Festival Guide 2014

Advertisement Feature

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!


To advertise please contact
Richard Sawyer: 01173 148841 or Georgia Riley: 01173 148754


Advanced search

Use these filters to narrow down your selection.

Javascript is required to view this map.

Gregynog Festival

13-29 June 2014

Wales' oldest classical music festival, located in the heart of Montgomeryshire, takes War as its theme for 2014 - the curation draws an arc between the English Civil War and the First World War to highlight the experience of musicians and other creative artists in the Festival’s Wales and Borders catchment. Concerts will be given by some of the world's finest artists for the chosen repertoire including viol consort Phantasm, The Brabant Ensemble, leading American lutenist Paul O'Dette, Sirinu, early music star Jordi Savall and his ensemble Hesperion XXI, vocal group Alamire, folk trio Coope, Boyes and Simpson, baritone Christopher Maltman, distinguished Belgian violinist Yossif Ivanov, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales with harpist Sioned Williams,The Nash Ensemble and the outstanding Flemish Radio Choir.

Tel: 01686 207100

Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music

16th – 24th August 2014

The Sixteen, Pierre Hantaï, The Hilliard Ensemble, Laurence Cummings, Rachel Podger, La Risonanza ... The 2014 Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music presents superb artists and repertoire over eight momentous days. From Handel's resplendent coronation anthems and oratorio Joshua to Bach's brilliant harpsichord concertos and the profound expressions of Schütz and Purcell. With tickets from just £10 and some great multiple concert offers, book before the best seats go! Tickets for all events, including Festival tours and concerts at Westminster Abbey and St Peter's Eaton Square, must be booked through the Box Office at St John's Smith Square.

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

Cambridge Early Music Summer School

Outstanding concerts of baroque, renaissance and medieval music in gorgeous Cambridge chapels, churches and theatres. We have 23 concerts in 2014 including performances by The Hilliard Ensemble, The Parley of Instruments, Singer Pur, amarcord, Jakob Lindberg, Fretwork, The Intrepid Academy, La Serenissima, Philomel, Elin Manahan Thomas, Repicco, David Miller, Lynda Sayce, Emma Murphy, Stile Antico. Don¹t miss our Festival of the Voice (204 May), in which we honour The Hilliard Ensemble in their farewell, celebratory fortieth year. The Hilliards also give their last-ever performance of Officium with Jan Garbarek, on 6 December 2014, in King¹s College Chapel.

Tel: 01223 847330

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

West Cork Chamber Music Festival

West Cork Chamber Music Festival takes place from 27 June to 5 July in historic Bantry House and St Brendan's Church in Bantry in beautiful West Cork, Ireland. The 2014 line-up includes the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet, Alina Ibragimova, Carolin Widmann, Nurit Stark, Zemlinsky Quartet, Philippe Cassard, Alban Gerhardt, Doric Quartet, Cedric Pescia, Irish Chamber Orchestra, José Gallardo, Gregana Gergova, Maria Keohane, Lawrence Power, Andreas Brantelid, Danish Quartet, Concerto Copenhagen and Lise Berthaud, Concerts from morning to late night alongside violin making exhibition, composition competition, morning talks and young musician masterclasses.

Tel: +353 (0) 27 52788

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

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

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

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


If you want a slightly different musical weekend then the small town of New Ross, which lies between Rosslare and Waterford, which is the host to one of the jewels of the music festival scene in Ireland, is the place to go.

The whole weekend is a concentrated piano-fest. It includes international pianists - not just one but three will share the three main concerts. This is particularly attractive for audiences - three for the price of one! There are also solo recitals with other international pianists, late night concerts, pianos in supermarkets for you to play, public masterclass and sessions with school children.

This year the pianists include Melvyn Tan, who has made the forte piano more accessible, though he will be playing the Steinway D in New Ross. Lise de la Salle, of whom Gramophone said “…Lise de la Salle is a talent in a million…” , is making her Irish debut at the festival. Other pianists include Finghin Collins, the young Irish pianist who won the Clara Haskill competition some years ago. He has played twice at the Proms and also in Wigmore Hall, as well as other UK venues. Beatrice Berrut, the Swiss Steinway artist who plays regularly in the States and in Europe, will be giving one of the solo recitals. As always, there is a chamber music element and this year sees the first appearance of a wind ensemble, the Cassiopeia Quintet.

Further information about the programme and booking will be regularly updated on our website, www.newrosspianofestival.com.

Connie Tantrum 00353 51 421766; info@newrosspianofestival.com John Kissane 00353 51 425845; jvkissane@eircom.net

Machynlleth Festival

From 17 to 24 August, in the glorious setting of the Dyfi Valley, Festival goers can make their annual pilgrimage to The Tabernacle in Machynlleth. In the perfect acoustics of the converted chapel Julius Drake, Artistic Director of the MACHYNLLETH FESTIVAL, will also be a performer, accompanying Ian Bostridge in a programme of songs by Mahler and Kurt Weill. Bengt Forsberg, the inspired Swedish pianist, will be playing with the Heath Quartet and the baritone Nigel Cliffe and will also give a Masterclass. We will be welcoming back many old friends - Gwyn Hughes Jones, O Duo, Lawrence Power, Charles Owen, Milos Milivojevic, and a male voice choir from the Menai Straits. Tickets are strictly affordable.

Tel: 01654 703355

West End Festival (Glasgow)

Now in our 4th year, The Cottier Chamber Project forms a key part of the West End Festival¹s programme. 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

Oundle International Festival

Oundle International Festival celebrates 30 glorious years this summer with a packed programme of classical music, opera and open air theatre. Headlining the festival is Alison Balsom accompanied by organist David Goode, followed the same evening by the Festival Chorus singing the electrifying Carmina Burana. Other festival highlights include The Choir of King’s College, London performing Rachmaninov’s Vespers; Calefax Reed Quintet with mezzo soprano Cora Burggraaf recreating the music of the Roaring Twenties; The Early Opera Company giving a semi-staged performance of Handel’s Acis and Galatea; The Aronowitz Ensemble; Illyria and The Lord Chamberlain’s Men.

Dates: 6 – 20 July

Tel: 01832 274734

Corbridge Chamber Music Festival

James MacMillan Composer-in-Residence
Gould Piano Trio (Lucy Gould, Alice Neary, Benjamin Frith)
Robert Plane clarinet, Marianne Thorsen violin, Rachel Roberts viola and Ilona Domnich soprano.

Macmillan’s new Piano Trio, commissioned by the Gould, is a highlight of this year’s festival. The programme also includes classics by Brahms, Mozart (the Clarinet Quintet) and Schumann, Schubert’s Shepherd on the rock, an Italian Song Serenade and Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine at the late night candle-lit concert. The theme of Saturday’s workshop and Family Concert is ‘Time Travel’, and at the Festival Service strings accompany Schubert’s Mass in G and the choir sings Macmillan’s Christus Vincit. This all takes place in the glorious setting of St. Andrew’s Church, Corbridge, Northumberland, the heart of Hadrian’s Wall country.

Tickets from Queen’s Hall Arts, Hexham

Tel: 01434 652477

St David’s Cathedral

23rd May – 1st June 2014
St Davids Cathedral Festival is an annual celebration of music set in Pembrokeshire’s Cathedral. This year, we will be launched to a spectacular start by the charismatic Alexander L’Estrange conducting his new cantata Ahoy!. We return to our baroque roots with a wonderful concert by the John S Davies Singers including music from by Vivaldi, Handel and Bach, and are thrilled to be joined by Mid Wales Opera and Brecon Baroque who will perform Handel’s Acis & Galatea – the first time an opera has been performed in the Cathedral. Other highlights include the St Davids Cathedral Choir, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, L’Estranges in the Night and the Festival Chorus performing Haydn’s Nelson Mass and Mozart’s Requiem.

Tel: 07970 206153

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

43rd Perth Festival of the Arts

22nd May – 1 June 2014

The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Vasily Petrenko, Miloš Karadaglić, Royal Northern Sinfonia, The Sixteen, The Magic Flute – English Touring Opera, Mnozil Brass, Primavera Chamber Ensemble, Romantic Life of Frederic Chopin - Lucy Parham, Dame Harriet Walter & Henry Goodman, Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, Marc Almond, Melanie C, Reduced Shakespeare Company, Dougie Maclean, Entertaining Mr Sloane, Confessions of Gordon Brown and more to be announced...

Box Office opens on 31st March 01738 621031.

Tel: 01738 621031

City Of London Festival

City of London Festival presents London Symphony Orchestra at St Paul¹s Cathedral Thursday 3 July 2014, 8pm Bruckner died before he could finish his Symphony No 9 but within its three movements can be found some of his most complete music, imbued with a sense of deep solace and resolution. Hear the London Symphony Orchestra perform it live in the spectacular surroundings of St Paul¹s Cathedral, conducted by Daniel Harding. Book: www.colf.org

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

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

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

Leicester International Music Festival

The theme of the 2014 Leicester International Music Festival is Dvorak and the Bohemians in this, The Year of Czech Music. Artistic Director, the virtuoso oboist Nicholas Daniel, has once again assembled an ensemble of international soloists. As well as Dvorak, composers include Martinu, Klein, Janacek, Maratka, Suk, Schulhof, Smetana, Hertl, Mahler, Pavel Haas, and Biber and a new work for solo oboe by the young Czech composer Lukas Sommer. Dvorak highlights include the Piano Quartet in Eb, the String Quintet and the Piano Quintet. The Festival is from 17 - 20 September in the newly refurbished Victorian Art Gallery at New Walk Museum.

Tel: 0116 270 1026

Incontri in Terra di Siena

La Foce, Val d’Orcia, Tuscany 19 – 27 July 2014 Based in the magical setting of La Foce and the Val d'Orcia, the Tuscany-based chamber music festival returns for its 26th edition with an eclectic programme that celebrates youth in music – especially the influence of master performers on their young protégés. Artistic Director Antonio Lysy brings together rising stars alongside world-class musicians including violinist Maxim Vengerov, pianist Saleem Aboud Ashkar, Borromeo String Quartet, early music ensemble Soqquadro Italiano, and many more. Pre-concert events include wine and olive-oil tastings, lectures and dinners.

Tel: +39 0578 63316

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


25th June to 6th July
Box office tel: 07971 041076 or online www.harwichfestival.co.uk
Classical, contemporary including new works, folk, jazz, art, youth day, poetry.

An energetic North Sea port forms the backdrop for the burgeoning Harwich Festival of the Arts, under the directorship of composer Diana Burrell. 111 cyclists open the festival with Mauricio Kagel’s ‘Eine Brise’, speeding along the quay and narrow streets, setting them to music with bells and whistles. The Harwich 'Art Quarter' features unpredictable spaces as galleries. Enjoy evening, lunchtime and afternoon concerts. Performers include the Callino String Quartet, Ramsay Parker, Essex Symphony Orchestra, Yantra, Opus Anglicanum; Opera à la Carte brings us Madama Butterfly. The Festival ends with the stunning Carmina Burana set in an illuminated St Nicholas church.

Tel: 07971 041076

Buxton Festival


11–27 July 2014

A summer celebration of the very best opera, music and literature, at the hills of the beautiful Peak District. Opera highlights for 2014 include the charm of Dvorak’s The Jacobin, Gluck’s revolutionary Orfeo ed Euridice, a concert performance of Rossini’s Otello, Gruber’s modern fable, Gloria – A Pigtale and an opening night gala starring Susan Bullock and Richard Berkeley-Steele.

The Festival also features great stories and fascinating personalities in the Literary Series, music recitals from acclaimed soloists and ensembles, late-night jazz and free events.

Tel: 0845 127 2190

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

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.

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.

The Erratic Dreams of Christian Lindberg

Legendary trombonist Christian Lindberg returns to Cadogan Hall in a concert featuring a fantastic line-up of Swedish musicians, including rising star Emil Jonason, one of the leading clarinettists of his generation, and dynamic chamber orchestra Västerås Sinfonietta. There will be two UK premieres: The Erratic Dreams of Mr. Grönstedt by Lindberg and Lucioles by award-winning composer Andrea Tarrodi, as well as music by Leopold Mozart and Manuel de Falla. Tickets: £35, £28, £22, £15

Tel: 020 7730 4500