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Sat, 21 Jun


St Mary's Church Guildford

Sam Sweeney Solo

with support by Elye Cuthbertson Fiddle players' workshop 2:00 - 4:30 pm, Concert 7:00 pm

Sam Sweeney Solo
Sam Sweeney Solo

Time & Location

21 Jun 2025, 14:00 – 22:00 BST

St Mary's Church Guildford, Quarry St, Guildford GU1 3UA, UK

About the event

BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2019 – Nominated Musician Of The Year

“one of the defining fiddle players of his generation” Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio 2

“The fiddler with the Midas touch… an English equivalent of the great Irish fiddle player Martin Hayes.” **** The Guardian

Sam Sweeney played a brilliant, sold out concert at St Mary’s when he came to Guildford on his first totally solo tour in 2023. We invited him back as soon as we heard he was embarking on another tour. This is a wonderful opportunity to spend an intimate evening with Sam as he shares a few stories and his favourite tunes. There’s also good news for musicians! Sam will again be holding a workshop for fiddle players in the afternoon.

We’ve also asked Elye Cuthbertson to open the evening concert for Sam. Elye is an alumni of the National Youth Folk Ensemble and was crowned the Future Makers winner in 2022 for his solo performance at the Royal Albert Hall after the judges were “wowed by his original piece on the melodeon.”


Sam Sweeney is a gifted musician with a wonderful talent for teaching, developed through his involvement in an impressive array of education projects, including his appointment in 2016 as the inaugural artistic director of the National Youth Folk Ensemble, teaching at the English Acoustic Collective Summer School, and leading many residential workshops at Halsway Manor, Centre for the Folk Arts.

Sam focuses on expanding his students’ tool kits so that they can start playing tunes the way they want to play them. This includes working on bowing technique, groove, pulse and getting rhythm into tunes and getting old English tunes off the page and into the air again. To get the most from Sam’s teaching, participants should have at least a good basic knowledge of how to play their instrument. Ability to learn tunes by ear would be useful.


Nominated four times, and winner in 2015, of Musician Of The Year BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Sam is a veteran of the mighty Bellowhead, former and inaugural artistic director of the National Youth Folk Ensemble, founder member of the acclaimed instrumental trio Leveret, and “Britain’s Premier Fiddler” (Songlines), at the forefront of the revival in English traditional music.

Sam has also recorded and performed with The Full English, Eliza Carthy, Jon Boden & The Remnant Kings, Fay Hield & The Hurricane Party, Emily Portman, Martin Carthy, as well as his own critically acclaimed show Made In The Great War.

Sweeney’s playing is unearthly at times: the singular focus of this set and the level of its performance makes this an outstanding and deeply moving experience.” ***** - Songlines


Elye Cuthbertson has been immersing himself in English folk music since childhood under the guidance of some of the finest teachers of the tradition including Andy Cutting, Archie Churchill-Moss and Sam Sweeney. Elye has a unique approach to the melodeon which he expresses through his inventive interpretations of traditional tunes and his own imaginative compositions. His passion for English folk music has extended to traditions from across Europe. Elye has demonstrated his singular craftsmanship through performances around the country, including his own concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

Both the concert and workshop are suitable for all ages (we offer a 20% discount to under 25s. Although there are no age restrictions, all under 16s must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or responsible adult).

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