Speak to an expert
020 7593 1899

Our office is open 9-6 Mon to Fri and 9-4 Sat

Speak to an expert
020 7593 1899

Our office is open 9-6 Mon to Fri and 9-4 Sat

The Kirker Music Festival at The Grand, Eastbourne

3 nights Prices on request

Described by the 11th Duke of Devonshire as ‘the jewel in Eastbourne’s splendid crown’, The Grand enjoys a majestic position in this elegant seaside resort, which was developed by the Cavendish family in the late 19th century and is the perfect home for our new exclusive music festival. It is a benchmark of comfort and style from that romantic period, more reminiscent of the grand hotels of the capitals of central Europe than of the English coast. Music has always been a central feature of life at The Grand: Debussy, Elgar, Dame Nellie Melba and many others stayed at the hotel.


Claude Debussy (1862-1918) at the Grand Hotel

A certain M. et Mme. Claude Debussy checked into the Grand Hotel on 24 July 1905 but in truth the guests were M. Debussy and his mistress, Emma Bardac, not his wife. Emma was an accomplished singer and married to a rich financier. They had left Paris to avoid the final judgement in Debussy’s divorce from the real Mme. Debussy. News of the divorce settlement, which went against the composer, together with acerbic observations from the judge, came through to them on 2 August. The couple stayed on in Eastbourne until 30 August. Debussy corrected the score of his masterpiece, La mer, while at the Grand – a perfect location for such work. His stay in Eastbourne played no part in the history of La mer but while in Eastbourne he did compose ‘Reflets dans  l’eau’, part of his Images pour piano.


The 5 star Grand overlooks the English Channel, a short walk from the centre of Eastbourne and from Devonshire Park and the Towner Art Gallery. It has spacious public lounges, restaurants and bars, and an impressive spa with indoor pool, gym, solarium and treatment rooms. Free use of the spa’s facilities is included. Our concerts will be held in the Compton Room. Bedrooms are comfortable and well appointed. You can choose between an inland facing room or a room with a sea view.

What's included

...when you travel with Kirker

  • Three nights’ accommodation with breakfast
  • Three dinners
  • All concerts and talks as described
  • The services of the Kirker Tour Leader

Departure Dates and Prices

Simon Roland-Jones

Simon Rowland-Jones

Viola, Composer & Kirker Music Director

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The Marmen Quartet

String Quartet

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Alexander Ullman. Photo Kaupo Kikkas

Alexander Ullman


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Music Programme

21 April

Alexander Ullman, piano

Tchaikovsky arr. Mikail Pletnev :The Nutcracker Suite

Liszt: En reve S207

Schlafos! Frage und Antwort 203

Benediction de Dieu dans la solitude S173/3

Csardsas S221

Mephisto Waltz No.2 S515

Stravinsky arr Guido Arosto: The Firebird Suite


22 April

The Marmen String Quartet

Carole Presland, piano

Haydn: String Quartet in F Op.50 No.5

Janacek: String Quartet No.1 ‘Kreutzer Sonata’

Debussy: L’isle joyeuse

Schumann: Piano Quintet in E flat major Op.44


23 April

A talk by Katy Hamilton

The Marmen String Quartet

Mozart: String Quartet in G K387

Debussy: String Quartet

Beethoven: String Quartet in A minor Op.132

To make an enquiry please speak to one of our experts on 020 7593 1899, or enquire online

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