Leeds Lieder Announces Seventh Festival of Song for April

Leeds Lieder Announces Seventh Festival of Song

Friday 21st – Sunday 23rd April 2017: “Songs of Travel”

LLSupported by Arts Council England, Leeds Lieder – ‘one of the most exuberant and far-reaching festivals of art-song in the UK The Times is delighted to announce details of its seventh Festival, under the Artistic Directorship of pianist Joseph Middleton.

Following the success of the 2016 Festival – both in terms of critical reception, and record-breaking box-office results – Leeds Lieder continues to place song at the centre of the cultural landscape in Leeds, championing the art-form, and growing audiences. In collaboration with partner organizations BBC Radio 3, Opera North, University of Leeds, Leeds College of Music and Leeds International Concert Series, Leeds Lieder now presents a season-long programme of song and 2017 marks the organisation’s decision to make its previously biennial Festival an annual event.

Joseph Middleton’s theme for the 2017 Festival is Songs of Travel. The spoken word is juxtaposed with the sung, as Leeds Lieder welcomes actors to join the line-up of internationally acclaimed musicians and rising star singers celebrating the world of song through a plethora of recitals, interviews, commissions, talks, live-streams, walks and workshops. We welcome Dame Felicity Lott as Guest of Honour. Iain Bell composes the Festival commission.

Recitals – The Venue, Leeds College of Music

Opening Concert: Songs of Travel, 21 April 2017 (7.30pm), Simon Keenlyside (baritone), Joseph Middleton (piano).

Programme to include Schubert’s Schwanengesang, extracts from Vaughan Williams’s Songs of Travel, and songs by Sibelius.

One of the world’s most sought after and charismatic singers, Simon Keenlyside is noted for his highly-charged performances, probing intellect and rich baritone voice. In a rare UK recital appearance, he opens the 2017 Leeds Lieder Festival alongside pianist Joseph Middleton, recently described in Gramophone Magazine as ‘outstanding, his reputation as a rising star among accompanists richly deserved.’

Preceded by a pre-concert talk at 6.15pm.

Lunchtime Recital: Une Rare Émotion, 22 April 2017 (12.30pm-1.30pm), Clara Mouriz (mezzo soprano), Benedict Nelson (baritone), Joseph Middleton (piano), David Moseley (flute), Philip Higham (cello).

Programme of songs by Ravel, including Chansons madécasses for mezzo soprano, flute and cello, a rare performance of the original version for voice and piano of Shéhérazade and the masterpiece Histoires Naturelles.

Maurice Ravel: a multi-faceted song composer impossible to pin down. The colour, rhythm, poetry and imagination in his work place Ravel’s songs amongst music of the highest art. Award winning singers Clara Mouriz (past BBC New Generation Artist) and Benedict Nelson (Kathleen Ferrier Award winner) make welcome returns to Leeds Lieder.

Preceded by a Study Event at 11.00am.

Afternoon Recital: From Town and Country, 22 April 2017 (4.00pm-5.00pm), Members of the Royal Academy of Music Song Circle.

Programme to include: Honegger: Petit Cours de Morale, Rosenthal: La souris d’Angleterre, Poulenc: C, Hyde Park, Voyage à Paris, Fauré: Les roses d’Isfahan, Britten: Come you not from Newcastle?, Wolf: Ich hab’ in Penna, Schubert: Gondelfahrer, Mahler: Rheinlegendchen, Weill: Berlin im Licht, Delibes: Les filles de Cadix, Eisler: Die Flucht, Ives: Romanza di Central Park, Korngold: Sonnet für Wien, Debussy: Noel des enfants qui n’ont plus de maisons.

Trained by our Patron Richard Stokes, an authority on song as well as a highly-respected educator, this is an opportunity to hear the next generation of fine singers and pianists (Emma Stannard, Philip Wilcox, Michael Pandya, Keval Shah) fresh from performances at London’s Wigmore Hall.

Evening Recital: Travel the country thro’ and thro’, 22 April 2017 (8.00pm), Sophie Rennert (mezzo soprano), Graham Johnson (piano).

Programme to include songs of travel by Schubert: Wanderers Nachtlied, Auflösung, Rastlose Liebe, Fauré: Cinq mélodies de Venise and Britten: A Charm of Lullabies.

Young Austrian mezzo-soprano Sophie Rennert, appears at Leeds Lieder at the invitation of our Patron, Graham Johnson. She has already thrilled song audiences at the Schubertiade Hohenems, the Vienna Konzerthaus and Vienna Musikverein and it is our great honour to present what will be her UK recital début.

Preceded by a pre-concert talk starting at 7.15pm.

Made in Yorkshire: Songs of the Exotic, 23 April (3.00pm-4.00pm), Rowan Pierce (soprano), Roger Vignoles (piano).

Programme to include Duparc: L’invitation au voyage, Ravel: Cinq mélodies populaires Grecques, Messiaen: Trois mélodies, Bizet: Adieux de l’hôtesse arabe, Quilter: Arab Love Song, Elgar: Arabian Serenade, Delius: Indian Love Song, Delius: In the garden of the Seraglio, Howells: Lost Love, Berkeley: Five Chinese Songs and the world première of Leeds Lieder commission Away by Iain Bell to texts by Rabindranath Tagore.

We invite back Yorkshire-born Rowan Pierce to Leeds Lieder after a standout performance in the 2015 masterclass. Her Festival début will be alongside the legendary Roger Vignoles and will include the world première of the 2017 Leeds Lieder Festival commission, Away, by Iain Bell, a cycle that explores the theme of journeying in its many forms. Taking the spiritual and mercurial texts of Rabindranath Tagore, Bell has woven a cycle of magical and haunting colours.

Preceded by a pre-concert talk with composer Iain Bell starting at 2.15pm.

Gala Concert: A Garland for Jane, 23 April 2017 (6.00pm-9.00pm), Dame Felicity Lott (soprano), Joan Rodgers (soprano), Susan Bickley (mezzo soprano), Clara Mouriz (mezzo soprano), Benedict Nelson (baritone), Philip Smith (baritone), Iain Burnside (piano), Julius Drake (piano), Graham Johnson (piano), Gary Matthewman (piano), Joseph Middleton (piano), Roger Vignoles (piano).

A host of international artists gather to celebrate Jane Anthony, the Founder of Leeds Lieder, and the passion for song that inspired her to conceive the idea of a Lieder festival in Leeds that would introduce the audiences in the north of England to the riches of this marvellous art form.  There will be a retiring collection in aid of the Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice in Leeds and the Jane Anthony Bursary for young singers at the Royal Northern College of Music. Thanks to the generosity of tonight’s performers, all of whom are waiving their fees, ticket proceeds for this concert will also be donated to these excellent causes.

Preceded by a pre-concert talk starting at 5.15pm.

Talks, Walks, Masterclasses and Workshops – Leeds College of Music 

Study Event: Songs by Ravel: Une Rare Émotion with Roger Nichols, 22 April (11.00am-noon). Roger Nichols was decorated Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur in 2006 for his 40 years of service to French music and is a foremost authority on Ravel. A perfect introduction to the concert which follows.

Composers & Poets Forum and Showcase, 22 April (11.00am-7.00pm). This day-long forum, culminating in a showcase performance in the evening, is the result of work initiated in November, when student composers from the national conservatoires met poets local to Leeds in a creative venture to encourage the composition of new art songs.

Dame Felicity Lott & Graham Johnson in Conversation with Iain Burnside: 22 April (2.30pm-3.30pm). Few art song duos have had such enduring popularity or critical success as that of ‘Flott and Graham.’ Loved the world over, their extraordinary discography and trailblazing reinvention of the song recital through their “Songmakers’ Almanac” guarantee them a place in song history. It is a thrill for Leeds Lieder to invite two of our esteemed Patrons to discuss their contribution to the world of song with Iain Burnside, pianist and past Festival Artistic Director.

Storytelling and Poetry Workshop with Timothy West CBE: 23 April (1.45pm – 2.30pm). Following last year’s highly successful storytelling and poetry workshop, we welcome Bradford-born actor Timothy West to give this year’s event. He will explore some of the texts that are being performed over the weekend and work with singers from Britain’s leading conservatoires to find clarity of expression and a deeper communication of words.

Festival Masterclass with Roger Vignoles: 23 April (10am-1pm). Roger Vignoles leads a masterclass with the next generation of Lied singers and pianists, selected from the UK’s top conservatoires. In addition to his reputation as one of the world’s most distinguished piano accompanists, Roger Vignoles is also a highly regarded and much-loved teacher.

Fringe Events

Historic Leeds Walk: 23 April (10.30am-noon), starting from Leeds College of Music.

Robert Holt leads a tour along the Briggate, one of Leeds’ oldest streets.

Masterclass Concert: 23 April (4.15pm-5.00pm) Leeds College of Music. The exceptionally gifted duos who worked with Timothy West, will perform an array of songs in this informal recital.

Family Event

Lieder for Littleuns, 23 April (11.00am – 12.00noon), Leeds College of Music

A new event for the festival, this immersive performance for children under 5 accompanied by their parents or carers, takes the form of a relaxed, family-friendly and informal concert specially designed to introduce young children to the joys of the sung voice and piano. With Aimée Toshney (soprano), Philip Wilcox (baritone), Ewan Gilford (piano).

Education Projects

Cool Lieder, Leeds Town Hall: 17 March (11.30am). Young people from Leeds Secondary schools have been working with a creative team led by storyteller Jo Blake Cave, exploring some of the great songs from the Lieder repertoire. This concerts showcases the work they have done.

Discovering Lieder, Leeds Town Hall: 17 March (2.00pm). Over two hundred school children have been taking part in Leeds Lieder’s Discovering Lieder project in the months leading up to the Festival. This is their showcase concert.

Pyramid of Arts High Rise Project, Yorkshire Dance: 21 April (3.00-5.00pm). Pyramid of Arts, a collective of artists with and without learning disabilities, work together with baritone Philip Smith and pianist Jonathan Fisher to explore and develop their creativity.

For further information please contact info@leedslieder.org.uk

Or see http://leedslieder.org.uk/ for how to book tickets

Twitter: @LeedsLieder

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