More arts festival gems

Fans of poetry talking to George Szirtes

Rye’s art festival invited Hungarian poet George Szirtes to read his work at the Methodist church, a very good venue for literary offerings, on Monday, September 20. He was born in 1948 and came with his parents to Britain as a refugee when he was eight years old when there was an uprising in Hungary against the communists. He has become a known British poet and is a translator from his birth language into English. He has won many prizes for his poetry and books over the years and has been published in many national magazines. His book ‘The Slant Door’ was published in 1979. His past journey as a refugee, until arriving in Britain, shine through his poetry. He taught at the University of East Anglia until his retirement.

The Hill Quartet, wonderful musicians

The second gem was a performance at the creative centre on Tuesday, September 21. The Hill Quartet, cello, viola and two violins is an innovative, multi-national ensemble based in London. With strong roots in the classical world, they have a great interest of expanding the string quartet repertoire by performing cross-genre art and contemporary music.

The first piece was commissioned, telling the story of the monk and his nun who were bricked into the wall as a punishment in Turkey Cock Lane, at the bottom of Conduit Hill. The music explained beautifully the pain of the two lovers, taking the audience on their sad path. Very talented musicians playing with emotions whether Beethoven, Ravel or a commissioned piece.

Image Credits: Heidi Foster .


  1. This was a really thought-provoking and inspiring event. Congratulations are due to Festival programmers who looked beyond more popularist speakers and identified an opportunity to introduce George’s works to new audiences. Thank you!


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