Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Somewhere for the Weekend: Ryedale Festival

Alec Frank Gemmill
The Ryedale Festival combines the stunning Yorkshire countryside, with historic venues and some high quality music making. This year's festival, which opens on 17 July 2015, has 51 events in 32 locations including Castle Howard, Duncombe Park, Hovingham Hall, and Sledmere House, as well as beautiful country churches and local arts centres like Helmsley Arts Centre and the Galtres Centre, Easingwold. Artistic director Christopher Glynn has put together a lively mix and performers this year include the Royal Northern Sinfonia, the Orchestra of Opera North, the Dunedin Consort, Big Band Jazz from the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, pianist Benjamin Grosvenor and clarinettist Joseph Shiner, tenor Toby Spence, horn play Alec Frank Gemmill, the Doric, Heath and Fitzwilliam string quartets, Ex Cathedra and Stile Antico. There is a series of literary events Ways with Words, and an exhibition by award winning iPhotographer Gerard Collett.

Sledmere Church
Sledmere Church
Ryedale Festival Opera is performing Lehar's The Merry Widow at Ampleforth College Theatre conducted by Kerem Hazan and directed by Nina Brazier, there is Rachmaninov's Vespers at Ampleforth Abbey, Toby Spence singing Schubert's Die schone  Müllerin, Bach's Coffee Cantata with Sir Thomas Allen, former BBC Young Musician finalist, Charlotte Barbour-Condini, the Fitzwilliam Quartet and soprano Rowan Pierce, plus coffee courtesy of Costa Coffee! There will be eleven new works (nine world premieres, two English premieres), including two by festival composer Michael Berkeley. Matthew Sharp's ZRI ensemble will be bringing their own brand of gypsy magic to Brahms' Clarinet Quintet (read more about Matthew in my interview with him)

There is a series of free festival workshops for young and amateur musicians, and a new initiative – Ryedale500 which is offering 500 tickets for £3 to under 25s, helping more young people explore the festival and being promoted mainly via social media (@ryedalefestival on Twitter).

 Full information from the Ryedale Festival website.

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