Friends old and new, Music lovers, Artists and colleagues, greetings and a warm welcome…
Marking a new era, our 33rd festival tapestry is illuminated by the indestructible genius of composers whose music, two centuries on, continues to enthral and inspire our own age of enlightenment.
Capture Schubert in a chain of concerts offering piano duet, early quartet gems, the beguiling 'Arpeggione' Sonata, his profound last great piano sonata in B flat and one of the greatest song cycles of all time, Winterreise, a Winter's Journey… a life lived. Artists-in-residence are baritone Benjamin Appl, Robert Cohen cello and pianist Carole Presland.
Haydn, acclaimed and adulated in his lifetime, was a major inspiration to those who followed. His wit, humour and compassion remain as fresh and pertinent today in the array of quartets, piano trios and solos linking our programmes throughout the festival programme.
Opening the week, and indeed the Festival, we are in Ulverston's Coronation Hall with possibly the greatest of all choral masterpieces, Bach's Mass
in B minor, with the remarkable ensemble Solomon's Knot singing from memory and without conductor. Sunday evening in Ambleside offers a complete contrast when Emma Smith pays tribute to the great Ella Fitzgerald, born in 1917.
Welcome the Villiers Quartet, whose two innovative programmes open with Haydn and feature new collaborations with fellow artists. Benjamin Appl sings Barber's Dover Beach and oboist James Turnbull joins the Villiers in Mozart and Röntgen quartets.
James and pianist Libby Burgess feature Vivaldi alongside Britten, Poulenc, Lennox and Michael Berkeley, father and son, with intriguing inner musical links.
Bringing puppets and music together, the Palisander Recorder Quartet and puppeteers make a first at LDSM. Dr Dee's Daughter and the Philosopher's Stone is a 'must' for families for the 4 or 40 or 94-year-olds!
70 years ago, India established her independence, and we warmly welcome three leading Indian sitar, tabla and tanpura players. Changing continents, Kabantu blends spirited folk music from the Balkans to Brazil.
The inimitable Chilingirian Quartet couples Haydn with Beethoven, Beamish with Elgar and introduces McEwen's Threnody, composed in 1916. The Gould Piano Trio performs Mark Simpson's new commission, follows the Haydn path and on the centenary of the
Russian Revolution, turns to the great works of Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov.
Our new era introduces an important Festival stream spotlighting young artists on the cusp of important careers – for further details see p.10.
With 40 events we will have enjoyed a taste of opera and young voices, Glyndebourne live at Fellinis, intimate concerts in Blackwell's Peacock Room, marked Monteverdi's 450th anniversary and applauded young musicians.
Welcome the Berkeley Ensemble in our 'grand finale' over two consecutive nights glorying in Ibert, Strauss, Berkeley and repertoire masterpieces: Beethoven's Septet and Schubert's Octet.
Finally, may I express our gratitude to all our artists for their interest and co-operation in new collaborations and festival themes. To our wonderful volunteers who offer a galaxy of skills so generously each year our deep, heartfelt thanks to you all.
Renna Kellaway MBE,
Founder & Artistic Director