First Bristol Proms festival unveiled

Nicola Benedetti, Guy Johnston and Voces8 to perform this summer

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Bristol will this summer host its own Proms festival with performances from violinist Nicola Benedetti, cellist Peter Gregson and The Sacconi Quartet.

The classical music festival – inspired by the world-famous London concert series – is a collaboration between Bristol Old Vic theatre, the Watershed, a cinema and arts venue, and Universal Music.

As you might expect from a festival co-programmed by a theatre, there’s more than a dose of theatricality about the concerts.

The festival opens, for example, with a performance of choral music by Gesualdo, Eric Whitacre and Palestrina by the Fitzhardinge Consort ‘in an inky cloak of darkness’. Pianist Jan Lisiecki performs Chopin’s Études while being filmed from every angle. And Peter Gregson’s performance of Bach’s solo cello sonatas is paired with a dance workshop.

There will also be a performance from violinist Nicola Benedetti. Violinist Daniel Hope will be playing Max Richter’s take on Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, (see video above) which he recently recorded on DG.

Cellist Guy Johnston will join the Sacconi Quartet to play Schubert's String Quintet on 1 August.

Handel’s Messiah brings the festival’s curtain down in a semi-staged performance, directed by artistic director of Bristol Old Vic, Tom Morris. Southbank Sinfonia will be joined by soloists including bass-baritone Neal Davies and mezzo-soprano Catherine Wyn Rogers.

The Bristol Proms will take place at Bristol Old Vic 29 July – 3 August. For full listings and to buy tickets, visit the Bristol Old Vic website.

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