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Huge diversity in Harrogate Festival programme
HARROGATE’s 47th summer festival begins tomorrow with the gala opening at the Royal Hall, where pianist Noriko Ogawa will be the guest soloist for the Manchester Camerata’s 8pm programme. She joins Adi Brett’s orchestra for Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 9.
Further classical highlights include the Finzi Quartet performing works by Haydn and Mendelssohn at the Wesley Chapel on Monday at 1pm; Reverie, The Life And Loves of Claude Debussy, with pianist Lucy Parham and actor Alex Jennings, at the same location on July 11 at 8pm; and Ex Cathedra’s Concert By Candlelight, featuring Rachmaninov’s Vespers, at St Wilfrid’s Church on July 13 at 8pm.
Cellist Pavel Gomziakov makes his British debut, accompanied by pianist Jill Lawson, at the Wesley Chapel on July 18 and pianist Melvyn Tan plays there on July 25, both at 8pm.
As ever, the festival turns the spotlight on Young Musicians in a series of one-hour recitals featuring BBC Young Musician of the Year Mark Simpson, clarinet, on July 11; Middle Eastern pianist Riyad Nicolas, July 13; and pianist Jessica Wei Zhu, July 17, all at the Wesley Chapel at 1pm. Wind quartet Souza Winds plays at St Wilfrid’s Church on July 26 at 12 noon.
The orchestral focus turns to Hollywood’s Golden Age when the John Wilson Orchestra reconstructs the lost scores for MGM’s film musicals, such as The Wizard Of Oz, High Society and Singin’ In The Rain in the Festival Finale at the Royal Hall on July 28 at 8pm.
This year’s guest jazz curator is Dennis Rollins, the Yorkshire trombonist with Jamaican roots and a 27-year career that began in colliery brass bands. His centrepiece will be Griots t’ Garage – A Musical History of the African Diaspora, which follows a musical timeline from pre-slavery 1600 through call-and-response field songs to Nineties’ garage, at the Old Swan Hotel on July 26 at 8pm.
Rollins will be introducing a performance comprising multi-media, recordings and the jazz, funk and soul dance talent of Perry Louis.
The festival jazz programme also parades American vocalist, saxophonist and guitarist Curtis Stigers on at the Royal Hall on Friday at 8pm and An Evening with North Yorkshire singer Clare Teal & Friends (her trio and big band singer Matt Ford), same place, same time, on Saturday.
The diversity of music in this year’s festival is reflected in performances at the Royal Hall by the Black Dyke Band, Yorkshire’s brass band heavyweights, with the Manchester Chorale and Tewit Youth Band, on Sunday, 8pm; funky folk big band Bellowhead, July 12, 7.30pm; and The Divine Comedy: An Evening with Irish singer/songwriter Neil Hannon, July 14, 8pm.
Stepping outside Harrogate, the festival switches to Ripon Cathedral on July 19 at 9pm and July 20 at 8pm and 10pm for How Like An Angel, a new performance piece specially created for cathedrals that fuses Australian company Circa’s circus skills with I Fagiolini’s choral singing.
Back in Harrogate, Chic’s Nile Rodgers will be interviewed by Mojo magazine’s deputy editor, Andrew Male, at Harrogate Theatre on July 27 at 12.30pm.
For the full programme, visit harrogateinternationalfestivals.com • Harrogate Festival runs from tomorrow until July 28. Box office: 01423 502116 or harrogateinternationalfestivals