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Yorkshire and classical music combine at Northern Aldborough

Culture

Yorkshire and classical music combine at Northern Aldborough

Tickets are still available for Yorkshire’s leading classical music festival, the Northern Aldborough Festival; 2024 marks the festival’s 30th anniversary.

A charity, its mission is to bring a piece of high-end live music to its rural location, making the sleepy village that was once a prosperous Roman capital, an unlikely epicentre for classical music. The opening night sees 25-year-old Tom Fetherstonehaugh conducting Fantasia Orchestra, which comprises some of the UK’s most exciting young musicians. The night also features pianist Alim Beisembayev, who at 23 won the last Leeds Piano Competition, with a programme that includes Tchaikovsky’s heartfelt Serenade for Strings and Chopin’s 1st Piano Concerto.

The idyllic North Yorkshire village has been home to the festival since 1994, described by the Times as ‘well on its way to being one of the leading fixtures on the classical music calendar.’

Robert Ogden, festival director:

“Classical music is proven to have a profound effect on us, and our festival is keen to ensure its accessible to all to enjoy. We hope audiences will come and experience these very special performances. The rewards are so huge. There’s nothing like the emotional, visceral experience of live music and the unique chance to hear these world-class musicians in an intimate and gorgeous countryside setting.”

This year’s festival takes place 13-22 June with the majority of acts performing in the historic St Andrew’s Church.

Alongside world-class musicians, including the great violin virtuoso Viktoria Mullova who famously defected from Russia, the festival features a headline talk from Time Team’s Sir Tony Robinson. Just half an hour from York or Harrogate, Aldborough is known for its prized collection of Roman artefacts and mosaics. Guided walks will be available with archaeologist Rose Ferraby for visitors to explore this remarkable history.

The 2024 festival also features jazz, comedy, and its annual festival finale in the grounds of Aldborough Manor, which this year features Queen tribute band, Majesty.

A highlight is the New Voices Singing Competition – the festival’s nationwide hunt for the UK’s best young vocal talent. The annual awards were launched last year and promise to be even bigger this year, with a prize fund of £7,000 up for grabs.

Young musicians from leading conservatoires and colleges battle it out in a live semi-final and final in front of audiences and a judging panel of leading musicians, including the legendary bass Sir John Tomlinson, famed conductor Edward Gardner OBE, and pianist Sholto Kynoch. Last year’s winner, mezzo soprano Lea Shaw, will also perform her winning recital.

Sought after acts also include the Julian Joseph Trio; Joseph was described as one of Duke Ellington’s ‘natural born heirs’ known for his mastery of the keyboard and versatility – he’ll present an evening of originals and timeless jazz classics.

Other highlights include Armonico Consort, the spine-tingling, critically-acclaimed choir that sells out venues thanks to their inventive performances under the artistic vision of director, Christopher Monks. They’ll perform a semi-staged production of Purcell’s masterpiece The Fairy Queen, an extraordinary work with seductive melodies, described by Monks as an entertaining ’emotional rollercoaster.’

The festival also welcomes the award-winning comedian with an opera degree, Amy Webber, as heard on BBC Radio 4, the rising star of classical guitar, hailed as a ‘poet’ of the instrument, Jack Hancher, and the pan-flute player Adriana Babin, who at just 22 is a bona-fide star in her home country of Moldova.

A favourite of BBC Radio 3, Wigmore Hall, and the Edinburgh Fringe, the dynamic and award-winning Mikeleiz-Zucchi Duo, who consist of a Canadian saxophonist and Spanish accordionist, will perform in the unique setting of The Chapel at Rudding Park in Harrogate, with an optional lunch at The Clocktower restaurant. Always a supporter of young talent at the start of their classical career, the festival hosts a Young Artist Showcase of four local musicians aged from 12-17.

Festival goers are encouraged to bring their own picnics, enjoy the local pub food of The Ship Inn, party in the late-night venue, The Shed, and explore the Roman heritage of Aldborough, one of Yorkshire’s most beautiful villages.

To book tickets go to aldboroughfestival.co.uk

“The Northern Aldborough Festival was founded in 1994, centred around the picturesque village of Aldborough near York.  It was described by the Times as ‘well on its way to being one of the leading fixtures on the classical music calendar.’ Its core aim is to bring exceptional music to new audiences, in intimate rural locations where it would not normally be heard. With musical talent sourced from all over the world, the festival offers audiences a consistently high standard of music. The patron of the festival is Dame Judi Dench.” Northern Aldborough Festival PR

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