The brightest stars of the UK’s classical music scene are preparing to visit Beverley, as public booking opens on Monday 1st July for the 2019 Beverley Chamber Music Festival. Running 25th – 28th September, the festival welcomes two former winners of BBC Young Musician of the Year, violinist Jennifer Pike and cellist Laura van der Heijden, as well as the renowned Brodsky Quartet, to join its Co-Artistic Directors, pianists Martin Roscoe and Libby Burgess. Concerts are all held in the stunning and atmospheric surroundings of St Mary’s Church, which for that week plays host to classical music lovers from across the country.
Libby Burgess says, “We are focusing particularly this year on the music of Edward Elgar, specifically the powerful works he wrote in the Sussex woodlands in the aftermath of the First World War. People often think of Elgar as an old Edwardian man with a moustache – all ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ – but these are intensely personal works, poignant and nostalgic, as he tries to make sense of the world post-war.
“We’ll also be exploring Russian music – everything from the richly lyrical and virtuosic music of Rachmaninoff, to the profound soundworld of Shostakovich, who spent his entire creative life trying to keep on the right side of the Soviet government.
“Other elements in the festival include late-night performances, a concert for school children, and talks from international experts to contextualise the music featured. You can hear some of the most popular classical music of all time – Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending – right through to the world premiere of a brand new work for voice and piano by US composer Juliana Hall, about the legend of Lady Godiva, and a foot-tapping Saturday daytime concert by brass ensemble Onyx Brass.”
The long-running Beverley Chamber Music Festival was handed over last year to New Paths Music, whose own spring festival has quickly developed a loyal local following and a national musical reputation. The two organisations were founded twenty years apart by two different Beverley boys, James Brown and Roland Deller – both former string players in the East Riding Youth Orchestra – who both felt an urge to ‘give back’ to this town which had captured their hearts growing up there and had provided them with a life-changing musical education. This year’s festival features a workshop day for current young players in that same orchestra, culminating in a free public performance in the Minster.
Chairman of New Paths Roland Deller comments, “This festival is a jewel in the cultural crown of the region: we are welcoming some of the most exciting young talents in the country, alongside some of the most established musical names. The phrase ‘world-class’ is over-used, but these musicians really do spend their time performing around the globe, so we are thrilled to be welcoming such exceptional performers to the East Riding.
“We are proud to be building on the wonderful heritage of this festival as we ramp up for its thirtieth anniversary in a couple of years’ time, and it’s wonderful to see it in such fine fettle. We expect tickets to sell like hot cakes, so act quickly to avoid missing out!”
Tickets are available through the Beverley Tourist Information Office, and further details of the festival programme are published on www.newpathsmusic.com.