71st Aldeburgh Festival begins



The 71st Aldeburgh Festival kicks off this week, with its opening concert on Friday 8 June. The festival runs until 24 June, and celebrates Britten and America, as well as reflecting on 1948 – the post-war period in British history when the festival began.

Regular collaborators Cédric Tiberghien and Alina Ibragimova return to the Suffolk coast for multiple performances. Cédric will join the BBC Symphony Orchestra and conductor John Wilson for the festival’s opening concert entitled “Bernstein in America”, performing the centenary composer’s Symphony No. 2 The Age of Anxiety (8 June), before a solo recital of Cage’s Complete Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano (12 June). Cédric and Alina will perform together on two occasions: a duo recital featuring works by Mozart, Cage, Crumb and Beethoven (16 June), and another with the Chiaroscuro Quartet (19 June), presenting Schumann’s Fantasy for solo piano, Mendelssohn’s String Quartet Op. 12 and Schumann’s Piano Quintet. The quartet are returning to Snape following their performance at last year’s Snape Proms.

Also joining the BBCSO and John Wilson for the festival’s opening concert is tenor Robert Murray, who will give the world premiere performance of a newly orchestrated version of Britten’s Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo, commissioned by the festival from composer Colin Matthews (8 June).

Each year, the festival helps support young artists with the Britten Pears Young Artists Programme, which includes masterclasses and coaching with leading performers. This year, Matthew Rose teaches two courses; “The 21st Century Singer” with John Fisher from the Metropolitan Opera and Julia Faulkner from Chicago Lyric Opera (11-15 June), and “Classical Song” with Anne Sofie Von Otter and Kristian Bezuidenhout (19-22 June).

Matthew says, “I had the great privilege of studying at Aldeburgh with great teachers such as Sir Thomas Allen, Ann Murray DBE, John Shirley Quirke, Sergei Leiferkus and Malcolm Martineau, and taking part in projects with Richard Egarr and Roger Vignoles including a production of Curlew River in Japan. It was such an important thing for me, as a British singer studying in America to do and it really set the foundations for my career (including Ann Murray tipping me off on Askonas Holt) for which I will always be so grateful. And Aldeburgh now feels like my second home having done recordings, concerts and having taken part in the Festival last year (as well as me being a member of Aldeburgh Golf Club). I can’t wait to help the next generation of young singers and pianists in our courses and to be able to share amazingly Aldeburgh and Snape with them all.”

In addition to the “Classical Song” course, Kristian Bezuidenhout will join Anne Sofie Von Otter for a recital of works by Schubert, Mozart, Lindblad and Berwald (23 June).

The festival also features performances from: Louise Alder, who joins John Wilson and his orchestra for a programme of Bernstein’s Broadway hits (10 June); James Baillieu, who joins Adam Walker’s Orsino Ensemble for Martinů’s Sextet for Piano and Winds (9 June); Vilde Frang, who performs Britten’s Violin Concerto with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Mark Wigglesworth (23 June); and Malcolm Martineau, who joins Bryn Terfel for the final concert of the festival, performing Ireland, Quilter, Brahms, Schubert, Britten and Copland, as well as songs by Welsh composers Gwynn Williams, Bryan Davies and Owen Williams (24 June).

Several concerts will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, including:

  • 8 June: Opening concert “Bernstein in America” with Cédric Tiberghien and Robert Murray
  • 19 June: Cédric Tiberghien & Chiaroscuro Quartet

View the full festival programme at snapemaltings.co.uk

Photo: “Snape Maltings Suffolk” by Amanda Slater via flickr.com under CC BY-SA 2.0 licence

Homepage photo: “The Family of Man, Barbara Hepworth, Snape Maltings” by Paul Clarke via flickr.com under CC BY-SA 2.0 licence

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