Strings Forever!

21 October 2022, 7:00pm - 9:30pm

“Nothing will spak to your heart wi the sweetness o’  strings”

Join baroque violinist Emma-Marie Kabanova on a musical journey back in time exploring the dance tunes and folk music beloved by Thomas Hardy and his family.  Performing on a violin made around the year 1700 and using performance practices that would have been common in the 18th and 19th centuries Emma-Marie recreates a musical atmosphere that would have been familiar to the Hardy family.   Mixing both the toe-tapping tunes of the Hardy Family music books and dance tunes by such esteemed masters as J.S. Bach and Henry Purcell Emma-Marie will explore the connection between the baroque violin school and Hardy style “Fiddlers of the Reels”.

Tim Laycock and Colin Thompson contribute the traditional dance tunes and folksongs of Dorset on violin, concertina and melodeon. Wonderful Jigs, reels and hornpipes are drawn from the music manuscript books of the Hardy family of Bockhampton and  Benjamin Rose of Belchalwell, and the words of Thomas Hardy.  Baroque meets folk in the Dorset Museum- don’t miss it!


  • Standard Tickets | £20
  • DNHAS Members or The Thomas Hardy Society | £16

Emma-Marie Kabanova


Emma-Marie Kabanova

  • Emma-Marie Kabanova – Baroque Violin

Danish/British violinist Emma-Marie Kabanova completed Bachelor and Masters degrees in composition, musicology and violin performance at Goldsmith’s College, University of London. She undertook further studies in violin performance at the Novosibirsk Conservatory and studied privately with a principal violinist of the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra in Moscow, Russia.

Emma-Marie studied baroque violin and historical performance at the Malmo Academy of Music in Sweden and attended masterclasses at the Antonio Vivaldi Academy in Venice, Italy. Recent concerts include appearances with the Oxford Alternative Orchestra UK, The National Chamber Orchestra of Moldova, and at festivals in the UK, Hungary and Turkey and France.

Formerly based in Moscow, Emma-Marie was a guest principal with the Moscow Baroque Soloists

and the artistic director of Globus Music baroque ensemble; under Emma-Marie’s direction, the ensemble presented the first historically informed performance of Handel’s ‘Messiah’ oratorio in Russia and created collaborative projects with artists of the Bolshoi Theatre, the Helikon Opera, The Stanislavsky Theatre, Opera Omnia and with ballet dancers from leading companies in Moscow. As a soloist, Emma-Marie often performs programs for unaccompanied violin that combine music from the Baroque era with folk music from the British Isles, Scandinavia and Russia, mixed with improvisation and her own compositions to create a unique sound that is both familiar yet otherworldly. She also performs contemporary music and recently gave the UK premier of four works for unaccompanied violin at Cambridge University.

Emma-Marie teaches violin and has worked as a classroom music teacher. Between 2007 and 2014

she set up musical education projects working with terminally ill children in Siberia and young offenders in an institution in Moscow. In 2017 she was given a ‘Points of Light’ award by the UK Prime Minister for this work. After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine Emma-Marie found it impossible to stay in Russia and returned to the UK where she has been working as a freelance violinist.

Tim Laycock and Colin Thompson


Tim Laycock and Colin Thompson

  • Tim Laycock plays duet concertina, melodeon and ukulele.
  • Colin Thompson plays violin, viola, mandolin and guitar

Tim Laycock and Colin Thompson are both highly experienced players of Dorset traditional music and songs and recognised experts in their fields. Together they perform country dance tunes from the repertoires of the Hardy family of Bockhampton and Benjamin Rose of Belchalwell. Their songs are drawn from the 700 songs collected by Henry and Robert Hammons in Dorset between 1905 and 1907, and also from the texts noted by Thomas Hardy, and mentioned in his poetry and novels.

Tim Laycock is a folk musician and actor with a particular interest in the works of Thomas Hardy and William Barnes. Tim is the Artistic Director of the New Hardy Players, and in 2021 he directed ‘The Mayor of Casterbridge’ in the Dorset Museum with Emma Hill. Tim has worked at the National Theatre and at the RSC; he was folk music consultant on the BBC drama ‘The Living and the Dead.’

Colin Thompson is regarded as one of the finest exponents of the English style of folk fiddle in the country. He is also an accomplished guitarist and recorder player. Colin is a member of Doves Figary who give historically informed performances of dance music from 1500 to 1800, often for dancing.

Colin and Tim played together in The New Scorpion Band and have made many recordings of traditional folk music. The most recent is ‘Any Little Old Song Will Do’, a CD of poems and music associated with Thomas Hardy’s novels and poems and recorded in Hardy’s Cottage. They have also produced a facsimile copy of the music manuscript book of Benjamin Rose, containing all 135 country dance tunes.

Special Exhibition

28 May – 30 October 2022

Take a fresh look at the Victorian novelist and poet, Thomas Hardy, in the stunning Wessex landscapes that shaped his view of the world. His story will be retold in exciting new ways by our museum collections, from period costumes to personal letters, art to archaeology.

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9 September 2022 - 14 October 2022

Drawing Into Life – 6 Week Creative Course

Six week art course designed for adults interested in art and archaeology. This new course is an exciting opportunity to get up close with some extraordinary artefacts in the collection at Dorset Museum. You will be drawing inspiration from prehistoric art including Neolithic flint tools, Anglo Saxon gold, precious burial goods, Roman mosaics, decorative textiles and archaeological maps amongst others, and have the chance to work directly from the Elisabeth Frink collection.

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Community Exhibition

3 October 2022 - 8 February 2023


Unmasked is a local, voluntary project that began in the dark days of March 2020, when a new disease called COVID-19 literally stopped the world as we knew it.

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Poetry Evening


Who’s in the Next Room?

Poems by Thomas Hardy with new writing from Paul Hyland, Kate Scott, Catherine Simmonds & Pam Zinnemann-Hope

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Big Draw 2022

9 October 2022, 10:30am - 12noon

The Big Draw at Dorset Museum

Come and take part in our Big Draw event at Dorset Museum. Inspired by the natural world around us, colour and natural forms, help us create a giant collage in the style of Henri Rousseau to display in one of our galleries.

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11 October 2022, 11:00am - 12:00pm

Archaeology Highlights Tour

Explore archaeological treasures held by Dorset Museum – from Bronze Age gold to medieval silver -  in this volunteer-led tour.

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13 October 2022, 5:00pm - 7:00pm

Museum after hours

Join us for an opportunity to explore the Museum at this free late opening

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13 October 2022, 7:00pm - 8:00pm

A persistent place: a new chronology for Neolithic Dorchester

The area underneath and around the town of Dorchester was an important place for Neolithic people, who built a variety of monuments here over a period of 2000 years. In this talk, Dr Susan Greaney discusses the research project that has obtained radiocarbon dates from samples of antler picks, charcoal and human remains held in the Dorset Museum collection and has been able to build a brand new chronology for the monuments.

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21 October 2022, 7:00pm - 9:30pm

Strings Forever!

Join baroque violinist Emma-Marie Kabanova on a musical journey back in time exploring the dance tunes and folk music beloved by Thomas Hardy and his family.  Tim Laycock and Colin Thompson contribute the traditional dance tunes and folksongs of Dorset on violin, concertina and melodeon.

Find out more