A welcome chat with David Francis, head of arts at Dartington, produced some interesting info the other day. I'd like to flag it by way of addendum to my recent column in the print edition about the future of summer music festivals.
In that column I expressed concern about the future of Dartington International Summer School, given the news that Dartington College is moving to Falmouth and various redevelopment plans were being mooted for the historic estate's buildings. David explains first of all that the summer school is not attached to the organisation of Dartington College as such, so will be staying put. Foxhole, the residential block that holds so many mingled memories from certain misspent youths, is indeed to be redeveloped into a site for retirement in a creative environment, but alternative accommodation is to be organised so the summer school won't have to be any smaller. The school/academy that will be using the studios in term time won't be functioning in the summer so studio space isn't threatened. There's to be some necessary refurbishment of other accommodation, but it's not quite going to be Reid's Palace Hotel. The message is: business as usual, with knobs on.
So it sounds, happily, as if our favourite Devonshire delight will still be with us for the foreseeable future. Cheers.
Jessica Duchen is a music journalist and the author of four novels, two biographies and several stage works. She writes regularly for The Independent and BBC Music Magazine. Her latest novel, Songs of Triumphant Love, is published by Hodder.
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