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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Harwich Festival 2015

Wednesday 24th June to Sunday 5th July
This year's festival offers an exciting programme on the theme of Leading Lights.

The varied classical music concerts include the Royal College of Music Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir performing Vivaldi, Purcell and Handel; harpsichordist Jane Chapman whose programme intersperses Inventions by Bach with contemporary pieces by Ligeti, Cage and a new commission from Diana Burrell; the Fieri Consort exploring 500 years of music on the theme of light; and recitals from Robert Houssart, Matthew Schellhorn, and Paula Sides with Jonathon Gale.

For further information about these and the wider programme of art, dance, spoken word, classical music, folk, roots and jazz please see our website. www.harwichfestival.co.uk

Tel: please see our website. www.harwichfestival.co.uk

Cambridge Summer Music Festival

The Cambridge Summer Music Festival is the city’s annual festival of classical music offering outstanding musical performances in some of the city’s most historic buildings.

Booking is now open for our Spring Concerts as well as our popular series in Cambridgeshire villages, Music in Quiet Places.

The Spring Concerts present some delightful and varied music, including solo piano and song, orchestra and choir. We are pleased to offer a new date for the concert by Crispian Steele-Perkins and Anne Page which was postponed from last autumn.

In our Music in Quiet Places series four village churches – in Comberton, Whittlesford, Great Shelford and Girton – will play host to groups of musicians of exceptional quality and variety, including a flute and harp duo, a classical string quartet and two amazing trios with special missions to explore music from different eras and cultures.

Musicfest Aberystwyth

25th July- 1st August 2015

An 8 day festival of over 40 concerts, summer schools course and master classes in Aberystwyth Meyrick Alexander, David Campbell, Sigyn Fosnes, Guy Johnston, Orion Orchestra, Raphaela Papadakis, Tom Poster, Solem Quartest, The Session

Tel: 01970612034

Corbride Chamber Music Festival

Corbride Chamber Music Festival 7th- 9th August 2015-03-30 Concerts in St Andres Church to include Beethoven, op.95,96,97 Schubert Pianoi Quintet Trout Engligh Coffee Concert Brahms Clarient tri Saint Saens Septet Martinu La Revue de Cuisine Illustrated talk by Richard IWgmore on the Brahms lat clairent works

Tel: 01434652477

Leicester International Festival

Artistic Director, Nicholas Daniel writes: This year’s Festival celebrates one of the greatest examples of human achievement, Ludwig Van Beethoven, with a major survey of the variety and colour in his chamber music. I have placed him alongside great Romantic masterpieces by French/Belgian composers who would have been the first to acknowledge their debt to him. In many ways the huge waves of Romantic release found in the French works are a direct result of the explosive genius in Beethoven, which he always balanced with great Classical sensibility; they took all the restraints off that Beethoven maintained and the contrast is fascinating and satisfying.

Aix-en-Provence Easter Festival

22 MARCH - 3 APRIL, 2016

The musical event in the heart of Provence! Fourth edition!

With the support of Crédit Mutuel-CIC, star violinist Renaud Capuçon, artistic director, and Dominique Bluzet, managing director, have invited some of the world’s most acclaimed violinists and cellists, Pinchas Zukerman, Ivry Gitlis, Daniel Hope, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Yo-Yo Ma or prestigious pianists: Hélène Grimaud, Paul Lewis, Martha Argerich. The Budapest Festival Orchestra and Ivan Fischer, the NDR Sinfonieorchester with Thomas Hampson or the Mariinsky conducted by Valery Gergiev are among the leading orchestras awaited in beautiful Aix-en-Provence.

32nd International Bartók Seminar and Festival

9-16 July, 2016 Szombathely, Hungary
It has been four decades that one of the most prestigious festivals of the Hungarian musical scene welcomes the fans of Béla Bartók as well as the fans of the 20th and 21st century music. From January 2016, a new age starts in the history of the Festival, since copy rights connected to the composer are not binding anymore. Thus, there is a possibility to put Bartók’s oeuvre into new light and for further experimentation. The Festival’s main theme centers around the ’Woman’ in 2016, in 2017 the focus will be on ’Dance’, whereas in 2018 emphasis will be placed on the opera Bluebeard's Castle commemorating the 100th anniversary of Two Pictures and the Wooden Prince’s premiere. In line with the former tradition, the Bartók Festival awaits participants not only with concerts, but also with master classes and other related fields of art.

Tel: +36 30 799 7192


The Schumann Project: The light and shade of Romanticism
14 – 29 October 2016
The fifteenth Oxford Lieder Festival celebrates the life and works of Robert Schumann, featuring many of the world’s leading singers and pianists in over fifty concerts. The performance of Schumann’s complete songs is at the heart of the festival, as well as his chamber and piano music, choral works, music by his friends and contemporaries, film, theatre, talks, masterclasses and more. Singers include Christian Gerhaher, Juliane Banse, Anne Sofie von Otter, Thomas Allen, Sarah Connolly, Christopher Maltman, Mark Padmore, Roderick Williams, Christoph Prégardien and many others. The Schumann Project will be a thrilling and immersive fortnight of exploration, discovery and inspiration in the heart of Oxford.

Tel: 01865 591276

Canterbury Festival

Canterbury Festival is Kent’s International Arts Festival, hosting over 200 free and ticketed events including Music, Theatre & Dance, Comedy, Science, Exhibitions, Walks and Talks.

Canterbury Cathedral will host a performance of Bach’s Mass in B minor, a concert of Telemann and Handel performed by Tenor Ian Bostridge and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, a Magna Carta inspired concert in the Cathedral’s Crypt and the Cathedral Nave will transform into a cinema for a screening of Murder in the Cathedral (1951). One handed pianist Nicholas McCarthy will perform Ravel’s Concerto for the Left Hand with the Kent Sinfonia, and there will be recitals from the Escher String Quartet and pianist Joseph Moog. Other music highlights include musical comedy from the MozART Group and Bowjangles, jazz with Kenny Ball Junior, folk with The Vagaband and rock with Texas.

Box office opens to the general public on Monday 3 August 2015.

Tel: 01227 452853

MusicFest International Music Festival and Summer School

MusicFest International Music Festival and Summer School returns for another fantastic week of music from Saturday 25 July to Saturday 1 August 2015 in Aberystwyth on the beautiful Mid Wales coast. Over 40 concerts and recitals across the festival programme and as ever an inspirational line-up of internationally renowned musicians will be resident in Aberystwyth for the week, performing in the concerts and tutoring on the Summer School. MusicFest also includes an extensive Fringe programme offering free concerts and courses throughout the town. Highlights for 2015 include Tom Poster, Joanna Songi, Anne Denholm, David Campbell and Solem Quartet. www.facebook.com/AberMusicFest @MusicFestAber

Tel: 01970612034

Salisbury Cathedral

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

Kilkenny Arts Festival

7 - 16 August

Since its foundation in 1974, Kilkenny Arts Festival has gathered many of the world’s finest musicians, performers, writers and artists in Ireland’s medieval city each August. For ten days, the city’s historic churches, castle, courtyards, townhouses and gardens offer a magical setting for unique collaborations and intimate encounters between audiences and artists.

The 42nd Festival begins on Friday 7 August, and the First Announcements of our 2015 programme are now on sale: DruidShakespeare, an epic new production from one of the world’s great theatre ensembles in a co-production with Lincoln Centre Festival in New York; Eternal Harmony: The Music of JS Bach, a unique series of 18 concerts exploring the great composer's timeless, life-affirming music and featuring great musicians from around the world including Les Arts Florissants & William Christie; and headline concerts by legendary performers such as Sir András Schiff and Jordi Savall.

Tel: +353 (0)56 776 3663

Cork International Choral Festival

Date of Festival: 27th April – 1st May 2016
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 4215 125

Malta International Music Festival

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

Longborough Festival Opera

Nestled on a hillside and with splendid views over the tranquil Gloucestershire countryside, Longborough Festival Opera is a highlight of the summer's country house opera season. Founded by Martin and Lizzie Graham and located in the grounds of their home, the opera house seats an audience of 500 – ensuring an intimate and unique experience which truly captures the drama and emotion happening on stage.

What’s on in 2016

Richard Wagner – Tannahauser
9th, 11th, 14th, 16th and 18th June 2016

Wolfgag Amadeus Mozart – Le Nozze Di Figaro
26th, 29th June 1st, 2nd, 5th and 7th July 2016

Leos Janacek- Jenufa
16th, 19th, 21st and 23rd July 2016

George Frideric Handel
30th, 31st July and 2nd August 2016

Tel: 01451 830292

Plush Festival

Four weekends / 10 events / June - August 2015 This season Plush Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary with a special programme of music. Join a passionate audience to hear masterpieces including Schubert's String Quintet in C and Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time, alongside modern and contemporary works by Scriabin, Adès and Kurtág. Concerts take place in the intimate venue of St Johns, surrounded by breathtaking views. Musicians include Sir András Schiff, Andy Sheppard Quartet, Imogen Cooper & Tim Horton (solo & four hand piano), Heath Quartet, Lawrence Power Trio with Simon Crawford-Phillips & Adrian Brendel, Emerging Artist Michael Petrov & many more.

Tel: 020 3286 1885

71st Prague Spring International Music Festival 2016

12 May – 4 June 2016
If you like first class performances of classical music, jazz, and world music, you should not miss the 71st edition of the Prague Spring Festival, the oldest and most famous festival in the Czech Republic. In 2016, it will offer an excellent blend of tradition and experiments in 50 concerts at 17 concert halls, focusing on a Baltic and Spanish accent. Prague is to welcome 98 orchestras, ensembles, and soloists from 23 countries. News: Concert tickets will serve as a voucher for admission to all exhibits at the National Gallery in Prague and the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art.

Tel: +420 257 314 040

Bristol Proms 2015

27 Jul - 1 Aug

Now in its third year, Bristol Proms is back, continuing its tradition of inviting world-class artists to explore the classical repertoire in an informal, accessible atmosphere, and embracing the intimacy and unparalleled acoustics of Bristol Old Vic’s theatre.

This year’s line-up features today’s most celebrated performers including Daniel Hope, Milos Karadaglic and Alison Balsom, and sees the return of Bristol Proms favourites Sacconi Quartet, The Erebus Ensemble and Jonathan James.

Each evening, Bristol Old Vic’s atmospheric Paintshop will be transformed into a late night bar for an additional series of experimental events including the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment’s The Night Shift.

To book tickets or for further information please see bristololdvic.org.uk/proms2015 or call our Box Office on 0117 987 7877.

Tel: 0117 987 7877

71st Prague Spring International Music Festival 2016

12 May – 4 June 2016
If you like first class performances of classical music, jazz, and world music, you should not miss the 71st edition of the Prague Spring Festival, the oldest and most famous festival in the Czech Republic. In 2016, it will offer an excellent blend of tradition and experiments in 50 concerts at 17 concert halls, focusing on a Baltic and Spanish accent. Prague is to welcome 98 orchestras, ensembles, and soloists from 23 countries. News: Concert tickets will serve as a voucher for admission to all exhibits at the National Gallery in Prague and the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art.

Tel: +420 257 314 040

32nd Early Music Days

25 June – 2 July 2016
The 32nd Early Music Festival being held in Fertőd-Eszterháza between 25 June and 2 July 2016 provides its all-time richest concert and course programme for the enthusiasts of early music and for students from Hungary and abroad who are planning to study historical music on the highest level.

What makes recent Early Music Festival special – along with the performances and courses of world-renowned musicians like Nancy Argenta and Ingrid Attrot (vocal) Simon Standage (violin), Malcolm Bilson (fortepiano), Erik Bosgraaf (recorder), Rita Széll (historic dances) along with – is an international conductor course led by Helmuth Rilling, conoisseur of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, founder of the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart. The subject of the course, John Passio by Bach will be performed at the closing concert conducted by Maestro Rilling. (Participating ensembles: Purcell Choir, founded and conducted by György Vashegyi and Orfeo Orchestra performing on period instruments.)

Tel: +36 1 302 4961

Ryedale Festival 2015

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.

Tel: 01751 475 777

Liszt Academy announces the II. International Éva Marton Singing Competition

Applications for the contest – being staged between 19-25 September 2016, with total prize money amounting to €42,000 – can be submitted by sending in video recordings until 27 April.

For the second competition organized by the Liszt Academy 18-32-year-old women and 18-35-year-old men can submit applications for the qualifying round on the competition website latest by 27 April 2016. As part of the application, candidates have to upload performances of one Baroque and one freely selected aria from another period, with piano or orchestral accompaniment. Details of the competition, application materials and the application form are available on the competition website at martoncompetition.hu.

23rd edition of the Verbier Festival

From 22 July to 7 August 2016
Since 1994, the Verbier Festival has invited the world’s leading classical musicians together with the best of the next generation of artists, in a truly breath-taking alpine environment. For 2016 the programming philosophy is unchanged--invite great conductors and legendary soloists, and put them together with the next generation of extraordinary talent. The programme includes orchestral and chamber music with soloists such as Daniil Trifonov, and Yuja Wang, opera-in-concert such as Bizet’s Carmen, and Falstaff with Bryn Terfel, unique repertoire such as the Spanish evening for star guitarist Miloš Karadaglić, as well as the legendary Gipsy Kings and Dianne Reeves.

Tel: +41 (0)848 771 882

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