Festival Guide 2014

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If you're looking for outstanding musical entertainment from all over the country, you've come to the right place.

The BBC Music Magazine Festivals Guide 2014 contains a wide range of classical music festivals to suit all tastes. Use the tabs below to find the perfect summer festival for you this year, whether you're in the UK, Europe or anywhere else in the world!

Simply click on the map locations to find out more about the year's most exciting festivals near you!


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Oxford Lieder Festival: The Schubert Project

'Bringing Schubert's Vienna to Oxford'. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to immerse yourself in the music, life, and times of this great composer. Schubert's complete songs - a UK first - performed over three weeks in historic Oxford venues, with artists including Thomas Allen, Ian Bostridge, Sarah Connolly, Angelika Kirchschlager and many more. Explore Schubert at study days and masterclasses; enjoy drinking songs in local pubs; take a Schubert audio guide and sample Sachertorte in the Ashmolean Museum; and taste some Austrian wines at our Schubertiade. A Viennese cultural feast in the heart of Oxford!

Dates: 10 October - 1 November

Tel: 01865 600 540

STRADIVARIfestival 2014

The festival has been given a complete overhaul: lasting 17 days, it will feature 40 events, ranging from classical to jazz, tango to crossover, and including work by contemporary composers. Over 60 international musicians will be performing in the Giovanni Arvedi Auditorium. With 16 concerts, this festival, entirely dedicated to bowed and plucked string instruments, is unique in the world. It will bring tradition and innovation together in Cremona, the world capital of traditional violin craftsmanship, named an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. The festival’s stars include Pavel Vernikov, Viktoria Mullova, Richard Galliano, Regina Carter, Natalia Gutman, Sonig Tchakerian, Salvatore Accardo, Avi Avital, Luigi Attademo, the Quartetto di Cremona, the Stradivari Quartett, the Quartetto Matamoe, the Duo Leonore and many more. In addition to concerts, the STRADIVARIfestival also offers a rich programme of talks, international workshops and exhibitions, where visitors can meet the musicians, get to know the string instruments and learn about the master violin makers who constructed them.

Tel: + 39 0372 801801

Prague Spring International Music Festival

In 2014, the 69th-annual Prague Spring International Music Festival, the oldest Czech music festival, is presenting fifty-one concerts at seventeen concert venues in Prague and is welcoming nearly 130 orchestras, chamber ensembles, and soloists. The festival is welcoming guest stars including Lang Lang, Daniil Trifonov, Julia Fischer, Andreas Scholl, Violeta Urmana, Gidon Kremer, Hilary Hahn, the Vienna Philharmonic & Christoph Eschenbach, the Czech Philharmonic & Jiří Bělohlávek, Les Arts Florissants, the Pavel Haas Quartet, and many others. On the last weekend in May, eleven chamber music concerts will take place at attractive Prague venues, many of which are not otherwise open to the public.

Tel: +420 257 314 040

festival d'opera de quebec

Located in one of the most beautiful cities of North America and in a district listed as a Unesco World Heritage, the Festival d'opera de Québec is the greatest international opera festival across Canada. It has already established itself among the major opera circuits in the world with tremendous and innovative productions as well as worldwide collaborations including the Metropolitan Opera, the Wiener Staatsoper and Robert Lepage's Ex Machina. Every year, the Festival demonstrates its desire to celebrate every possible expression of opera for all types of audiences by presenting both more traditional and not so traditional activities.

Chipping Campden Music Festival

CHIPPING CAMPDEN INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL Artists include - Angela Hewitt, Tallis Scholars, Nash Ensemble, AAM, Imogen Cooper, Christopher Maltman, Fine Arts Quartet, Steven Isserlis

Every May Chipping Campden welcomes visitors to what is widely recognised as one of the UK¹s leading festivals. Audience members travel from Europe, America and Australia, as well as from all over the UK. The venue has become a favourite with many of the world¹s finest musicians who all look forward to returning to the most beautiful of all the Cotswold towns. With the RSC just down the road, and the wonderful gardens of Hidcote and Kiftsgate nearby, it is the perfect setting for a long weekend or a fortnight¹s holiday. A range of fine accommodation is available, from luxury hotels, to smart B&Bs and traditional Cotswold pubs.

Tel: 01386 849018

Presteigne Festival

21 – 26 August 2014

Taking place in a delightfully intimate town on the Wales/Herefordshire border, the Presteigne Festival has become a mecca for those seeking artistic nourishment and musical discovery in the idyllic surroundings of the Welsh Marches. With a truly forward looking commissioning policy, the organisation works closely with composers and artists to create and curate inspiring programmes and events for an ever-widening Festival community. Started in 1983, the Presteigne Festival is one of the major commissioners of new music in the UK and is well known for its fresh and innovative programme mix.


Tel: + 44 (0)1544 267800

Tilford Bach Festival

Festival Prelude

Saturday 26 April 7-30pm
St Andrews, Farnham
Southbank Sinfonia Baroque and Vox Musica
"Bach, Biber and Buxtehude"

Main Festival
All concerts will be held at All Saints Church, Tilford Church

Friday 6 June 2014 8-00 pm
"The Angel and the Devil" - Virtuoso Concertos by Jean-Marie Leclair and Pietro Locatelli
Elizabeth Wallfisch & Adrian Butterfield violins
London Handel Players


Saturday 7 June 2014 8-00 pm
A celebration of father and son, JS and CPE Bach
Rachel Brown flute, Elizabeth Cragg Soprano, London Handel Players


Sunday 8 June 2014 7-00 pm
JS Bach B Minor Mass Kyrie & Gloria & Cantata 172
Dame Emma Kirkby, Elizabeth Cragg, Daniel Taylor, Nicholas Mulroy, Matthew Brook
London Handel Orchestra directed by Adrian Butterfield

City Of London Festival

22 June – 17 July 2013

For three weeks each summer the City of London Festival brings the monumental architecture, outdoor spaces, and ancient streets of the Square Mile to life with a dazzling array of music, dance, visual art and street performance. This year, the list of leading luminaries from the classical world includes Inon Bartanan, Daniel Harding, Voces8 and Nicola Benedetti. Two special concerts from the eminent Nash Ensemble (7th & 8th July) will celebrate their 50th anniversary year. The Festival will also celebrate Britain’s cultural connection with South Korea with a series of events entitled “Seoul in the City”, featuring concerts from Sunwook Kim and Myung-Whun Chung, among others. The programme will enliven the remarkable places and spaces in the City with music, debates, events and performances, from the magnificent St Paul’s Cathedral, which will host two orchestral concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra (3rd & 15th July), to the beautiful livery halls and public squares. Even the City’s famous skyline will feature in the Festival’s “Jazz with a View” series, which offers great music and unrivalled vistas.

“Super fresh, with events as diverse as the capital itself” – Sunday Times

Perth Festival of the Arts

Perth Festival is one of the highlights in Scotland's cultural calendar including classical music, opera, drama, rock, folk and visual art. Now in its 44th year it takes place in Perth Concert Hall from 21st to 31st May.

BBC Philharmonic Orchestra with Tine Thing Helseth conducted by Andrew Gourlay

Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Bands from Scotland and Portsmouth with John Suchet

English Touring Opera – La bohème

The Sixteen -The Choral Pilgrimage

John Suchet talks about his book “Beethoven the Man Revealed”

The Only Way is Downton – hit show from the West End

Andrew Forbes organ recital

ArTay contemporary Art Marquee featuring the work of over 80 artists

Much more to be announced...

Tickets go on sale at the end of March 2015

Tel: 01738 621031

The Glimmerglass Festival

July 11-August 24, 2014

The Glimmerglass Festival is a one-of-a-kind summer destination for opera lovers and first-timers alike. See opera’s brightest stars in an intimate, acoustically perfect theater on the shore of scenic Otsego Lake. Our exciting 2014 lineup spans 100 years of opera and musical theater for a fascinating study of musical arts in the modern era. Productions include Puccini’s 1904 hit Madame Butterfly, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel (1945), Strauss’ Ariadne in Naxos (1916) and Tobias Picker’s 2005 contemporary masterpiece, An American Tragedy. Special concerts, performances, discussions and meals with artists provide opportunities to go deeper into the music.

Tel: (607) 547-2255

Canterbury Festival: Kent’s International Arts Festival

18 October – 1 November 2014

The 31st Canterbury Festival continues to deliver an exciting and diverse programme of arts events throughout the city, including performances in Canterbury Cathedral and the Marlowe Theatre. The Festival comprises over 200 events across two weeks including world music, theatre, dance, literature, comedy and visual arts.

The full programme will be announced in July but highlights for 2014 include Mendelssohn’s Elijah featuring Willard White and Rachmaninov Vespers performed by the Armonico Consort. The programme also features a concert with pianist Freddy Kempf and a performance from the outstanding Voces8 in Canterbury Cathedral.

Box Office: 01227 787787 / Festival Office: 01227 452853

Stanley Hall Opera

Now in its 14th year, the Stanley Hall Opera Festival is built around a single opera production, created each year to showcase exceptional young singers alongside experienced professionals. Stanley Hall Opera is a registered charity and operates without commercial sponsorship, through ticket sales and the generous support of our Patrons, Sponsors and Friends. Our 2014 production of Verdi¹s La Traviata is designed and directed by Richard Studer and conducted by Jonathan Lyness.

Tel: 01787 222619

Ageas Salisbury International Arts Festival

Ageas Salisbury International Arts Festival presents an exciting array of music events as part of its 16-day multi-arts festival. From 23 May to 7 June 2014, this year’s programme includes the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons in Salisbury Cathedral, In Memoriam Sir John Tavener with the South Iceland Chamber Choir, The Hilliard Ensemble and saxophonist Jan Garbarek, cellist Philip Higham, Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto, singers Claire Teal and Madeleine Peyroux plus world music from Taraf de Haidouks. For the full festival programme and to book tickets visit salisburyfestival.co.uk or call 0845 241 9651.

Cambridge summer music

The architectural splendours of Cambridge form the backdrop to the 35th Cambridge Summer Music Festival. From Bach’s St John Passion in the gothic glory of King’s College Chapel, to exquisite chamber music in the Fitzwilliam Museum’s elegant main gallery, to infectious jazz rhythms in the famous University Botanic Garden ... top-quality music in an eclectic but exceptional programme.

World-class performers include Sir Roger Norrington, pianist Joanna MacGregor playing Bach’s Goldberg Variations, oboist Nicholas Daniel bringing his Haffner Wind Octet, the Aronowitz Ensemble, Aurora Orchestra, 4 Girls, 4 Harps, plus solo recitals by baritone Roderick Williams and pianist Maria Marchant movingly explore themes arising from conflict and war – a major theme in this year’s Festival’s, marking the 100th Anniversary of the outbreak of World War I.

Tel: 01223 894161

Castleton Festival

Dates: June 28th - July 20th, 2014
Now in its sixth season, the Castleton Festival was founded by world-renowned artists, Maestro Lorin Maazel and Dietlinde Turban Maazel. It takes place in state-of-the-art performance venues set in the rolling meadows of Castleton Farms in scenic Rappahannock County, VA, from June 28-July 20, 2014. This season’s program will showcase Castleton’s rising stars working alongside world renowned artists such as Sir James Galway and Denyce Graves in a new production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Keita Asari’s production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, including three symphonic concerts, Don Juan in Hell, chamber music, bluegrass, fireworks, and more.

Tel: +001 202-721-0020

Cabrillo Festival

August 1-10, 2014

At America’s longest running festival dedicated to new music for orchestra, Music Director and Maestra Marin Alsop will be joined by 13 international composers, renowned guest artists, and a famously adventurous audience for two weeks of music-making in Santa Cruz, California. Abundant with World, U.S., and West Coast premieres, the program includes works by composers John Adams, Clarice Assad, Michael Daugherty, Brett Dean, Detlev Glanert, Jennifer Higdon, Andrew Norman, and Mark-Anthony Turnage, and features guest artists Béla Fleck, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Tim McAllister, and Time for Three. The Festival’s immersive experience offers open rehearsals, talks and activities.

Tel: 831 426 6966

Aix Easter Festival

30 March – 12 April, 2015

Third edition. 22 concerts, 7 symphony orchestras and outstanding soloists in the heart of Provence. The best conductors: Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Paul McCreesh, Vladimir Ashkenazy will get with leading orchestras and ensembles. With Beethoven and Sacred Music as underlying themes, star violinist and artistic director Renaud Capuçon has invited some of the most renowned violonists, Maxim Vengerov or Augustin Dumay as well as prestigious pianists: Martha Argerich, Khatia Buniatishvili, Krystian Zimerman, Katia and Marielle Labèque… Every generation of musicians will be represented!

Tel: +33 8 2013 2013

The Cottier Chamber Project

Now in our 4th year, The Cottier Chamber Project forms a key part of the programme for Glasgow's West End Festival. Featuring the best in Scottish-based ensembles, the festival has an evening series of hour-long performances in the atmospheric Cottier¹s Theatre, and a free lunchtime series of Bach solo string works at the Hunterian Art Gallery. With a thread of Identity running throughout, we begin exploring Shostakovich¹s string quartets, collaborate with contemporary dancers and actors, programme chamber music classics alongside neglected gems and celebrate the astonishing variety of music that comes under the banner of Œthe music of friends¹.

Tel: 0141 341 0844

Harwich Festival of the Ar ts 2015

Wednesday 24th June to Sunday 5th July
The Harwich Festival features 12 exciting days of music, spoken word, dance and visual arts for everybody to enjoy. The varied classical music programme highlights include renaissance vocalmusic by Fieri Consort; a major baroque concert of Vivaldi, Purcell and Handel by the Royal College ofMusic historical performance ensemble; Shackleton's Cat from English Touring Opera; Brahms, with klezmer and gypsy music from ZRI Band; Tango and Piazzolla with Deco Ensemble; recitals by Joo Yeon Sir, Jane Chapman, Paula Sides and JonathanGale. This festival was rated in the top 15 of UK Festivals by the Sunday Times in 2014.

Tel: 07870 620273


June 27 - August 31, 2014

Tanglewood, the famed summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the idyllic Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts, is widely known as one of the world's most beloved music festivals. The 2014 season, June 27-August 31, welcomes Andris Nelsons for his first performances as Music Director Designate, and is filled with a spectacular lineup of musical guests including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops, popular artists, a wine and food festival, lectures, and much more. Purchase tickets now at 617-266-1200 and

Ryedale Festival

11th – 27th July 2014

It promises to be an inspiring summer at the Ryedale Festival, with its many superb venues. The opening weekend features Monteverdi’s magnificent Vespers and his opera The Coronation of Poppea at Ampleforth, introducing an Italian theme. The Endellion Quartet are in residence; other highlights include Howard Shelley, Orchestra of Opera North, Royal Northern Sinfonia, a Richard Rodgers Day, Kathryn Tickell, Carol Ann Duffy, Strauss’s Four Last Songs, a new production of Alice in Wonderland, Nicholas Daniel, Julian Bliss, a Triple Concert at Castle Howard and Double Concert at Sledmere, four World Premieres and the festival’s much-loved series of Coffee Concerts.
Full details are in our free Brochure from rftoffice@aol.com

Tel: 01751 475777

West Cork Chamber Music Festival

26 June to 4 July 2015
The West Cork Chamber Music Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary by programming some of the great landmarks of the repertoire. Alongside such favourites as Schubert’s Trout Quintet, Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet and Beethoven’s Archduke Trio will be contemporary works by a number of composers including Tabakova, Gubaidulina and Shchedrin. Making the journey to Bantry, County Cork for this special celebration will be Alina Ibragimova, Natalie Clein, Barry Douglas, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Alexander Melnikov, Marc Coppey, Romain Guyot, Viviane Hagner, Maria Keohane and many more. Vanbrugh Quartet will be joined by Cremona, Borodin, Signum and Benyounes Quartets. Friends booking opens late January 2015.

Tel: +353 (0) 27 52788

Three Choirs

Peter Nardone makes his debut as Artistic Director of the Three Choirs Festival Worcester with a programme that reflects the World War I centenary commemoration and some of its local associations, while celebrating the festival’s much-loved traditions and marking Shakespeare’s 450th birthday. Highlights include the world premiere of Torsten Rasch’s A Foreign Field, a choral co-commission with Städische Theater Chemnitz and part of 14-18 Now, WW1 Centenary Art Commissions; concerts by the King’s Singers, Rodolfus Choir, Tenebrae and Opus Anglicanum; chamber music in beautiful Worcestershire churches; and performances of great choral works including Mahler’s ‘Resurrection’ symphony and Elgar’s The Apostles.

Tel: 0845 652 1823

42nd Istanbul Music Festival

The 42nd Istanbul Music Festival, organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts and sponsored by Borusan Holding, centres on the theme “The Song of Nature”. The 42nd Istanbul Music Festival will host nearly 800 local and foreign musicians in a total of 26 concerts of orchestral, chamber music, solo, and vocal performances. Such international stars as Steven Isserlis, Isabelle van Keulen, Nelson Freire, Pepe Remero, Krzysztof Penderecki, Xavier de Maistre, and Yuja Wang will be performing with some of world’s leading ensembles like Sinfonia Varsovia and Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra of Venezuela.

English Haydn Festival

Internationally acclaimed soloists will perform at the English Haydn Festival, including the celebrated harpist David Watkins, forte-pianist Yoko Kaneko, oboe soloist Anthony Robson, violin virtuoso Simon Standage and talented Russian cellist Pavel Serbin, performing a newly discovered concerto by Stamitz. The theme is “Haydn’s England and The Golden Years” with performances of his symphonies, and music by Mozart, Krumpholtz and Gyrowetz, including a piano concertos by Beethoven, enhanced by the orchestra performing on period instruments, conducted by the distinguished director Anthony Halstead. Chamber concerts feature the Chiaroscuro Quartet, the Salomon Quartet, the English Haydn Ensemble, and the Barbican Piano Trio. Ending with Haydn’s masterpiece “Mass in Time of War”.

Dates: 3rd to 8th June 2014

Tel: 07732671982

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