Wednesday 15 March 2023

Classical music and more: Bath Festival 2023

Bath Festival in 2022 - Steve Reich's Drumming with Colin Currie Quartet at Bath Abbey
Bath Festival in 2022 - Steve Reich's Drumming with Colin Currie Quartet at Bath Abbey

The Bath Festival is running from 12 to 21 May this year, and features a diverse mix of music, literature and other events. The Bath Festival Orchestra, conductor Peter Manning, is in residence over the opening weekend, presenting a concert in Bath Abbey, featuring music by the 18th-century Viennese composer Marianna Martinez, Bruckner, Hans Andre Stamm and Mozart plus Mozart's Requiem with local choir Bath Camerata and an appealing line-up of soloists Nadine Benjamin, Kitty Whately, Thomas Walker and William Thomas. There is also an open rehearsal earlier in the day.

Another local ensemble, the Bath Philharmonia will be joined by violinist Esther Yoo and the 120 young people of Bath Festival's Schools Voices for a concert that includes music by John Adams, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, and Jonathan Dove plus the premiere of the Bath Festival Schools' Voices commission.

A sequence of morning recitals features the festival's rising stars with concerts by Iyad Sughayer (piano), Jaren Ziegler (viola), Tim Beattie (guitar), Irene Duval (violin) and Maciej Kulakowski (cello), Ryan Corbett (accordion) and Dida Condria (piano). 

Other visitors to the festival include BBC New Generation Artist Tom Borrow (piano),  vocal ensemble Siglo de Oro, celebrating the work William Byrd, who died in 1623, Connaught Brass, first prize winners in the inaugural Philip Jones International Brass Ensemble Competition, and Quatuor Agate in Boccherini, Bartok and Schubert's Death and the Maiden Quartet.

And there is plenty more from talks, walks and other events, one that caught my eye was Polari Salon, a celebration of LGBTQ+ words and voices - whether written, spoken or sung, with Paul Burston, poet Joelle Taylor and Miss Hope Springs.

Full details from the festival website.

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