programme of concerts. Each year, IIMF brings world-class musicians to perform in beautiful and intimate venues across the Surrey Hills, and this year, the focus will be on chamber performances:

– IIMF’s Artistic Director Wu Qian opens the rescheduled season together with Juho Pohjonen reprising their spectacular 2019 collaboration, this time performing piano works for four hands by Mendelssohn, Bach/Kurtag, Barber & Dvořák. 

– The Tallis Scholars give their first performance in Guildford in 10 years in a programme specially chosen by Peter Phillips of his own choral favourites old and new.

– Lutenist Paula Chateauneuf performs in the exquisite historic setting of West Horsley Place’s Tudor Stone Hall.

– Festival Finale in the brand new Hilltop Auditorium at RHS Wisley featuring ground-breaking saxophonist Jess Gillam, plus internationally renowned violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky leading a performance of Piazzolla’s Four Seasons of Buenos Aires to mark the composer’s 100th anniversary, also featuring tango specialist and Strictly Come Dancing regular Julian Rowlands on bandoneon.

Festival Chairman Julia Pearson comments: “We were already determined to bring live performances back to our beautiful Surrey Hills this year but, following the unavoidable cancellation of our original spring plans, we have redoubled our efforts and are so glad to have succeeded in finding new dates to accommodate all our planned artists in September. Not only that, we will be welcoming our audience to some particularly special venues, including the beautiful Stone Hall at West Horsley Place (well-known to viewers of the BBC’s ‘Ghosts’!) and the brand new Hilltop Auditorium within the exquisite gardens of RHS Wisley.

We have a commitment to our loyal audiences to whom live music is a source of both joy and solace, and to the exceptionally talented artists whose livelihoods depend on live performance, and we eagerly await the chance to reunite our musical community in the autumn. We are taking extensive precautions to ensure the festival can go ahead safely, focusing on chamber performances in light and airy venues which are well-practised in Covid safety measures, and offering multiple performances where appropriate to accommodate as many people as possible overall should social distancing measures still be required in the autumn.”

Artistic Director & Festival Co-Founder Wu Qian comments: “After such a tough year for musicians and audiences alike, we wanted to give our wonderful, loyal concert-goers the chance to hear some truly inspiring artists and uplifting repertoire. We are thrilled to have such a varied programme to offer them and in particular to welcome the trail-blazing young saxophonist Jess Gillam to the festival for the first time. We are sincerely grateful to all our artists and venues for showing such flexibility as we’ve worked to find the best way forward, and I can’t wait to see our audience members gathered together and to have the chance myself to perform live again – I’ve missed it so much!”

Festival Programme

Thurs 16 September
Chorales & Dances – Wu Qian, piano, and Juho Pohjonen, piano – venue tbc
Including works for four hands by Mendelssohn, Bach/Kurtag, Barber & Dvorak

Sat 18 September
The Best of The Tallis Scholars at Holy Trinity Church, Guildford
Including works by Tallis, Allegri, Pärt, Muhly & Byrd

Weds 22 September
Guided Walk & Pilgrims’ Concert at the church of St Martha-on-the-Hill, Chilworth
Performance featuring bassoonist & Musicians’ Company Yeoman Amy Thompson

Thurs 23 September
Bright Apollo’s Lute – Paula Chateauneuf, lute & theorbo, in the Stone Hall at West Horsley Place
Including works by Dowland, Lully, Johnson & Piccinini

Sat 25 September
Festival Finale with Jess Gillam, Alexander Sitkovetsky & Friends at the Hilltop Auditorium, RHS Wisley
Featuring recital repertoire for saxophone & piano/double bass and a performance of Piazzolla’s Four Seasons of Buenos Aires to mark the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth

New for 2021

Pilgrims’ Concert & Guided Walk – from its inception, the breath-taking Surrey Hills have been central to IIMF’s identity, as it has sought to bring world-class music to varied and intimate venues throughout this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and raise awareness of the region’s varied and inspiring cultural landscape.

Keen to draw focus to the leisure opportunities offered by the area and to strengthen links with local cultural organisations, the Festival has included Guided Walks in its programme since 2019. These have proved to be a great success and this season, IIMF is introducing a new thread of Pilgrims’ Concerts, combining a Guided Walk with a lunchtime performance by emerging artists. This year’s inaugural event takes place at the tiny hilltop church of St Martha’s on the old Pilgrims’ Way just outside Guildford, and in coming seasons, the event will move on to a different Surrey Hills location each year, to create over time our very own musical Pilgrims’ Progress.

Sunday Listening Club on BBC Radio Surrey/Sussex – part of a new media partnership with BBC Radio Surrey, the Sunday Listening Club is a new initiative aimed at drawing in new local listeners to classical music, and features a regular monthly slot with Festival Manager Isabel Dawson in conversation with presenter Emily Jeffery, accompanied by themed listening suggestions, playlists and artist interviews.


Tickets will go on sale later in the spring – exact date to be confirmed following the government’s review of lockdown arrangements.

Please visit for updates and more information on how to book tickets