Founded a decade ago by Enzo Puzzovio and Richard Still, Lincoln plays host to the annual Lincoln Early Music Festival. By the summer of 2005, the festival had grown to a six day event.
The Lincoln Early Music Festival was started in 1996 by two Lincoln musicians Richard Still and Enzo Puzzovio - both performers of early music - as a purely selfish way of being able to enjoy high quality performances of early music without having to travel all over the country.
Co-founder Enzo Puzzovio:
It was very small scale because it began with Richard and I who were both performers in early music. We were keen to listen to other performers.
I was reasonably new to Lincoln. I had moved here a couple of years before and he was pretty established. So we really got together and decided it would be a fantastic idea for Lincoln, as an historic venue, to have a festival that increased the profile of early music.
It's steeped in history as everyone knows. Then we had to decide where to hold it, how many acts to get and for what sort of budget.
We had hoped it might break even and of course we were fairly nervous.
The music is immensely popular. I'm always surprised at how well it's supported.
The idea of the festival originally was quite selfish in that Richard and I wanted to bring the big names around the country to Lincoln.
The festival has grown steadily since it was founded in 1996, with two concerts outside the main August concert series, one early in the year and one around Easter.
The Lincoln Early Music Festival is now directed by Helen Mason.
The historic core of the City of Lincoln, centered on Castle Square where in one direction you can see the 11th Century castle walls, and in the opposite direction view the stunning grandeur of equally venerable Cathedral, is the ideal venue for an early music festival
The main venue for the performances is the chapel of Bishop Grosseteste College, about ten minutes walk from Castle Square.
A spin-off from the Lincoln Early Music Festival and closely associated with it is the Lincoln Renaissance Windband, started in 2003 by Lincoln musicians Helen Mason and Richard Still – both performers of early music, and both closely connected with the Lincoln Early Music Festival.
The first meeting of Lincoln Renaissance Windband was in August 2003, as a part of the 8th Early Music Festival. After a one day workshop and a few days to draw breath, the band gave its first public performance at the Festival's Tudor picnic.