Festival Guide 2015

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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 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!

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St. Davids Cathedral Festival

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

22nd edition of the Verbier Festival

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

Chipping Campden International Music Festival

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

Spitalfields Music Summer Festival

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

Swaledale Festival

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

The Cottier Chamber Project

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

The Budapest Spring Festival

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

Budapest, Hungary

Tel: +36 1 555 3000

Email: info@btf.hu

70th-annual Prague Spring International Music Festival

12 May – 3 June 2015
The 70th-annual Prague Spring International Music Festival, the oldest and most famous classical music festival, with the highest number of concerts in the Czech Republic, will offer 46 classical music concerts at 14 magnificent Prague concert halls. Prague will be welcoming around 90 orchestras, chamber ensembles, and soloists from 20 countries. The program´s highlights include artistic personalities like Murray Perahia, Sir Antonio Pappano, Iván Fischer, Maria João Pires, Sa Chen, Julian Rachlin, Vilde Frang, Vasily Petrenko, and many others. For chamber music enthusiasts, Prague Spring has prepared the 2nd edition of the Chamber Music Weekend. Tickets are available on line.

Tel: +420 257 314 040

Three Choirs Festival

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

City of London Festival

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:

London Festival of Baroque Music: Women in Baroque Music

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

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

Canterbury Festival

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

Festival Printemps Des Arts De Monte-Carlo

20 MARCH / 12 APRIL 2015


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

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

Presteigne Festival

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

Cork International Choral Festival

29th April - 3rd May 2015: Cork City, Ireland


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

THE OXFORD LIEDER FESTIVAL 2015 - Singing words: poets and their songs

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

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

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