Artists, Colleagues, Friends and Music Lovers…
Welcome all, to Festival 2016.
Our opening weekend concerts are in Kendal, the gateway to the Lakes. The Parish Church will resound with Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius, marking the launch of the Cumbria Festival Chorus. In St Thomas's Church, the brilliant A4 Brass captures the romantics and modern with eloquence and spirit.
Follow the musical threads and links inspired by historic events, triumphs and tragedies. From the 18th century indulge in the genius and beauty of Mozart. From the 20th century WW1 is commemorated by composers haunted by the carnage. From the 21st century there are première performances, a special commission, opera at Fellinis, jazz at Zeffirellis and masterclasses at Brathay.
Happy return and collaboration: the Skampa Quartet reveals Kodály between Haydn and Beethoven and Dvorák between Mozart's Horn Quintet and the Viola Quintet in C when they are joined by Alec Frank-Gemmill and world-renowned violist Roger Chase.
Three exotic débuts: the distinguished recorder player Tabea Debus with Duo Seraphim, counter-tenor and lute; Bartosz Gowacki, classical accordion virtuoso; the Silk and Bamboo Ensemble introduces ancient and more modern Chinese soundscapes.
Andrew Brownell's fine recital opens with Mozart, features the overlooked Sterndale Bennett, and ends with perhaps the greatest of Schumann's piano works, the Etudes Symphoniques. Renowned cellist Colin Carr returns after far too long a break with a programme to relish: solo Bach, sonatas of Beethoven and Brahms.
Revealed: Breaking the Rules is music theatre… murder and repentance when the Marian Consort exposes the revered Italian renaissance composer Prince Carlo Gesualdo.
Mid-fest and the Manchester Piano Trio balances WW1 Ravel and Ireland with Mozart, Beethoven, and Dvorák. The National Opera Studio stars shine in duos, trios and quartets from Handel to Mozart, Verdi to Jonathan Dove.
The UK's leading young violinist Chloë Hanslip and pianist Danny Driver include Bloch's bold 1920 Sonata and Beethoven's sublime Op.96 in their programme given in memory of LDSM's former Chairman Keith Scott CBE.
Collaborations and highlights: Viola and cello duos from Beethoven to Lutosawski with Yuko Inoue and Christoph Richter. The brilliance of the Chilingirian Quartet in two programmes with rarely-heard Bainton, while Dvorák and Bartók offset a sextet special, Mozart's Duo Concertante.
The first filmed war documentary ever and an LDSM commission: fusing sound and vision, gifted composer and percussionist Jan Bradley composes and performs the music for the epic The Battle of the Somme. Expect to be exhilarated and poignantly moved.
Our finale is the Candlelight Serenade when Academy soloists and chamber musicians invariably exceed expectations. Under the inspiring baton of Kazuki Sawa the full-strength ensemble will bring the curtain down on Festival & Academy with Schoenberg's wondrous Verklärte Nacht, 'Night Transfigured'.
We look forward to Festival 2016, meeting and enjoying it with you.
Renna Kellaway MBE,
Founder & Artistic Director