Arne Brattland

It is with great sadness that we have to announce that Arne Brattland, our  Guitar Section Head, passed away in the early hours of 30th December 2020.

Arne was born in Norway and studied classical guitar at the Norwegian State Academy of Music.  Later he studied in London and in 1988 he had a very successful debut at the Wigmore Hall.  Arne toured many countries as a performer and several prominent Norwegian composers wrote works especially for him.  He made numerous recordings and was a member of ensembles such as the Arctic Guitar Trio, the Adamson-Brattland Duo and guitar trio with his wife Debbie and Ray Burley.

Arne was an inspiring teacher and he encouraged all musicians to enjoy performing.  Many of his pupils took part in Portsmouth Music Festival.

Arne will be sorely missed by all of us involved with Portsmouth Music Festival.  We all have very fond memories of him; his enthusiasm for the Guitar Section and his calm and thoughtful manner will always be greatly appreciated by those who worked with him.

Our thoughts are with his wife Debbie, daughter Heidi and the rest of his family at this sad time.

(The peaceful picture in this post was taken at sunrise on the 30th December by one of the PMF committee. It seems appropriate to use this picture in the post.)

BBC Young Musician Keyboard Final

Thomas Luke won our 2020 Solent Symphony Orchestra Concerto Award when he performed Prelude in G Minor Op.23, No.5 – Rachmaninov at last year’s Gala Concert.

We are delighted to be able to share with you that Thomas got through to the 2020 BBC Young Musician Keyboard Final which will be shown on BBC4 this Sunday, 3 May at 19.00.

BBC Young Musician Keyboard Finals 2020

April 2020

PMF cut down on their carbon footprint

During the Portsmouth Music Festival, refreshments are available for purchase. This year, during the 2020 festival, PMF are asking people wishing to buy drinks for all events held at Crookhorn College to bring along their own re-usable cups, with a lid.

January 2020

Tribute to Jim Newman – PMF Vice Chair for very many years

Jim Newman (December 1929 – September 2019) was born in Sawtry, Huntingdonshire, the eldest of five children. Jim chose to enter the Royal Navy at the age of 17 and while serving, he, with other friends, went to a dance at Portsmouth Teachers’ Training College where he met his future wife, Margaret.  On leaving the navy, Jim went to live in Bedfordshire where he had a job with the Police Force.  Later, he became a civil servant working with the Post Office and Cable and Wireless in London.  

It wasn’t very long before Jim and Margaret returned to Hampshire to live in Waterlooville and Jim rejoined the Royal Navy, this time in a civilian capacity.  Both Jim and Margaret had a strong love of music and singing.  Jim sang with four local choirs, chief among these being the Solent Male Voice Choir and the Denmead Choir.

With a delightful sense of humour and a love of meeting people, Jim would spend many PMF days selling tickets at the door for any Festival section, happily chatting to the many supporters who came.  As vice chairman, he was a firm and devoted pillar of the Festival for very many years while Margaret took on the role of Festival secretary.

With the strong belief that the Festival was an essential platform for the development of performers of music, dance, speech and drama for all ages, Jim and Margaret’s hard work and dedication – along with that of the whole Committee – helped to raise the profile of the PMF from 1990 onwards from an organisation almost on its last legs to one of the top three in the UK (figures from the BFF in 1998). The Festival owes a great deal to the quiet constancy of a vice chairman like Jim Newman and we thank him for all his support and dedication over the years. 

May he rest in peace.

November 2019