North Yorkshire’s Ryedale Festival – 14th to 30th July 2023

Ryedale revels in a rich array of music, celebrating everything from Tchaikovsky to Troubadours

The Ryedale Festival returns in July with a brilliant range of concerts in stunning venues across North Yorkshire.

Director Christopher Glynn’s reputation for distinctive and insightful programming and for spotting and supporting early-career artists is never more present than in the 2023 Festival line-up.

Artists in residence include Anna Lapwood, who gives two vibrantly programmed recitals, conducts her choir, and invites all to join her in open-access Come and Sing and Discover the Organ events. Also in residence is BBC Music Magazine’s Personality of the Year Nicky Spence, the Korean superstar violinist Bomsori Kim, and pianist Mishka Rushdie Momen who recently won The Times Classical Breakthrough Artist Award.

The King’s Singers and top actors lead celebrations of the 400th anniversaries of William Byrd and the First Folio of Shakespeare, while Boris Giltburg is among performers marking Rachmaninov’s 150th birthday, and the creative and compelling Dudok Quartet presents a complete cycle of Tchaikovsky’s string quartets, as well as bringing audiences their irresistible arrangements of jazz and folk legends.

Groundbreaking musicians like Jess Gillam and the joyful Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective mingle with young artists, such as guitarist Plínio Fernandes playing from his sensational debut album Saudade, the charismatic trumpeter Aaron Akugbo, the innovative pianist George Xiaoyuan Fu, and the vibrant voices of the National Youth Choir of Scotland.

Jazz legend Clare Teal performs with an all-star band and there’s a folk night from the Young’Uns, as well as A Light Music Afternoon celebrating the music of Max Jaffa – fondly remembered in Yorkshire for his many seasons performing in Scarborough – and a party at Helmsley Arts Centre celebrating the music of Noel Coward with singers including Mary Bevan.

Other highlights include the Orchestra of Opera North with Jonathan Bloxham, Royal Northern Sinfonia with violinist Maria Włoszczowska, a Triple Concert at Castle Howard, a pop-up production of John Blow’s magical mini-opera Venus and Adonis that tours to ancient and atmospheric churches across the region, and four world premieres, including an innovative new take on Schumann’s song cycle Myrthen, sung in English and interwoven with poems by Kate Wakeling.

Young audiences can enjoy a vibrant reimaging of Mixed by Arree Chung with narrator Polly Ives and harpist Rosanna Rolton in Concerteenies, while babies and their grown-ups are invited to a magical musical experience across classical, folk, world and popular music.

The festival takes place in over 30 venues, from spectacular Castle Howard to a remote moorland chapel, ranging widely between York and Scarborough across some of Yorkshire’s most scenic countryside. It was recently runner-up in the Best UK Concert Series category at the Royal Philharmonic Society Awards 2023 with the citation: ‘Yorkshire’s Ryedale Festival always wraps its arms around its community. Local people don’t just watch the star visitors; they come in droves to get equally involved.’

The Ryedale Primary Choir is a new initiative for children aged 7-11, run by Caius Lee and launched this year in collaboration with the Richard Shephard Music Foundation. Children are having fun attending free music sessions in school holidays, where they meet and sing with professional musicians, especially Ryedale Festival Young Artists. The choir will make its festival debut by appearing on stage with The King’s Singers, having earlier worked with them in a masterclass.

Christopher Glynn, Artistic Director of the Ryedale Festival said: ‘This year’s programme brings together great performer-communicators like Anna Lapwood and Nicky Spence, with exciting talents such as superstar violinist Bomsori Kim and pianist Mishka Rushdie Momen. Trailblazers like Jess Gillam and the Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective mingle with world-famous artists like the King’s Singers and stars of the new generation. We celebrate the anniversaries of composers William Byrd and Sergei Rachmaninov but also break new ground with five World Premieres, including a co-created Community Song Cycle. The festival is all about quality, innovation and enjoyability – about sharing great music with more people every year. I look forward to welcoming audiences to be part of this year’s adventure.

From the Festival’s artists in residence: Bomsori Kim said:I am absolutely thrilled to be chosen as an artist in residence at the Ryedale Festival this year. This is an incredible opportunity for me to connect with audiences in the UK and share my love and passion for music.  I am particularly excited to perform Brahms Violin Concerto and Beethoven’s Violin Sonatas, as these are true masterpieces that have always inspired me. I cannot wait to communicate with the festival audiences through the universal language of music, and I hope to create a truly meaningful and unforgettable experience for everyone who joins me on this wonderful journey of discovery. Thank you so much for having me, and I cannot wait to see you all at the Ryedale Festival!

Anna Lapwood said: My first performance after lockdown was filming a performance for Ryedale Festival after the in-person festival had to be cancelled. It feels really special to be returning to the festival now and to have the chance to perform to a real audience, both on some of the amazing organs in the area and conducting the Pembroke College Chapel Choir.

Mishka Rushie Momen said: ‘I’m delighted to be returning to the Ryedale Festival this summer for a residency at the end of July. The three concerts encompass wonderful works by Byrd, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn and Smetana, in solo, duo, and trio programmes. I’m really looking forward to reconnecting with the fantastic festival audience and sharing this great music together.’

Nicky Spence said: ‘It’s a privilege to bring such a varied offering to the Ryedale Festival this year. What could be better than making music with longtime collaborators in the beautiful surroundings of North Yorkshire? Having so enjoyed the audience’s response when I featured in the festival in some bleeding chunks of Wagner’s Parsifal a few years ago, I look forward to buttering many a crumpet with new friends and music lovers alike.

Ahead of the summer programme, the Ryedale Festival also celebrates participation and outstanding young musicians in a series of Spring Concerts. A new Community Song Cycle entitled Give to me the life I love celebrates life’s adventure and the power of imagination on Saturday 29 April. Star tenor Nicky Spence and an all-age cast will gather in St Peter’s Church, Norton, for the world premiere of this Community Song Cycle inspired by the Songs of Travel by Vaughan Williams and Robert Louis Stevenson. With new music by Bernard Hughes and words co-created by participants with Hazel Gould, the event is presented in collaboration with Richard Shephard Music Foundation.

Between 2-5 May, Ryedale Festival will welcome an outstanding group of BBC New Generation Artists to Ryedale for a week of Lunchtime Concerts for broadcast on Radio 3. Countertenor Hugh Cutting will join Christopher Glynn for a programme of songs and piano pieces on the theme of liberation, conceived during the pandemic and inspired by Michael A. Singer’s best-selling book The Untethered Soul. Scottish accordionist and Ryedale Festival Young Artist Ryan Corbett plays a typically imaginative and wide-ranging programme, and audiences can also discover the much-praised virtuosity and poetry of Colombian cellist Santiago Cañón-Valencia, who makes a rare UK appearance. The Mithras Trio round off the week of lunchtime concerts with their ‘exquisite phrasing’, ‘full-blooded commitment’ and ‘bold, passionate colours.’

Tickets and more information can be found if you  click here.

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