Festival & Performance Guide

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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 Festival & Performance Guide 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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Dartington International Summer School & Festival

A Music School by Day, a Concert Hall by Night.

29 July – 26 Aug 2017 Artistic Director, Joanna MacGregor programmes its world famous summer school for both professional musicians and music students. Your chance to play with some of the most celebrated musicians in the beautiful South Devon countryside.

Tel: +44 (0)1803 847080

Peasmarsh Chamber Music Festival

22 to 25 June 2017

Directed by violinist Anthony Marwood and cellist Richard Lester, and bringing world class musicians to East Sussex, the Peasmarsh Chamber Music Festival offers 9 concerts over 4 days in Peasmarsh and Rye, as well as education and community outreach events.

Tel: 01797 253 178

Iford Arts Festival

New for 2017: Puccini’s La Boheme, Rossini’s Barber of Seville and Handel’s Jephtha. All performances offer the opportunity to picnic first. Opera is performed in English. Punctuating the season are an eclectic mix of jazz and classical concerts set in the glorious gardens of Iford Manor.

Tel: 01225 448844

Perth Festival of the Arts

Artists performing at this year’s Perth Festival of the Arts include Nigel Kennedy, Nicola Benedetti, Tenebrae, English Touring Opera “Tosca”, Moscow Philharmonic with Freddy Kempf, Jools Holland, Marcus Brigstocke, Justin Currie, The Treacherous Orchestra, Rachael Sermanni and more. See the website for more information www.perthfestival.co.uk

Tel: 01738 621031

Salisbury Festival

26 May – 10 June 2017

Ageas Salisbury International Arts Festival offers the very best in classical, jazz, folk, opera and contemporary music from around the world. This year’s highlights include the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Clare Teal, I Fagiolini, Heath Quartet and Le Vent du Nord among many others

Where will we take you?

Tel: 0845 241 9651

Oxford Chamber Music Festival

27th September to 1st October

Musical mirage, mirrors and double identity, transformation and metamorphosis, and the enigma of hidden code - intriguing themes open to interpretation at the 2017 Oxford Chamber Music Festival. Discover ‘Fata Morgana’ with us from 27th September to 1st October – because nothing is as it seems…

Tel: 0845 652 0762

Website: http://ocmf.net/

Lake District Summer Festival

July 29th- August 11th 2017

With 40 events in 11 venues, we have a Schubert spotlight; a golden thread of Haydn; the Russian Revolution centenary; Ella Fitzgerald tribute; 70th anniversary of India’s independence; family event mixing puppetry and music, and much more. Resident artists include Benjamin Appl, Berkeley Ensemble, Robert Cohen, Chilingirian and Villiers Quartets, Gould Piano Trio…

Tel: 01539 742620

The Academy of Ancient Music

The Academy of Ancient Music is an orchestra and choir that perform music from the baroque and classical era, in the way it was first intended. Under the leadership of Christopher Hogwood and now Richard Egarr, the AAM has a busy worldwide touring schedule and an award-winning recording catalogue.

Tel: 44 (0)1223 301509

Chipping Campden International Music Festival

May 14th- 27th 2017

Set in the most beautiful of all the Cotswold towns, the festival welcomes some of the world’s most prestigious musicians for 2 weeks of glorious music making in the magnificent St James’ church, described by Alfred Brendel as “One of the finest acoustics I encountered in my 60 year career” Artists include - Steven Isserlis, Freiburger Barockorchester, Vox Luminis, Richard Goode, Takacs Quartet, Academy of Ancient Music & Richard Egarr, Paul Lewis, Alina Ibragimova, Cédric Tiberghien, Septura Brass Septet, Roderick Williams, Iain Burnside, Jack Liebeck, Nikolai Lugansky, & the Festival Academy Orchestra led by Ruth Rogers & Conducted by Thomas Hull Plus the lunchtime ‘young artists’ series.

Full online booking available with ‘select your own seat’

Tel: 01386 849018

Canterbury Festival

Canterbury Festival - Kent’s International Arts Festival 14 October - 4 November 2017 Each year Canterbury sees over 65,000 visitors flock to the city to enjoy the Festival. 2017 will include performances by Tenebrae in Canterbury Cathedral, Mikhail Rudy inspired by Chagall, St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra with cellist Tim Hugh, Oz Clarke and the Armonico Consort who will ‘Drink to Music’ and recitals from Freddy Kempf, Emma Johnson and Trio Apaches.

Full programme announced in early July, visit: www.canterburyfestival.co.uk

Tel: 01227 452853

Longborough Festival Opera 2017

8 June – 4 August

Take in the picturesque views, bring a picnic and enjoy spectacular opera – all amidst the glorious rolling hills of the Cotswolds. The 2017 Festival includes Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, Beethoven’s Fidelio, Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice.

Members book first – join today from £60. Tickets on public sale 6 March 2017 from £32.

Tel: 01451 830292

Buxton International Festival of Opera

Buxton International Festival of opera, music and books takes place from Friday 7 to Sunday 23 July. Operas include Verdi’s Macbeth, Britten’s Albert Herring and Mozart’s Lucio Silla which are performed in the spa town’s stunning Opera House, internationally celebrated soloists and ensembles in concert and leading writers and speakers.

Stratford on Avon Music Festival: 26 September - 3 October 2017

For 2017 Stratford on Avon Music Festival has teamed up with Orchestra of the Swan and members of BBC Radio 3's New Generation Artists scheme to offer an exciting week of music making. This year we give prominence to the wonderful and varied repertoire available for wind instruments.

Tel: 01789 207100

Portsmouth Festivities

Portsmouth Festivities 16-25 June 2017 . A Ten Day Festival of Arts, Culture and Heritage for all. 2017's Music programme includes Peter Donohoe, John Harle, Wayne Marshall, Maggini Quartet, Savitri Grier.

Tel: 02392 828282

Gregynog Festival

Pageantry, 16 June – 2 July , highlights the Welsh connections of Arnold Dolmetsch. Josef Holbrooke and Granville Bantock with Michala Petri, Mahan Esfahani, Thomas Dunford, Amy Dickson and Llŷr Williams. Classical and folk music, dance, talks and tours in Aberystwyth, Chirk, Harlech and Gregynog.

Tel: 01686 207100


DEBUSSY Marie Vermeulin STRAVINSKY Vera Novakova, Maki Belkin SCHÖLLHORN Remix Ensemble Casa da Música LE JEUNE Ensemble Doulce Mémoire MONNET Concertos 13 commissioned works by the festival

Distribution: UVM Distribution / printempsdesarts.mc Downloadable from Qobuz, Spotify, Itunes, Amazon http://www.printempsdesarts.mc

Tel: +377 93 25 54 04


22nd – 30th July

MusicFest is eight days of classical music festival, summer school and fringe performances set against the spectacular Aberystwyth coastline. It offers a packed daily programme from 10am – 10pm, which takes you from orchestras in concert halls, to ensembles in abandoned libraries, to string quartets on street corners.

Tel: 0044 1970 612034

Grand Baroque III Blackdowns Early Music Project

Since 2004 BEMP has developed a reputation for excellent performances of infrequently performed repertoire.Talented singers from all over the UK and Europe work with professional instrumentalists of the highest possible calibre to bring to life some true gems of early music which have been unperformed for far too long! For Grand Baroque lll, the choir will be working with a veritable 'who's who' of internationally renowned early music specialists, including the Monteverdi String Band, the English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble, trumpets, timpani, full bass continuo and eight soloists invited from top vocal ensembles including the Tallis Scholars, the Sixteen, Gabrieli Consort, Orlando Consort, Tenebrae, Stile Antico etc.

Director: JanJoost van Elburg, with the Monteverdi String Band, English Cornett & Sackbut Ensemble, choir and soloists. Tickets £12-£28 Exeter Cathedral Box office

Cambridge Summer Music Festival 2017

For nearly 40 years Cambridge Summer Music Festival has provided world-class, classical music in spectacular settings. The 2017 Festival runs from 13th to 29th July with over 30 concerts including the Academy of Ancient Music, Aurora Orchestra, Freddy Kempf, the Martinu Quartet, Tom Poster, Tenebrae and the Wiener Kammersymphonie.

Tel: 01223 894161

Thomastik Infeld Vienna

Thomastik-Infeld has been producing handmade strings for almost 100 years, constantly thriving for innovation and improvement. World-class musicians around the globe trust the sound and quality of our extraordinary strings. The combination of handmade craftsmanship, engineering excellence and a highly passionate team is the secret to our success.

Machynlleth Festival

Held in the beautiful market town in mid-Wales the Festival begins with 3 days of Welsh music-making followed by an array of international musicians, under Artistic Director Julius Drake, including the Vienna Piano Trio, baritone Roderick Williams, violinist Rachel Podger and broadcaster Christopher Cook.

Image by Robert Price Photography

Tel: +44 (0)1654 703355

Amiata Piano Festival

May – December 2017

Great music, but also fine wines, in a unique beautiful landscape. The pianist Maurizio Baglini founded the Amiata Piano Festival in 2005, he also directs it with the support of the Bertarelli Foundation. The festival takes place from May to December at the Forum Fondazione Bertarelli: a new auditorium built to sophisticated acoustic criteria in the rolling hills of the Tuscan Maremma, Italy. The programme ranges from baroque to contemporary music, including classical, jazz and prose, involving several stars of the international concertism. The cellist Silvia Chiesa is also a resident artist. All concerts are cheered by a tasting of fine wines offered along with tastings of local products.

Tel: +39 339 4420336

IAO Music Festival

Date: 23–27 July 2017

The Festival will include recitals at The Queen’s College (Frobenius), Keble College (Tickell), Merton College (Dobson), St John’s College (Aubertin), and Exeter College (Walker). There will be a half-day visit to Blenheim Palace to hear the organ in the Long Library (Willis) and a day trip to Eton College. A day will be spent at the Holywell Music Room and the Festival Dinner is in the Hall of Exeter College, preceded by Choral Evensong.

Artists include Dame Gillian Weir (Masterclass & Interview), David Goode, Matthew Martin, Benjamin Nicholas and Peter King on organ, John Reid (Piano), and the Edington Quartet.

Two Moors Festival

13 - 21 October 2017

Two Moors Festival - Extraordinary music in remarkable places A week of chamber music, Lieder and recitals in Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks

Tel: 01392 665885

Grimeborn Opera Festival

See opera differently at Grimeborn. ‘East London’s ... irreverent and influential festival of new Opera’ (Time Out) is back for its eleventh year with 14 exciting productions. Rarely-performed pieces. Reinvigorated classics. Brand new works from some of the UK’s most exciting up-and- coming artists and companies. Tickets range from £7 to £22. Whether it’s your first or your latest opera experience, you’ll be right at home at Grimeborn 2017.

Tel: 0207 503 1645

Kammermusikk Festival

Christian Ihle Hadland and Jan Bjøranger are artistic directors in 2017 and they have invited in a splendid mix of grups and soloists. Domkirken, the beautiful Norman-Gothic cathedral from the Middle Ages are the main venue. This years theme will be the Reformation of Martin Luther King and the Russian Revolution. Reformation or revolution has been a key issue for virtually all significant composers.

Deal Festival 2017

Deal Festival celebrates 35 years bringing world-class artists to our beautiful, historic seaside town. With events in castles, theatres, gardens, arts centres and churches, 2017’s artists include Alison Balsom, Sarah Connolly, Sir John Tomlinson, Freddy Kempf, Wiener Kammersymphonie, Courtney Pine, Zoe Rahman, Ronnie Scott's Big Band and Academy of Ancient Music.

Tel: 01227 786111


Friday 13 – Saturday 28 October 2017

The last of the Romantics: Mahler and fin-de-siècle Vienna

Under the theme The last of the Romantics: Mahler and fin-de-siècle Vienna, this year's Festival presents Mahler's complete songs with piano over the course of its sixteen days. Mahler's Vienna is also placed in a wider context, through the songs of Schubert, Beethoven, Brahms, Wolf, Zemlinsky, Korngold, Joseph Marx and Richard Strauss, whilst a late-night salon looks ahead to the Second Viennese School. The soloists themselves are the usual starry bunch, including Ian Bostridge, Sarah Connolly, Angelika Kirchschlager, Mark Padmore, Roderick Williams and Imogen Cooper. Nestled amongst the fifty-odd performances are also study days, readings, screenings, and workshops.

Tel: 01865 591276

Machynlleth Festival

Held in the beautiful market town in mid-Wales the Festival begins with 3 days of Welsh music-making followed by an array of international musicians, under Artistic Director Julius Drake, including the Vienna Piano Trio, baritone Roderick Williams, violinist Rachel Podger and broadcaster Christopher Cook.

Image by Robert Price Photography

Tel: +44 (0)1654 703355

Presteigne Festival

24 – 29 August 2017

Held in the idyllic surroundings of the Welsh Marches and celebrating its 35th year in 2017, 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. The Presteigne Festival remains a major commissioner of new music in the UK and is renowned for its fresh and innovative programming.

‘An outstanding array of talent, both creative and interpretative, sets the Presteigne Festival apart from all other annual musical events’. Musical Opinion Quarterly

Tel: +44 (0)1544 267800

St Davids Cathedral Music Festival

27th May – 5th June

This popular annual event in the beautiful setting of St Davids, Pembrokeshire is pleased to present the BBC National Orchestra of Wales with Natalie Clein, cello The Sixteen Galos Piano Trio and Sarah Gabriel Haverforwest Male Voice Choir Goodwick Brass Band St Davids Cathedral Choir with British Sinfonietta Festival Chorus and much more.

Parkhouse Award 2017 Finals Concert at Wigmore Hall

Saturday 8 April at 1pm

Tickets free for Friends of Wigmore Hall, Friends of the Parkhouse Award and students

General admission £5

4 ensembles of piano with strings, from duos to piano quartet, will compete for the 2017 Parkhouse Award. They have been selected following two days of intensive auditions from an international entry to this unique chamber music competition which has been discovering exceptional young groups since 1991. The distinguished jury can choose only one winner who will be announced on the day.

Will the audience agree with the jury?!

Tel: 020 7935 2141

Grand Teton Music Festival

July 3–August 20, 2017
“Come See the Stars” in Jackson Hole, Wyoming at the Grand Teton Music Festival . Celebrated Music Director Donald Runnicles leads some of the world’s best orchestral musicians in seven weeks of star-studded programming of orchestral music, chamber music, lectures, and films. Soloists include cellist Yo-Yo Ma , pianists Yefim Bronfman and Garrick Ohlsson , and violinist James Ehnes . Concerts take place in the majestic foothills of the Teton mountain range, and during the final weekend of the 2017 season, Mother Nature will be in all her glory, as a full eclipse offers a grand finale to festival attendees.

Tel: +1 307 733 3050

Website: http://gtmf.org/

Roman River Music

14-16 July
Four concerts to be recorded and broadcast on BBC R3. French music and culture in Coggeshall’s beautiful church, St Peter ad Vincula in rural Essex. An exhilarating programme includes Debussy, Fauré and Ravel. Join us and immerse yourself in the culture of La Belle Époque. With Roman River favourites, pianist Tom Poster and violinist Elena Urioste.

All About Piano Festival

31st March - 2nd April 2017

All About Piano! returns to the Institut français for its 5th edition : from concerts to talks, cine-concerts, masterclasses, free tuition's, kids activities and even an art exhibition, there is an event to suit all ! Come and join us for three days of music and fun.

Tel: 020 7871 3515

Harrogate Music Festival

30 June –29 July 2017

Celebrating the theme of “Generations”, The Harrogate Music Festival presents music that has been passed down, honoured or re-imagined. Highlights include Sir Bryn Terfel, The John Wilson Orchestra and Artist in Residence, Armonico Consort. The Gould Piano Trio perform two newly commissioned pieces by Gareth Williams and Mark Simpson and the Kamus Quartet explore “Finnish Voices Across the Generations”. BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists the Van Kuijk Quartet and Annelien Van Wauwe perform together and additional highlights include Alex Mendham & His Orchestra, Grammy-award winning saxophonist Tim Garland and BBC Young Musician of the Year Finalist, Benjamin Goldscheider.

Tel: 01423 562 303

Perth Festival of the Arts

Artists performing at this year’s Perth Festival of the Arts include Nigel Kennedy, Nicola Benedetti, Tenebrae, English Touring Opera “Tosca”, Moscow Philharmonic with Freddy Kempf, Jools Holland, Marcus Brigstocke, Justin Currie, The Treacherous Orchestra, Rachael Sermanni and more. See the website for more information www.perthfestival.co.uk

Tel: 01738 621031

Kilkenny Arts Festival

Kilkenny Arts Festival 11 - 20 August 2017

Since 1974, Kilkenny Arts Festival has established itself as one of Europe’s finest artistic celebrations, bringing world-class performances to Ireland’s medieval city every August. This year, from 11 to 20 August, leading artists will gather in Kilkenny for ten days of extraordinary artistic adventures. Highlights for 2017 include a major focus on the late masterpieces of Schubert; a unique series of choral and orchestral concerts telling the story of Handel’s time in Ireland and the world premiere of a new version of Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis performed by acclaimed actor Stephen Rea, with live soundscape performed by the Irish Chamber Orchestra

English Haydn 2017 Festival.

7th to 11th June 2017 International soloists will feature at the English Haydn Festival, including the celebrated Cellist Christophe Coin, violin virtuoso Simon Standage, oboe soloist Mark Baigent, and flautist Rachel Beckett. The acclaimed Russian cellist Pavel Serbin, will perform in the Hoffmann Double Cello Concerto with Christophe Coin.

The Festival theme is “Haydn Across the Years”, with performances of his symphonies, and music by Beethoven, Mozart, and Mendelssohn, including an oboe concerto by Krommer, Michael Haydn’s Flute concerto, with the orchestra performing on period instruments and conducted by the distinguished director Steven Devine. Chamber concerts feature the Quatuor Mosaiques Quartet, the Salomon String Quartet, the English Haydn Ensemble & Wind Band, and the Florilegium Quintet. With 5 Haydn symphonies, including Michael Haydn’s “Requiem Mass” conducted by John Moore.

Tel: 07547 289704

City of Derry International Choir Festival

Following the outstanding success of its four festivals, the City of Derry International Choir Festival returns from 25-29 October 2017. In addition to all of the familiar elements of previous festivals – concerts, workshops, choral and sacred trails, competitions and an international choral symposium – this year will see even greater community participation, a broad array of visiting international choirs and world-renowned guest acts.

School and national choirs are invited to take part in a variety of competitions, while our International Competition sees selected choirs competing for the prestigious ‘Oak Tree of Derry’ perpetual trophy and a cash prize of £2,000. Our national categories are open to choirs based in Ireland or the United Kingdom, and include equal and mixed voice, youth choir, sacred music, vocal ensemble, barbershop chorus, and popular, jazz & gospel music. Our competitions for primary and post-primary school choirs take place on 26 and 27 October, and include guest performances by our international competitors and workshops led by experienced international vocal experts.

The deadline for applications is Friday 9 June 2017 (for school and national choirs). For more details seewww.derrychoirfest.com

Tel: 02871 363672 / 07754 750646

Southwell Music Festival – The best of classical music in the heart of Nottinghamshire

The Southwell Music Festival is an inspirational classical music event attracting first-class musicians. Founded in 2014, the Festival is the brainchild of award-winning international baritone Marcus Farnsworth and includes recitals, chamber music and large choral works. The Festival is held in and around the magnificent Southwell Minster and the Archbishop’s Palace, perfect venues for classical music.

The line-up for the 2017 Festival includes performances by Sheku Kanneh Mason, James Baillieu, Libby Burgess, Jamie Campbell, Lena Eckels, Marcus Farnsworth, Amy Harman Alison Rose and a major choral performance of Mozart’s Mass in C minor K427 with soprano soloists Sophie Bevan and Rachel Kelly, conducted by Marcus Farnsworth.

Public Booking opens: 15 May 2017

Tel: 0115 989 5555

The York Early Music Festival

Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the York Early Music Festival with guests including The Sixteen; B’Rock Orchestra; Mala Punica and Cinquecento. ‘Changing Times, Changing Places’ opens with a promenade performance of Monteverdi Vespers with I Fagiolini in York Minster, and ends by welcoming artists from across the globe for The International Young Artists Competition.

Tel: 01904 658338

Styriarte Festival - The Dance Of Life

June, 23 – July, 23

Music and dance are linked so closely that it takes a massive cultural superstructure to separate them. Today, it’s mostly conventions and rules of decency that prevent music from taking us by the hands and carrying us away through nodding, tapping, rocking, swinging and swaying to and fro. It’s only natural to get up from our seats, fall into each other’s arms and open up to the warm feelings of wellbeing and excitement – for this is often the true essence of music.

The 2017 styriarte Festival goes to the root of this connection. The festival links music to its dancing roots and tells – in the true meaning of the word – moving stories. Ritual and spiritual stories, as well as sensual and erotic dances. It revitalizes forgotten dance traditions, such as the baroque horse ballet, and discovers aspects of dance in the seemingly rigorous art music. It pays homage to the top performances in the high art of classical ballet. It searches for the original inspiration that the composers found in folkloric dance music. And it immerses itselve in the lively traditions of the dances of completely unfamiliar and distant cultures. Above all, however, it gives you the opportunity to participate, be it in your mind’s eye or with your legs: join the dance of life – listen, feel and dance with the styriarte Festival!

Tel: 0043.316.825 000

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