Patron of The Rudolf Kempe Society

I am very flattered and delighted to be Patron of the Rudolf Kempe Society as successor to the late Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. I admire Cordula Kempe so much and think the work that she does is tremendous.

Do come to her wonderful programmes of word and music, Songs of Apollo - in which I have taken part myself and thoroughly enjoyed! And don’t miss the concerts given by the extremely talented musicians of the Rudolf Kempe International Young Artists Platform!

Also given at the uniquely congenial atmosphere of the KEMPE STUDIO at THE MUSES in Stratford, the Society's new series of creative and inspiring Public Master Classes awaits you, with an international line-up of great artists of today teaching the great artists of tomorrow!

Dame Judi Dench, Patron of The Rudolf Kempe Society
Dame Judy Dench

A unique contribution of the Society’s activities, for the development and enjoyment of artists and audiences alike, are the programmes SONGS OF APOLLO, in which educational aspects are combined with those of entertainment.

Many of the country’s greatest actors, sharing the stage with distinguished musicians, are enthusiastic about performing these programmes wherever and whenever they can, and excited about the way in which both word and music enhance each other.

Devised by the Society’s Artistic Director, Cordula Kempe, SONGS OF APOLLO feature chamber music of all periods - instrumental and vocal, in virtually all formations - juxtaposed with literary texts of drama, poetry and prose.

A Shakespearean quotation about the ancient God Apollo – pictured here, not without reason, with his little side-kick Amor in tow – inspired both name and contents of these word and music programmes. Reflecting four millennia of cultural heritage, they look into subjects that concern us all, from the mundane to the philosophical. Whilst being informative and educational in an unobtrusive way, they aim, above all, to be entertaining in the best sense of the word.

To blend the two kindred fields of music and literature not only breaks down fences between disciplines, but also other human divisions – social, national, racial. On these grounds, our offers have been recognized as opening up new dimensions of understanding for everyone who cares to listen.

SONGS OF APOLLO are known to have converted ‘unmusical’ people to music, and drawn ‘philistines’ to the theatre who would never have dreamed of setting foot in one. We are very keen to break new ground to reach wider audiences, especially young people, and those who are underprivileged or feel too shy to take the initiative of venturing into the arts.

You are cordially invited to come and experience our performances, as well as our greatly stimulating workshops which follow them, and in which you can discuss all aspects of the programmes as well as your own reactions to them with the performers.

Given regularly at the Society’s base in Stratford-upon-Avon – in the heart of Shakespeare Country and, as it were, under the auspices of the great poet and playwright himself - SONGS OF APOLLO have been performed frequently at all three theatres of the Royal Shakespeare Company as well as in London, elsewhere in the UK and on the continent. They have for many years enjoyed the highest critical acclaim as well as standing ovations from audiences.

You are cordially invited to join us and our fellow artists in our appreciation, enjoyment and gratitude for the riches – sensual, mental and spiritual – that are entrusted to us as artists, and to share our awareness that they belong to everyone, irrespective of cultural or social background - personified as they are by Apollo, God of Art, of Light and of Healing.