Harrogate International Festivals: What’s On

The programme for Harrogate’s Music Festival has been announced. What’s in store for us in 2017?

Presented by Harrogate International Festivals, the month-long summer Music Festival runs in venues across the town throughout July. Now in its 51st year, the Festival brings the best of classical, chamber, jazz and contemporary music to a wide range of venues across Harrogate.

As Brian O’Regan, Music Festivals Manager, says, “At Harrogate International Festivals we’re really excited to present a packed month-long Music Festival this July. And we’re passionate about bringing the finest music to Harrogate’s doorstep. Music has the power to do almost anything – make you sing, dance or cry! It’s a universal language, crossing from one generation to the next. A piece of music written hundreds of years ago can reveal its beauty stretching across the centuries.”

And so the theme for 2017’s festival is ‘Generations’. Brian explains: “This year we are celebrating that universal power of music and how it crosses all generations. We want to inspire the next generation of audiences and this year we are offering a limited number of free tickets for under 18s, hopefully attracting young people to the festival.
“To help this along, we’ve got a packed scheduled of cross-arts performances, lectures, family events and pre-concert talks as well as world-class performances.” In keeping with the ‘Generations’ theme, the Family Concert by the Harrogate Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Bryan Western, takes place at 15:00 on Sunday 23 July at the Royal Hall, and features music from films, cartoons and popular video games in order to attract younger audiences.

“We’ve got a packed scheduled of cross-arts performances, lectures, family events and pre-concert talks as well as world-class performances”

Brian adds, “Harrogate International Festivals has already got a reputation for showcasing new talent. We are supporting the next generation of young musicians through our renowned Young Musicians Series and this year we will introduce newly commissioned music by an exciting new generation of composers. There will also be a special concert featuring BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists at the Royal Hall, which will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3.” To promote future talent, BBC’s Young Musician Finalist Benjamin Goldscheider is to feature with the European Union Chamber Orchestra in a performance exploring the music of the Mozart and Haydn families; this will take place on Wednesday 5 July at the Royal Hall.Two new commissions from composers Gareth Williams and Mark Simpson will be performed by the internationally acclaimed Gould Piano Trio on Friday 7 July. Anna Tsybuleva, winner of the 2015 Leeds International Piano Competition, is due to perform for the first time in Harrogate on Wednesday 26 July. Both concerts are at the Wesley Chapel.

Highlights of the festival will see the hugely popular John Wilson Orchestra perform at the Royal Hall on Saturday 15 July, and operatic icon Sir Bryn Terfel is set to appear at the same venue on Saturday 29 July.This year’s Artist in Residence is the Armonico Consort choir. Combining their musial magic with a wine tasting alongside TV personality and wine critic Oz Clarke, they’ll celebrate the 450th anniversary of the birth of Monteverdi with a performance of his Vespers in an atmospheric candlelight concert at St Wilfrid’s Church on Friday 30 June. Jazz genius and Grammy award-winning saxophonist Tim Garland brings his Electric Quartet to the Crown Hotel on Sunday 2 July, and the perennial family favourite, drama group Oddsocks present their eccentric take on Romeo and Juliet in RHS Gardens Harlow Carr (Tuesday and Wednesday 11-12 July).

The Harrogate Music Festival box office is at 32 Cheltenham Parade and opens Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 17:00.  Call on 01423 562303 or visit the website for more details: www.harrogateinternationalfestivals.com.