2019 Aldeburgh Festival and Snape Proms in June and August


Snape Proms 2019: 1 – 31 August

Highlights include:

  • Aurora Orchestra performs Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique from memory
  • Leading international artists at Snape Proms include Alison Balsom, Nicola Benedetti, Christian Blackshaw, Ian Bostridge, Jess Gillam, Benjamin Grosvenor and Sheku & Isata Kanneh-Mason and Phillippe Herreweghe
  • Young artists include the National Youth Orchestra of China, National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, singers of the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme and Britten-Pears Baroque Orchestra
  • The jazz line-up includes Clare Teal & Guy Barker, The Swingles, Pee Wee Ellis, Swinging at The Cotton Club, Bill Laurance Trio, and Director of Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Orchestra, Pete Long
  • Folk and country music from Blazin’ Fiddles, The Shires, Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys and Oysterband
  • Pop and popular classics from Gilbert O’Sullivan, Foden Brass Band, Don McLean, Rick Wakeman, and BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night is Music Night with the BBC Concert Orchestra and Lesley Garrett
  • Family events include Peppa Pig – My First Concert and James Campbell’s stand-up comedy for children
  • Snape Maltings mark 20 years of continuous collaboration with HMP Warren Hill with spotlight on the work throughout August

Snape Maltings is one of the world’s leading centres of music, hosting outstanding concerts and festivals throughout the year. This year’s Snape Proms returns 1-31 August for a month of music, featuring some of the best artists from the worlds of classical music, jazz, blues, folk and pop.

Leading Orchestras and Artists

Violinist Nicola Benedetti joins forces with Aurora Orchestra for a performance of Bruch’s Violin Concerto No.1 which is set alongside Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, played from memory (29 Aug). Siblings Sheku & Isata Kanneh-Mason showcase the cello’s lyric qualities with a programme of Beethoven, Debussy, Lutosławski, Fauré and Mendelssohn (8 Aug). Pianist Benjamin Grosvenor brings his fresh approach to landmark works of the Romantic repertoire (11 Aug) and Christian Blackshaw presents an all-Mozart recital (23 Aug). Trumpeter Alison Balsom and her hand-picked ensemble play a selection of baroque concertos and orchestral works (25 Aug) whilst award-winning saxophonist Jess Gillam presents a wide-ranging programme of everything from baroque to cabaret song (18 Aug). Tenor Ian Bostridge sings songs by Schubert and Mahler with pianist Julius Drake (20 Aug).

Developing Young Artists

The development of young artists has always been central to Snape Maltings’ vision. China’s finest young musicians make their UK debut (7 Aug), conducted by Ludovic Morlot. The programme includes Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.5 ‘Emperor’ performed by Garrick Ohlsson, Shostakovich’s Symphony No.5 and Sunlight and Twilight from The Tianjin Suite by Ye Xiaogang, one of China’s foremost classical composers. The National Youth Choirs of Great Britain and guest conductor Robert Hollingworth perform their programme Alchemy? celebrating all the components that come together, science, the voice, vowel spectrum, harmony choices and acoustics to make sound (13 Aug). Singers of the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme and Britten-Pears Baroque Orchestra are conducted by one of today’s finest Bach interpreters Phillippe Herreweghe in the composer’s rarely heard Missa Brevis alongside two of his Leipzig cantatas for choir soloists and orchestra.

Jazz & Blues

Clare Teal and her all-star nine-piece big band celebrate the Great American and British Songbooks, with arrangements by trumpeter Guy Barker and pianist Jason Rebello (1 Aug). The Swingles take the audience on an a cappella journey through the ages with jazz arrangements of Bach to the singer-songwriters of the 60s and 70s (2 Aug). One of the best saxophonists of the last half-century, Pee Wee Ellis is the founding father of jazz-funk and he is joined by three outstanding European jazz musicians pianist Jason Rebello, bass player Alec Dankworth and drummer Julie Saury (5 Aug). Harry Strutters Hot Rhythm Orchestra with The Lindy Hop Dance Company recreate the music of New York’s legendary nightclub of the 1920s and 1930s, the Cotton Club (9 Aug), whilst one of today’s most original and creative forces, Snarky Puppy keyboard player Bill Laurance and his trio perform feel-good funk (22 Aug). Following in the footsteps of Duke Ellington and Gustav Holst, director of Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Orchestra Pete Long was inspired to write his own full-length suite for jazz orchestra based on Holst’s The Planets (31 Aug).

Folk and country music

Each member of the Blazin’ Fiddles showcases music from their part of the Highlands and Islands, performing everything from stomping dances and whirling reels to softly sung ballads, mixing melodies passed down the centuries and original tunes (3 Aug). The Shires have become one of the leading country music acts in the UK and across the pond. This intimate performance combines the Nashville sound with pop music and their quintessentially British-country sound (10 Aug). Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys combine Celtic tunes and traditional folk ballads with rock-tinged blues and pop (24 Aug) whilst winner of 5 BBC Folk Awards Oysterband performs with their usual ferocious energy, a set reflecting a growing depth and sensitivity in their songwriting (26 Aug).

Pop and popular classics

Irish-born singer-songwriter Gilbert O’Sullivan performs his 19th album inspired by subject matters as diverse as transatlantic politics to the distractions of technology (12 Aug). More than 40 years after he first performed at Snape Maltings, keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman returns with an evening of piano performances and ‘one-sided’ anecdotal conversation (15 Aug). Foden Brass Band, now ranked as one of the finest brass bands in the world, performs brass band classics and solo showpieces to soundtracks including Fantasia and the James Bond franchise (17 Aug). Don McLean makes his Snape Maltings debut giving a solo performance featuring music that spans five decades including hits such as Vincent (Starry Night), Crying, Babylon and Castles in the Air (27 Aug). BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night is Music Night returns for a live broadcast from Snape Proms (28 Aug) featuring the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Bramwell Tovey and joined by soprano Lesley Garrett. They perform music ranging from popular classics and film music, to songs from the shows and jazz standards.

Family Events

Ben Parry and Aldeburgh Voices lead a family sing-along of popular show-tunes straight from Broadway and the West End (17 Aug). Peppa Pig comes to Snape Maltings for her first classical concert to learn about the different sounds that instruments make (18 Aug). Story-teller, author and comedian James Campbell is Britain’s only stand-up comedian for children, performing a mixture of surreal comedy and storytelling (25 Aug).

20 years of collaboration with HMP Warren Hill

Snape Maltings has one of the longest continuous partnerships with a local prison among arts organisations in the UK and 2019 marks 20 years of its work with HMP Warren Hill, helping prisoners rehabilitate themselves. Throughout the whole of August, there is a unique exhibition featuring a wide range of fine art, craft, writing and music from the region entered into the 2019 Koestler Awards for arts in criminal justice: the artistic direction is led by the music group at HMP Warren Hall who worked together with Snape Maltings; team to compose three songs, which lead visitors through the exhibits. A day long showcase featuring workshops and performances exploring the use of the arts as a tool for rehabilitation and prevention brings together national partners to share and showcase the work happening in the Suffolk community (24 Aug).

For full listings and tickets online click here |Tel: 01728 687110

Aldeburgh Festival 2019: 7 – 23 June

  • Three Artists in Residence each curate a part of Aldeburgh Festival 2019: composer Thomas Larcher, tenor Mark Padmore and conductor & soprano Barbara Hannigan
  • Thomas Larcher’s acclaimed first opera The Hunting Gun opens the Festival and pianist
    Paul Lewis gives the world premiere of Larcher’s Aldeburgh Festival commission
  • Mark Padmore performs in seven concerts and explores the relationship between words and music with leading poets
  • Barbara Hannigan appears in five events, singing Satie, Grisey and Gershwin and conducting the Ludwig Orchestra in several events including Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress
  • Further residencies from Vox Luminis, Stephen Hough, Alisa Weilerstein, Ryan Wigglesworth and Roderick Williams
  • Further orchestral concerts include the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Karina Cannellakis and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with Edward Gardner
  • Music by the late Oliver Knussen features throughout and the Festival presents the debut performances of the Knussen Chamber Orchestra
  • Britten–Pears Young Artist public masterclasses led by Antonio Pappano and Mark Padmore
  • Seven world premieres by Charlotte Bray, Caterina di Cecca, Thomas Larcher, Joanna Lee, Nico Muhly, Frederik Neyrinck and Freya Waley-Cohen
  • BBC Radio 3 hosts a special evening of poetry with readings and performances exploring the essence of poetry’s relationship with music

For full information, see www.aldeburghfestival.co.uk.

The Festival takes place 7 – 23 June 2019 and features three Artists in Residence – composer Thomas Larcher, tenor Mark Padmore and soprano and conductor Barbara Hannigan – who have each curated parts of the Festival. Thomas Larcher’s opera The Hunting Gun receives its UK premiere and opens the Festival. Mark Padmore explores the relationship between poetry and music and Barbara Hannigan conducts singers from her Equilibrium Young Artist programme, making their UK debut, in a performance of Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, an opera in which she sang one of her first major roles. Further residents include pianist Stephen Hough, baritone Roderick Williams, composer-conductor Ryan Wigglesworth, cellist Alisa Weilerstein and early music ensemble Vox Luminis. The Festival pays tribute to the late Oliver Knussen with pieces performed in many events as well as the debut of a new ensemble – the Knussen Chamber Orchestra.

Thomas Larcher

Thomas Larcher’s first opera The Hunting Gun received great acclaim at its world premiere at the 2018 Bregenz Festival. The Hunting Gun receives its UK premiere (7 June), opening Aldeburgh Festival 2019 with two performances across the first weekend. With a libretto by Friederike Gösweiner and directed by Austrian actor and film director Karl Markovics, the story is based on Yasushi Inoue’s best-selling 1945 Japanese novella. The cast includes Samuel BodenPeter SchöneSarah AristidouGiulia Peri and Olivia Vermeulen, with the Knussen Chamber Orchestra conducted by Ryan Wigglesworth. Larcher’s residency also features the composer’s four string quartets performed by the Albion Quartet (Cold Farmer11 June), the Ardeo Quartet (IXXU,13 June), the Heath Quartet (Madhares, 15 June) and Quatuor Diotima (Lucid Dreams20 June). Larcher’s music is heard throughout the Festival, with pianist Paul Lewis giving the world premiere of the composer’s Aldeburgh Festival commission, Movement for Piano (8 June); the orchestral work Red and Green is performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra (15 June); and as part of the closing concert of the Festival (23 June), cellist Alisa Weilerstein joins the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and conductor Edward Gardner for a performance of Ouroboros for cello and orchestra.

Mark Padmore

Tenor Mark Padmore believes that musicians and audiences can gain a richer experience of songs by thinking more closely about the words set. Over the course of four Poetry & Music events, writer, broadcaster and performer Dr Kate Kennedy is joined by leading poets to discuss the texts set by Britten in his song cycles Winter Words (Thomas Hardy), The Holy Sonnets of John DonneSongs and Proverbs of William Blake, and Who Are These Children? (William Soutar). The discussions are followed by performances from Mark PadmoreRoderick Williams and pianist Andrew West. As teacher, Padmore leads a week-long masterclass series on Singing Britten (17-22 June). Padmore’s residency also includes a performance of Thomas Larcher’s A Padmore Cycle, accompanied by the composer (9 June). Padmore is joined by baritone Roderick Williams, pianist Julius Drake and a guest actor for an evening of spoken word and songs evoking the sea as captured by Britten, Coleridge, Elgar, Eliot, Fauré, Shakespeare and Tippett, among others (13 June). Padmore, Williams and guests recreate a special event which took place in 1828: the only known concert with an all-Schubert programme to have taken place during the composer’s lifetime (17 June).

Barbara Hannigan

As part of Aldeburgh Festival’s collaboration with the Ojai Festival in California where she is the 2019 Festival Music Director, soprano and conductor Barbara Hannigan curates concerts in the final week, performing four events with the Ludwig Orchestra from the Netherlands. Hannigan performs a recital of Satie’s music with her long-time collaborator, pianist Reinbert de Leeuw (17 June). Hannigan returns to one of her first major operatic roles, Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, but this time as conductor rather than singer. It will be the first opera production to feature Hannigan as conductor and she has hand-picked the cast from her Equilibrium Young Artist programme, who make their UK debut, for a staging devised by Swedish director and designer Linus Fellbom. They are joined by the Ludwig Orchestra and the Chorus of Opera Holland Park (20 June). Hannigan conducts Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht and sings Grisey’s Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil (21 June). She conducts Stravinsky’s Pulcinella and Haydn’s Symphony No.49 before directing and singing Gershwin’s Suite from Girl Crazy (22 June). She also narrates Walton and Sitwell’s ‘entertainment’, Façade (23 June).

Further Residencies

Early music ensemble Vox Luminis and director Lionel Meunier return for a three-concert residency following their successful Aldeburgh debut in 2017. They begin with Motets and Cantatas by JS Bach and family (14 June); a programme dedicated to St Cecilia featuring Britten and Handel (16 June) and music for the coronation and funeral of Queen Mary (18 June). Stephen Hough gives a solo piano recital with works by Bach, Chopin, Busoni, Knussen, Liszt, as well as his own Sonata No.4 (12 June). He also performs Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.4 with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra on the final afternoon of the festival (23 June). Acclaimed cellist Alisa Weilerstein performs all the Bach Cellos Suites over the course of two concerts (19 and 21 June) and completes her residency with Larcher’s Ouroboros for cello and orchestra (23 June). Roderick Williams appears in three concerts: the Poetry and Music series (18 June), Schubert 1828 (17 June) and The Sea, The Sea (13 June). Composer-conductor Ryan Wigglesworth conducts Thomas Larcher’s The Hunting Gun (7 and 9 June) and leads the debut of the Knussen Chamber Orchestra including the world premiere of his own Aldeburgh Festival commission (11 June).

Other Leading Artists and Ensembles

Two of the UK’s leading orchestras return to the Festival in 2019. Karina Cannellakis makes her Aldeburgh debut with the BBC Symphony Orchestra featuring soprano Sarah Tynan performing Britten’s Our Hunting Fathers (15 June)The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Edward Gardner, play Tippett’s Concerto for Double String Orchestra, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.4 with Stephen Hough, Larcher’s Ouroboros for cello and orchestra with soloist Alisa Weilerstein, and closes with Bartok’s Suite: The Miraculous Mandarin (23 June). Tenebrae and its director Nigel Short perform a typically wide ranging programme featuring Byrd, Tallis and James MacMillan (9 June). Pierre-Laurent Aimard returns to give an eclectic piano recital including music by Knussen, Carter, Benjamin and the world premiere of a Festival commission by Charlotte Bray (10 June) and leading lutenist Elizabeth Kenny explores music for the theorbo from the early 17th century by Piccinini, Kapsberger and de Visée alongside 21st century works by James MacMillan, Benjamin Oliver and a world premiere by Nico Muhly (15 June).

Oliver Knussen

2019 marks 50 year since Oliver Knussen was commissioned by Britten for the Aldeburgh Festival, aged just 17. His last concerts were in Snape at the 2018 Festival and it is fitting that the Festival remembers him both as a friend and as a figurehead of contemporary music. His works appears throughout the Festival. Ryan Wigglesworth conducts the debut concerts of the Knussen Chamber Orchestra which includes Knussen’s Scriabin Settings and O Hototogisu! (11 June). Other tributes see Stephen Hough perform Prayer Bell Sketch in his solo recital (12 June); Danny Koo and pianist Daniel Lebhardt’s Britten–Pears Young Artists concert features Autumnal and Ophelia’s Last Dance (14 June); the Ulysses Ensemble opens its concert with Coursing (14 June) and Nicholas Daniel and friends present three of Knussen’s chamber works, including the revival of the unhappily titled Fire, the work for the 1969 festival that premiered just days after the new Snape Maltings had burned down (22 June). Aldeburgh Cinema shows Oliver Knussen: Sounds from the Big White House, a Barrie Gavin film celebrating his 50th birthday (14 June).

New Music

The Aldeburgh Festival presents seven world premieres in 2019: Thomas Larcher’s Movement for Piano is presented by pianist Paul Lewis (8 June); Charlotte Bray’s Aldeburgh Festival commission is premiered by Pierre-Laurent Aimard (10 June); the Albion Quartet performs Freya Waley-Cohen’s new string quartet (11 June); Ryan Wigglesworth’s piece receives its first performance from the Knussen Chamber Orchestra and is a tribute from the composer to his mentor and friend (11 June); the Ulysses Ensemble performs Rome-based Caterina di Cecca’s new chamber work; Nico Muhly’s new work for theorbo, performed by Elizabeth Kenny, exploits the unconventional tuning system and expressive possibilities of the instrument (15 June) and Nicholas Daniel, Adam Walker and the Britten Oboe Quartet premiere Joanna Lee’s new work (22 June).

UK premieres are Edmund Finnis’ Aloysius given by the Castalian Quartet (8 June) and i c o n, an opera for soprano, actor and ensemble by Frederik Neyrinck, developed on a Snape Maltings residency, a collaboration between a composer, writer, architect and photographer (12 June). Mezzo-soprano Marta Fontanals-Simmons performs Jonathan Harvey’s Songs and Haikus with Joanna MacGregor (16 June).

Britten-Pears Young Artists Masterclasses

This year’s Britten–Pears Young Artist Programme public masterclasses are given by Music Director of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale, Sir Antonio Pappano, and Festival Artist in Residence Mark Padmore. Pappano explores German, French and Italian operatic arias (10-16 June). Padmore works in detail on Britten’s output for voice and piano (17-22 June). Both work with some of the most exciting emerging singers and pianists from across the globe, chosen through annual international auditions.

Other Highlights

Drive-by Shooting is a short video and sound installation by composer Brian Irvine and director John Mcliduff

blending opera, street art and animation. It appears as a stencil style animation on outdoor walls with sound transmitted to listeners wearing wireless headphones (8, 10, 11, 12 & 15 June). Open Space artists at Snape Maltings, Bastard Assignments are a four-piece composer collective joining the dots between performance art, installation, composition and improvisation (15 June). Cellist Adrian Brendel and pianist Joanna MacGregor give an intimate recital of works by Britten, Imogen Holst and Bridge (16 June). Pianist Karim Said intersperses 16th century English music by Byrd, Tomkins, Bull and Morley with 20th century Viennese composers Schoenberg, Berg and Webern (21 June). Films shown during the Festival at Aldeburgh Cinema include: Charlie Chaplin shorts with live scores improvised by pianist Neil Brand (10 June)The Woman of the Dunes was nominated for two Oscars and tells the tale of a man who misses his bus home after a day out on a remote stretch of coast. The film is directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara with a chilling minimalist score from Toru Takemitsu (11 June). Songs of Experience – Michael Tippett at 85 is the 1991 documentary by Mischa Scorer in which the composer talks openly about his long musical life (20 June). This year’s Hesse Lecture is given by poet and novelist Lavinia Greenlaw who explores how memories, ideas and images form (13 June).

BBC Radio 3 Poetry Evening

Radio 3 hosts a special evening of poetry – with readings and performance which explore the essence of poetry’s relationship with music, and traces the way that the literary and the musical have been intertwined for Benjamin Britten and a host of other composers.

For booking information click here

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