Thursday 2 May 2019

Music, literature and more: the Bath Festival

The Bath Festival runs from 17 to 26 May 2019, with 120 events providing a diverse programme of music and literature.

A concert by the city's own Bath Philharmonia Orchestra will feature two talented young soloists, pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason in Clara Schumann's Piano Concerto and saxophonist Jess Gillam. Other young artists are featured in the festival's Classical Stars of the Future series, hour-long concerts with artists all under 30.

Visitors to the festival include Chineke!, the first professional orchestra with majority BAME musicians, Penguin Cafe, a group which blurs the boundaries between pop and classical founded in 2009 by composer Arthur Jeffes paying homage to his father's Penguin Cafe Orchestra of the 1970s, pianist Pavel Kolesnikov in Brahms, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky, recorder player Tabea Debus and the ORA Singers. There is a chance to hear two great sets of variations, harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani in Bach's Goldberg Variations, and pianist Piotr Anderszewski in Beethoven's Diabelli variations.

The Castalian String Quartet is joined by pianist Aleksandar Madzar for Elgar's Piano Quintet, whilst Iford Arts Opera will be performing Johann Strauss' Die Fledermaus. Komedia will be offering a portrait of that most diverse of composers, Richard Rodney Bennett, from song to jazz to film music, including clips of films for which he wrote the scores.

The festival mixes literature and music, and sometimes the two combine so there is a chance to hear Jane Glover talking about Handel, and Oliver Soden will talk about his new biography of Michael Tippett alongside a performance of Tippett's song cycle The Heart's Assurance by soprano Harriet Burns and pianist Alasdair Hogarth.

Full details from the Bath Festival website.

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