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 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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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.

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

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

Dartington International Summer School

28 July – 25 Aug 2018 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. In the early evening, Dartington transforms into a concert hall: we throw open the doors of the magnificent medieval Great Hall and present music of all kinds.

Tel: +44 (0)1803 847080

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.

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

Royal College of Music International Double Bass Festival

This year’s International Double Bass Festival features world renowned bassists including Alberto Bocini, David Heyes, Petru Luga and Simon Garcia. Join us for a unique day of masterclasses, performances and panel discussions all about the bass. The day also includes a pain-free session on Alexander Technique and an exhibition of basses by Cristiano Scipioni and Martin Penning. Tickets: Free, but required

The Grange Festival, Hampshire.

7th June – 8th July

Following a season of 5* reviews, The Grange Festival is presenting three new productions for June 2018. Rossini’s comic masterpiece The Barber of Seville is conducted by Rossini specialist David Parry and reunites a creative team with many sparkling hits behind them. Anna Bonitatibus returns to The Grange as Agrippina, Handel’s scintillating satire on Ancient Rome about one of opera’s most outrageous leading ladies. Mozart’s ever popular and witty Abduction from the Seraglio is directed by John Copley with a new English translation to reflect this light-hearted but moving piece.

Tel: 01962 791020

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

ALL the Arts. Ten Days. One Amazing Festival

17th -26th May 2018

Perth Festival of the Arts is set to welcome some big names from the world of music, arts and culture this May for the 47th event. Highlights include The Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Tenebrae, English Touring Opera with The Marriage of Figaro and a night of Rossini Arias. Enchanting ballet Nutcracker and I, Children’s Classic Concerts bring Peter and The Wolf and Scottish Opera bring their touring Pop Up Opera. Donald Maxwell gives his Farewell Concert in his hometown.

Other highlights Jools Holland &his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra and Marc Almond, Ruby Wax, Val McDermid and Fred MacAulay, Emma Johnson, Eric and Ern and The Rev Richard Coles, Grimethorpe Colliery Band and more

Tel: 01738 621031


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

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

Portsmouth Festivities

15-24 June 2018

For 10 days, during the middle of June we capture imaginations, celebrate diversity and deliver over a 100 Citywide experiences. 2018 marks the nineteenth anniversary of Portsmouth Festivities and the theme for this year's festivities is FREEDOM. Portsmouth Festivities is privileged to work with creatively diverse venues and organisations throughout the city. Every year, the Festivities celebrates the best of Portsmouth and offer creative individuals and organisations the chance to showcase their work.

Tickets for the Festivities go on sale Friday 16 March 2018. For more information go to www.portsmouthfestivities.co.uk

Tel: (023) 9268 1390

Longborough Festival Opera 2018

6 June – 2 August

Enjoy spectacular opera inside one of the UK’s finest country opera houses – and in the interval, find a spot in the grounds to picnic with a view of the beautiful Cotswold landscape. The 2018 Festival includes Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer, Verdi’s La traviata, Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos and Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea.

Members book first – join today from £60. Tickets on public sale 5 March 2018 from £35.

Tel: 01451 830292

Swaledale Festival - 26 May to 9 June 2018

Swaledale Festival is an award-winning two-week summer festival which brings international quality music and arts to the beautiful Yorkshire Dales and provides a platform for local talent. Events take place in charming venues - from village churches and halls to theatres and castles. The Festival commissions new music and artworks, supports emerging performers, and works extensively in arts education.

The 2018 programme features performances of Bach’s Goldberg Variations by both Angela Hewitt and Mahan Esfahani, and appearances by The Hallé, Brighouse & Rastrick Brass Band, Jennifer Pike, Sacconi Quartet with James Gilchrist, Craig Ogden, Gary Ryan, Catrin Finch, Seckou Keita, Martin Roscoe with wind soloists from the EU Chamber Orchestra, Apollo Saxophone Quartet, Dodo Street Band, Marian Consort, David Owen Norris, The Young’uns, Syrian musician Maya Youssef and mathematician Marcus du Sautoy, as well as theatre, poetry, dance, comedy, film, workshops, art exhibitions, talks and guided walks.

Tel: 01748 880018

The Iford Arts Festival 2018

Our 2018 season offers jazz, swing and party music, a cloister concert and three stunning new opera productions. All this, in combination with picnics, a captivating garden and cloister hidden in its Shangri-La valley create an irresistible summer music festival.

Be quick! Tickets are selling like hot cakes.

Tel: 01225 448844

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

Chipping Campden Music Festival

Every year some of the world’s greatest musicians make the journey to the small Cotswold town of Chipping Campden for two weeks of glorious music making in the superb setting of St James’ church, described by Alfred Brendel as “One of the finest acoustics I encountered in my 60 year career” Artist for 2018 included - Paul Lewis, The Jerusalem Quartet, Alfred Brendel, Imogen Cooper, Christopher Maltman & Julius Drake, Tenebrae, The Academy of Ancient Music, Steven Osborne, Alina Ibragimova & Cedric Tiberghien, The Nash Ensemble, Stephen Hough, Michael Collins & London Winds, Lucy Parham & Henry Goodman, The Aquinas piano trio, & the Festival Academy Orchestra led by Ruth Rogers & Conducted by Thomas Hull.

“The spacious beauty and splendid acoustic of St. James Church in Chipping Campden create an ideal atmosphere for making music. Playing there for the warm and receptive audiences has been among the highlights of my musical life.” Richard Goode

“The best example of what a music festival can be” Michael Henderson, Sunday Telegraph

Tel: 01386 849018

Peasmarsh Chamber Music Festival

21-24 June 2018

The 2018 Festival celebrates 20 years of performances of the finest chamber music, with internationally acclaimed artists including Dénes Várjon and the Navarra String Quartet joining Co Directors Anthony Marwood and Richard Lester for four days of glorious concerts in a beautiful corner of Sussex.

Thaxted Festival 2018

The 39th annual Thaxted Festival takes place over four weekends in June and July 2018. Cello virtuoso and winner of the BBC Musician of the Year 2016 Sheku Kanneh-Mason will be one of the newest stars of the season. Also appearing for the first time are internationally-acclaimed classical pianist Freddy Kempf, while at the jazz end of the spectrum we welcome the Ronnie Scott’s Big Band, and their Quintet, from the legendary Soho jazz club. All concerts are held in the superb setting of Thaxted’s magnificent medieval church.

Leeds International Orchestral Season

This autumn sees the start of the 37th Leeds International Orchestral Season. One of the finest orchestral programmes in the country, it features remarkable orchestras and astounding soloists from across the globe. Highlights of the 2017/18 season include the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic and more – all in Leeds Town Hall.

Tel: 0113 376 0318

Stour Music - Festival of Early Music in East Kent

Stour Music, the annual festival of early music founded by countertenor Alfred Deller in 1962, takes place in the 13th-century church of All Saints’ Boughton Aluph overlooking the Stour Valley on the Pilgrim route to Canterbury.

Highlights of this year’s festival include Pepusch’s opera Venus and Adonis, Chelys Consort of Viols with Dame Emma Kirkby in a performance of Dowland’s songs and Lachrimae, The English Concert directed by harpsichordist Christopher Bucknall, The King’s Singers as part of their 50th anniversary celebrations, The Gonzaga Band with a programme of Venetian music entitled ‘The Trial of Marsyas’ and Purcell’s King Arthur.

Tel: 01227 769075

St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square

St Martin-the-Fields is one of the busiests concert venues in London with over 350 concerts per year including free lunchtime concerts and ticketed evening concerts. Musical highlights this year include an Autumn Festival Tuesday 7 – Saturday 11 November, Concerts for the Christmas Season and a choral programme for Easter. For tickets and information visit www.smitf.org

Chiltern Arts

Launch Events: September, October, December 2017

Chiltern Arts Festival: 3rd–11th February 2018

Academy of Ancient Music: Launch Concert 1

Saturday 2nd September 2017, 8:00 pm All Saints Church, Marlow In a stunning setting overlooking the River Thames, AAM play a beautiful programme of Bach and Telemann.

Tel: 07943 875640.

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

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


July13th -21st, 2018.

A week of classical music in Budleigh Salterton, on the East Devon coast. The programme includes orchestral, chamber, solo and choral performances by leading international musicians, complemented by free lunchtime concerts by local and early-career artists. This year’s highlights include the Festival Wind Players and Orchestra, the Apollo 5 choral ensemble, Sunwook Kim, Sheku and Isata Kanneh-Mason, the Merlin Ensemble Vienna, the Chiaroscuro Quartet led by Alina Ibragimova, and Jess Gillam on saxophone.

Online booking available from May 14th at www.ticketsource.co.uk

Tel: 01395 445275

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/

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.

Cheltenham Music Festival

30 June-15 July 2018

The 74th Cheltenham Music Festival brings the very best of classical music to the widest possible audience. A star-studded line-up includes a Festival debut from Maxim Vengerov, András Schiff with the OAE, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Sarah Connolly, James Gilchrist, Mahan Esfahani, Steven Isserlis, Benjamin Grosvenor and The King’s Singers plus Sir Mark Elder and Louise Alder with The Hallé and Martyn Brabbins with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. The Festival marks the anniversaries of Leonard Bernstein, Claude Debussy and Hubert Parry as well as the world premières of Joseph Phibbs’ chamber opera, Juliana, a retelling of Hansel & Gretel by Matthew Kaner and Simon Armitage; four Quartet premières by the Ligeti Quartet; and Festival commissions from Gavin Higgins, Eddie Parker, Kenneth Hesketh and Richard Blackford. Mahan Esfahani, Dame Sarah Connolly and friends open the Festival with a weekend dedicated to Bach in the converted medieval Tithe Barn at Syde Manor.

Tel: 01242 850270

Festival Musikdorf Ernen 2018 | In Motion

29 June – 26 August 2018

Founded by piano master György Sebök, the Festival Musikdorf Ernen will celebrate its 45th season in 2018. Located in Ernen, Switzerland, and surrounded by the stunning nature of the Alps, the festival offers highclass concerts in a harmonious, intimate and nonchalant atmosphere. Focussing on baroque, chamber, and piano music, as well as classic‐jazz crossovers, the upcoming season will present 32 concerts with an international scope of superb artists. Under the theme In Motion, the festival will explore interconnections and reciprocal impacts between orchestral and dance music. Furthermore, Ernen offers literature courses, i.e. given by the crime‐novel writer Donna Leon.

Tel: +41 27 971 1000

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