Festival Guide 2015
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 2015 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!
Use these filters to narrow down your selection.
27 August – 1 September 2015 Held annually in the idyllic surroundings of the Welsh Marches, the Presteigne Festival has become a focal point for those seeking musical nourishment and artistic discovery. The organisation works closely with composers and artists to create and curate inspiring events for an ever-widening Festival community. Founded in 1983, the Presteigne Festival remains a major commissioner of new music in the UK and is well-known for its fresh and innovative programme mix. ‘the Presteigne Festival provides intelligent scheduling and musical excellence at every turn. In the current musical calendar it shines very brightly indeed’ Musical Opinion Quarterly
Tel: + 44 (0)1544 267800
10th April - 26th April 2015
Pulling together the best in classical music, opera, jazz and folk music, this annual festival is the largest cultural event in Hungary. A magnitude of venues throughout the city welcome both, Hungarian and international performers. Budapest celebrates its 35th Spring Festival in 2015. There will be over 50 performances and exhibitions to choose from during the 17 days of the festival, the Budapest Opera will premier Aida, the Papp László Sport Arena will celebrate the silver anniversary of the ‘Hungarian Wedding Feast’, the Palace of Arts will feature a series of classical concerts and several plays are on the repertoire at the theatres
Tel: +36 1 555 3000
17th July – 2nd August
Two weeks of inspiring performances in the many beautiful and historic venues in and around Ryedale, North Yorkshire. The 2015 festival has a Hungarian flavour, with an opening night that recreates the sights and sounds of Brahms’s favourite tavern, a complete cycle of Bartók’s string quartets and a new production of Lehar’s The Merry Widow. A 100th anniversary performance of Rachmaninov’s All Night Vigil introduces a parallel theme of ‘night music’, which includes a complete cycle of Chopin’s Nocturnes over three candlelit concerts and famous night pieces by Bartok, Schoenberg, Mozart, Ravel, Tallis, Byrd, Britten and others.
Chamber music is at the heart of the festival with residencies from the Heath and Doric Quartets, and the Lendvai Trio. Orchestral highlights include concerts by Royal Northern Sinfonia and Orchestra of Opera North, while the Dunedin Consort bring an all-Bach programme to Scarborough, and the National Youth Jazz Orchestra promises an unmissable evening in Malton. Vocal highlights include performances by top choirs Ex Cathedra and Stile Antico, and Toby Spence joins artistic director Christopher Glynn for the premiere of a new English version of Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin by Jeremy Sams.
The festival features eleven world premieres, including two by festival composer in residence Michael Berkeley. There is also the festival’s famous series of Coffee Concerts – which take place in the many beautiful country churches of the region – a series of literary events, a photographic exhibition, a series of free workshops for young and amateur musicians, and Ryedale500 – a new initiative to help more young people explore the festival.
To find out more click on the link
Tel: 01751 475 777
29th April - 3rd May 2015: Cork City, Ireland
BRINGING A CITY TO LIFE WITH SONG SINCE 1954...
Founded in 1954 to be a dynamic force in developing choral music in Ireland, the Cork International Choral Festival is held annually over the five days preceding the first Monday in May. Cork welcomes choirs from across the world for a programme of Gala concerts, Schools Concerts, National and International Competitions, and world-class performances, as thousands of participants bring the city to life for a celebration of choral music in all its many forms. One of Europe’s premier international choral festivals, Cork is noted for its high standards, eclectic and wide-ranging programme, and the friendliness of its welcome.
Tel: +353 21 421 5125
22 May - 31 May 2015
The King's Singers; Bella Tromba; British Sinfonietta; Nicholas Cleobury and Mid Wales Opera; Lutes & Ukes; Scott Brothers; David Rees-Williams Trio; Live Music Now; St Davids Cathedral Choir; Festival Chorus and Orchestra; Vox Angelica; Young Musician of Dyfed.
Choral Evensong broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 - Wednesday 27th May
Brochure Available 1st March
Tel: 07506 117901
Saturday 25 – Friday 31 July 2015
La Foce, Val d’Orcia, Tuscany
Included as one of the Telegraph’s Top Ten Italian cultural holiday destinations for 2015, La Foce’s annual chamber music festival Incontri in Terra di Siena returns with a cast of world-class musicians for the 27th edition. Festival-favourites Ian Bostridge, Julius Drake, John-Eliot Gardiner<>/b<, Borromeo String Quartet, Ettore Causa, Domenico Nordio make a welcome return alongside newcomers Alessio Bax and Lucille Chung. Set in the buildings and gardens of one of Tuscany’s most beautiful estates, and in the historic castles and churches of the Val d’Orcia, the festival spans the final week of July, from 25 to 31 July.
Tel: +39 0578 63316
2-16 June 2015 Spitalfields Music Summer Festival returns to East London filling iconic and unexpected venues with music. Bridging the past and present expect dynamic early music performances, intriguing new opera and a range of vibrant sound-worlds. The programme is headed by three Associate Artists: early music ensemble La Nuova Musica, composer Emily Hall and composer and saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings. Between they present: Handel’s Israel in Egypt, Couperin’s Leçons des ténèbres, an evening of baroque horn concertos, Emily Hall’s new opera Folie à Deux, and project which turns found sounds from Spitalfields into live music. Complementing them are performances from renowned and up-coming artists, including The Sixteen, City of London Sinfonia and Stile Antico, in venues including Hawksmoor’s Christ Church Spitalfields, the Geffrye Museum and the Tower of London. In the intimate drawing rooms of Georgian Spitalfields, The English Concert’s Harry Bicket curates Spitalfields Salon, evenings of music and conversation with Ian Bostridge, Alice Coote and Elizabeth Watts. A day of events inspired by the history of Spitalfields and its links to the textile industry includes Birmingham Contemporary Music Group’s Field Notes encompassing music and textiles, and The Little Weaving Opera, an intimate poetic music-drama inspired by weaving. There is also music for young ears, with the return of Spitalfields Music’s hit opera for toddlers, Musical Rumpus, plus an adventure for all the family with music and movement collective TROUPE. Booking is now open with tickets from £5.
Tel: 020 7377 1362
July 1August 15, 2015
Each summer in stunning Jackson Hole, the Grand Teton Music Festival (GTMF) re-unites a celebrated orchestra of musicians. Led by Maestro Donald Runnicles, GTMF is seven weeks of classical music bliss! This year includes Beethoven's Eroica Symphony conducted by Maestro Runnicles (7/24 & 25), Edo de Waart conducting Schubert's Ninth Symphony (7/31 & 8/1); Osmo Vänskä conducting Sibelius's Fifth Symphony (8/7 & 8/8); soloists including American violin master Mark O¹Connor (7/22); Canadian virtuoso James Ehnes (7/24 & 25), fast-rising Uzbekistani pianist Bezhod Abduraimov (8/7 & 8/8), and residencies from star cellist Alisa Weilerstein (7/1418) and guitar master Pablo Villegas (8/48).
12-28 June 2015
Wales’ oldest extant classical music festival takes France and the spirit of Revolution as its themes for 2015. Historic venues include Gregynog’s Music Room, Powis Castle, National Museum, Cardiff and National Library, Aberystwyth.
Making Wales or UK debuts are Stéphanie d’Oustrac, Xavier de Maistre, Anne Queffélec, Christophe Rousset with Les Talens Lyriques, Alexander Melnikov with Ensemble Variances, Vox Luminis, Fantasticus, Les Folies francoises, Ensemble Amarillis and the Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments.
Tel: 01686 207100
SIX NIGHT ESCORTED HOLIDAYS | 24 & 30 SEPTEMBER 2015
The works of Frédéric Chopin are still central to our Festival in Mallorca and for our third visit we have extended the programme to include Spanish and Latin American composers. Based in the village of Banyalbufar, our holiday will introduce you to the glorious unspoilt north coast of Mallorca. We are delighted to welcome back three of the musicians who so impressed our clients at the first Festival in 2013 pianist Melvyn Tan, organist Oliver Condy and Mexican guitarist Morgan Szymanski. This time they are joined by the young Spanish soprano Amaia Azcona Cildoz.
Tel: 020 7593 2284
The Malta International Music Festival & Competition 2015 will be held between 27th April and 10th May. The Festival is growing and developing every year. Last year’s participants hailed from 21 countries and this year we are expecting a further increase regarding international participants, as the number of events, concerts and master classes will be more than double of last year’s. Eighteen world renowned professors and musicians from leading international music conservatories will be in Malta, conducting master classes and performing concerts during the 13 days of the Festival. Classical music lovers will be treated with over 20 concerts at prominent venues in Malta and Gozo, followed by public performances of the four International Music Competitions for Piano, Strings, Wind Instruments and Chamber Ensembles. The Festival opens on 27th April at the Manoel Theatre in Valletta.
Tel: (+356) 777 27 222
20 MARCH / 12 APRIL 2015
MUSICAL SPRINGTIME IN MONACO !
The coming music festival « PRINTEMPS DES ARTS DE MONTE-CARLO » will take place over 4 long weekends from 20 March to 12 April 2015 offering 54 musical events in 14 dream venues in Monaco and along the French Riviera...
On stage: the BBC SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, Soprano SOILE ISOKOSKI, the ORCHESTRE NATIONAL DE RADIO FRANCE, the MONTE-CARLO PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA, among over 400 guesting world renowned artists ! Programme : BACH, SIBELIUS, DONATONI and world premieres by contemporary composers PESSON, NOUNO and BAYLE.
FESTIVAL PACKAGES (conference/cocktail/concert) & MUSICAL HOLIDAYS in partnership with international travel partners
Tel: 00 377 93 25 54 04
22nd Festival Year
Dates: 3rd to 7th June 2015
Internationally acclaimed soloists will perform at the English Haydn Festival, including the celebrated cellist Christophe Coin, violin virtuoso Simon Standage, and fortepianist Yoko Kaneko. Oboe soloist Anthony Robson, horn virtuoso Pip Eastop. Acclaimed Russian cellist Pavel Serbin, will perform in the UK Premiere of a newly discovered J.C. Bach Sinfonia Concertante in G (C45)
The Festival theme is “Haydn & The Natural World”, with performances of his symphonies, and music by Mozart, Michael Haydn, Beethoven and Wagenseil, including an oboe concerto by Dittersdorf, with the orchestra performing on period instruments conducted by the distinguished director Anthony Halstead. Chamber concerts feature the Sacconi String Quartet, the Salomon Quartet, the English Haydn Ensemble, and the Christophe Coin Trio. Including Haydn’s choral masterpiece “The Seasons”, conducted by John Moore.
Tel: 07547 289704
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
6 June – 8 August 2015
The Iford Arts Festival takes place within the exquisite Peto Garden of Iford Manor, near Bath.
This season Iford Arts are pleased to present Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera and Handel’s Agrippina with the welcome return of Opera della Luna with Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld. All performances are staged in-the-round for an audience of 90 in the miniature Italianate cloister. All are sung in English.
Popular picnic proms and classical concerts compete with season with Clare Teal, Get The Blessing, CHROMA and more.
“Pure magic, as though each performance is being enacted for your personal benefit” The Telegraph
OPERA: Tickets from £61
Un Ballo in Maschera Giuseppe Verdi
June 6, 9, 12, 13, 16, 19, 20
Orpheus in the Underworld Jacques Offenbach
A NEW OPERA DELLA LUNA PRODUCTION
June 27, July 1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 10
Agrippina George Frideric Handel
Iford Baroque Period Orchestra
July 25, 29, 31, August 1, 4, 5
11 July Tickets £34
The Original Rabbit Foot Spasm Band
Get The Blessing
The Peto Prom
18 July Tickets £34
The Clare Teal Band With music and entertainment in the Cloister cocktail bar.
8 August Tickets £34
Cable Street Collective
Iford Young Artists
7 June Tickets £30
CHROMA: Folk Tales
14 June Tickets £30
Tel: 01225 448844
A SEVEN NIGHT ESCORTED HOLIDAY | 12 OCTOBER 2015
Join pianist Jeremy Young on the idyllic island of Ischia for six exclusive concerts at La Mortella, the former home of Sir William & Lady Walton. Jeremy will perform with tenor Paul Nilon, The Sacconi Quartet and violist Simon Rowland-Jones, and we will also enjoy one concert given as part of the Walton Trust¹s series. Our concerts are held in the lovely concert hall overlooking the garden, next to the villa where the Waltons lived. We stay at the 4* Albergo San Montano in the small resort of Lacco Ameno, a few minutes¹ drive from La Mortella with spectacular views of the Bay of Naples.
Tel: 020 7593 2284
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
17 July to 2 August
Joining us in the heart of the Swiss Alps for the 2015 Verbier Festival, some of the finest musicians alive today, including six conductors who are renowned the world over, and each with special connections with the Festival. Apart from the extraordinary and well-established artists on the main stages, the Verbier Festival is truly defined by its faith and investment in the great artists of the future. Each season we offer a diverse programme for exceptional young players. There really is something for every member of the family in this spectacular alpine location. We look forward to seeing you from 17 July, and to continuing our wonderful musical and human adventure together in this enchanting setting!
Tel: +41 (0)848 771 882
Scotland’s Festival of New Music
22 October – 9 November 2015
sound is an innovative festival of new music which brings together a wide range of musical styles in a variety of concerts, workshops, installations and talks across North East Scotland.
The opening weekend will showcase cross-artform collaborations in Scotland, including new commissions for new music and dance, theatre, and visual art.
The following weekend features a conference run in partnership with the University of Aberdeen, ‘New music, Beauty and the Sublime.’
Artists and composers set to feature at the 2015 festival include The Griffyn Ensemble, Red Note Ensemble, Primrose Piano Quartet, Ensemble Alternance, Leafcutter John, Ian Pace, Ian Wilson, Brian Irvine and more.
Venues throughout Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire
Tel: 01330 826526
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
25 July – 1 August 2015 Hereford Three Choirs Festival 2015 marks its 300th birthday with a celebratory programme of cathedral services, concerts, talks and exhibitions. Main evening Hereford Cathedral concerts feature wide selection of significant repertoire, including Bach’s St Matthew Passion, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, the Verdi Requiem, Sir Arthur Bliss’s Morning Heroes, Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius, Lux Aeterna by William Mathias, and first ever performance in Hereford of Messiaen’s Turangalíla. The OAE accompanies the Three Cathedral Choirs in the St Matthew Passion while other evening concerts feature the Three Choirs Festival Chorus and the Philharmonia orchestra. Concludes with new work for community choir by Pete Churchill.
Tel: 08456 521 823
23rd May - 6th June 2015
The award-winning Swaledale Festival is an annual celebration of music and arts in the beautiful landscape of the three northernmost Yorkshire Dales - Swaledale, Wensleydale and Arkengarthdale.
More than 50 events are taking place over two weeks in beautiful locations. This years artists include:
King’s Singers, Tenebrae Consort, Royal Northern Sinfonia with James Gilchrist, Skampa Quartet and BBC NGA Sean Shibe, Leon Bosch, Magdalena Filipczak, Kathryn Tickell, Liane Carroll, Gwilym Simcock, The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, and more.
Tel: 01748 880019
17 to 31 October 2015
Canterbury Festival is Kent’s International Arts Festival, the largest festival of arts and culture in the region, and one of the most important cultural events in the South East.
The Festival attracts an audience of 60,000 people of all ages to over 200 free and ticketed events, drawn from across Kent, London and the South East. Every year the Festival fortnight includes a wide range of events, including Music, Theatre & Dance, Comedy, Science, Exhibitions, Walks and Talks.
The full programme of events will be announced in early July.
Tel: 01227 452853
Ageas Salisbury International Arts Festival is a 16-day multi-arts festival that celebrates music of all kinds from classical to world and jazz. Among this year’s highlights are Mahan Esfahani with a complete performance of Bach’s The Well-Tempered Klavier, Handel’s Israel in Egypt performed by La Nuova Musica in Salisbury Cathedral and the London Philharmonic Orchestra with Jaime Martín and Narek Hakhnazaryan. World music comes from Iranian sisters Mahsa and Marjan Vahdat, Palestinian brothers Trio Joubran and seven-piece band She’Koyokh. One of Britain’s foremost saxophonists Andy Sheppard also makes an appearance.
Tel: 0845 241 9651
22 June – 10 July 2015
Every 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 spectacular St Paul’s Cathedral will play host to two of Britain’s most notable orchestras, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. The LSO will take on Haydn’s Creation under the baton of conductor Edward Gardner (24 June) while the OAE will perform Monteverdi Vespers under the mighty dome (2 July). Prestigious tenor Ian Bostridge will be joining forces with renowned pianist Andreas Haefliger, in a UK première inside the resplendent Mansion House, to perform work from Gulda, Schumann and Wolf (30 June). The Festival will be celebrating the arts in Singapore in its 50th year of independence, with special performances from Singaporean violin soloist Siow Lee Chin as well as the sublime Melvyn Tan and the T’ang Quartet. Another focus will be the wealth of choral riches within the City – ‘Choral Capital’ will see Voces8 in St Bartholomew-the-Great following their sell-out performance last year, a new Pete Churchill commission inspired by Shakespeare and a host of exciting free choral events.
Expect more world-class ensembles inside the City’s finest livery halls, including the likes of the Danish String Quartet and the New Zealand String Quartet.
To find out more about the diverse and exciting events at the City of London Festival this year click on the link below:
Thursday 11 to Saturday 20 June
The leading English pianist Imogen Cooper CBE is set to open the Northern Aldborough Festival on Thursday 11 June, heading a world class line-up which includes Opera North Children¹s Chorus in a world première production, rising vocal collective The Myrthen Ensemble, violist Maxim Rysanov with pianist Ashley Wass and jazz luminaries Guy Barker MBE, Ian Shaw and Martha D Lewis. The festival is held in and around the picturesque Roman village of Aldborough in North Yorkshire and in a new initiative, tickets to the majority of concerts will be offered free of charge to all children under 16.
Northern Aldborough Festival
The Festival Office
Tel: 01423 900979
A FOUR NIGHT ESCORTED HOLIDAY | 8 JUNE 2015
The acclaimed Chilingirian Quartet will play Britten¹s third and last string quartet as well as works by Schubert, Beethoven, Haydn and Dvorák during the first exclusive Kirker Music Festival in Suffolk. We will stay at Seckford Hall, a magnificent Tudor building set in impressive gardens and located close to Woodbridge. This part of Suffolk has close associations with Benjamin Britten and our programme of sightseeing includes visits to the Red House in Aldeburgh where Britten and Peter Pears lived from 1957 until their deaths, and the magnificent garden created by Giles and Sonia Coode-Adams at their Elizabethan manor house.
Tel: 020 7593 2284
15-19 May 2015
Formerly known as the Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music, LFBM celebrates the feminine presence in Baroque music, from songs of passion by Barbara Strozzi to the elegant instrumental works of Elisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre, and from music composed for brilliant female performers by Rameau and Vivaldi to Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, honouring the Virgin Mary. Concerts take place at St John’s Smith Square, Westminster Abbey and The Wallace Collection, and performers include the Bach Collegium Japan, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, María Cristina Kiehr, Carolyn Sampson, Ex Cathedra, The Bach Players, Béatrice Martin and The Choir of Westminster Abbey with St James’s Baroque.
For more details: www.lfbm.org.uk
For booking: www.sjss.org.uk 020 7222 1061
Tel: 020 7222 1061
May 10th- 23rd 2015 Now widely recognised as one of the UK’s leading festivals with visitors coming from Europe, America and Australia, as well as from all over the UK. The venue has become a favourite with many of the world’s finest musicians who all look forward to returning to this most beautiful of all the Cotswold towns. Artists include Paul Lewis, Takacs Quartet, Imogen Cooper, Stile Antico, Tasmin Little, Richard Goode, English Concert, Sophie Bevan, Steven Osborne, Carolyn Sampson. Chipping Campden is also one of the most important homes of the Arts and Crafts movement and is only 11 miles from the world famous RSC
Tel: 01386 849018
16 – 31 October 2015 The fourteenth Oxford Lieder Festival builds on the tremendous success of last year’s ‘The Schubert Project’, once again bringing a glittering array of the world’s most exciting artists to Oxford in a diverse and enticing programme. This Festival will focus on the poets and poetry through which composers have been inspired to set music, with programmes devoted to Goethe, Heine, Housman, Verlaine and others. A lunchtime series features the complete songs of Gabriel Fauré, alongside chamber music, talks, masterclasses, workshops and more. Artists include: Sarah Connolly & Graham Johnson; Christoph Prégardien & Roger Vignoles; Wolfgang Holzmair & Imogen Cooper; Elizabeth Watts & Julius Drake; and many others.
Tel: 01865 600 540
5th - 26th June 2015 The fifth edition of the festival presents over 50 performances of chamber music, dance, jazz and world music. From the free Lunchtime Lieder series at the inspiring Hunterian Museum to late night tango, klezmer and baroque nights (each with an open dance class!), there is something in the programme to excite everyone. Artists include Steven Osborne, James Ehnes, Alasdair Beatson, Alec Frank-Gemmill, Philip Higham, Red Note Ensemble, Concerto Caledonia, Daniel¹s Beard, Hathor Consort, Femke Gyeslinck, All or Nothing Aerial Dance and dancers from Scottish Ballet. Concerts in the atmospheric Cottier¹s Theatre last an hour and are relaxed, welcoming and intimate.
Tel: 0141 628 9740