Dartington International Summer School & Festival
28 July – 25 August 2018
Dartington International Summer School & Festival has announced the concert programme for its 70th Anniversary curated by renowned pianist and artistic director Joanna MacGregor. Over 100 concerts from outstanding names in the music world have been confirmed.
In celebration of the 70th anniversary in 2018, Joanna has invited an unrivalled list of names from the classical music world, and luminaries from other genres, from jazz to folk, and the wider arts, to be resident, teach and perform at Dartington.
Each of the four weeks has its own focus and themes with full length concerts, gigs, spoken word and talks.
Day and night
During the day artists teach a programme of masterclasses, workshops and ensemble courses for both keen amateurs and advanced conservatoire students and young musicians.
In the evening the medieval Great Hall transforms into a 350 seat concert hall bringing in large audiences to a truly remarkable public programme of concerts.
Dawn chorus: week one
The magnificent Ex Cathedra perform music inspired by the dawn chorus in week one, as well as scintillating Latin American works. Internationally renowned viol consort Fretwork explore sunrise and sunset, and the glorious soprano Clare Wilkinson sings of Elizabethan celestial bodies.
There’s a dash of virtuosity from The Brook Street Band and Atéa Wind Quintet, and rollicking in the London streets from The City Musick; Joanna MacGregor, Stevie Wishart and Tamim al-Barghouti team up to bring The Caliph and the Poet. Egyptian singer Merit Ariane revels in story and song devoted to birds, and late-night jazzers Huw Warren and Steve Buckley create magic with award-winning poet Alice Oswald.
Bach and the St Matthew Passion: week two
Bach and the St Matthew Passion are the big themes in week two, building to an epic performance conducted by Tom Seligman, with Tom Randle and Gillian Keith sharing the role of the Evangelist. Along the way James Runcie’s play The Great Passion recreates Bach’s struggles in Leipzig, and explore his gargantuan influence on other composers, from his sons to Villa Lobos. There’s a stunning array of Baroque instrumentalists, including Robert Howarth, Steven Devine, Richard Tunnicliffe and Pavlo Beznosiuk, and Trio Gaspard, making their Dartington debut. Devon based folk duo Harbottle and Jonas will perform alongside Paul Hutchinson in folk sessions in the concert hall bar.
Powerful women: week three
Week three is full of powerful women. Jane Glover conducts Haydn’s The Creation, with Harriet Walter as narrator; and the elegant pianist Imogen Cooper joins forces with one of the world’s most-loved sopranos, Felicity Lott. The superb young Quatuor Hermès make their Dartington debut in several outstanding programmes, and the centenary of the First World War is honoured with two performances of Joan Littlewood’s searing satire, Oh! What a Lovely War.
The great pianist Alfred Brendel returns to speak about his beloved Mozart, followed by performances of Wolfgang led by violinist Thomas Gould, cellist Adrian Brendel, and pianist Florian Mitrea. Timothy Redmond mentors conducts students in Brahms; and Dartington hosts their second Piano Concerto Competition, and Opera Gala. South American music joyfully errupts, led by the incredible Brazilian percussionist Adriano Adewale, in concerts of tango nuevo and sizzling salsa.
70th anniversary year celebration: final week
The final week of the 70th anniversary year celebrates the history of Dartington’s new music and vintage Summer School film; and Dorothy Elmhirst’s influence, short poetic scenes in hidden locations. Jazz titans Byron Wallen and Eric Vloeimans bring their inimitable brand of cool to jazz performances, and there’s a treat for brass lovers with Bernstein’s West Side Story Dances. The alt-folk duo Dead Rat Orchestra curate late night installations around the beautiful gardens, and Neil Brand leads a packed week of live music and film.
The jazz-inflected theme continues with Songs from Berlin Cabaret; acclaimed composer Eleanor Alberga nurtures new chamber music, and Freya Waley-Cohen’s installation Permutations is in residence. The Festival ends with two pillars of the repertoire: Verdi’s hair-raising Reqiuem, and Mozart’s gloriously humane opera The Marriage of Figaro.
Throughout the festival there will be three concerts daily: an early slot at 5.15pm, an evening concert at 7.45pm and a late-night show at 10pm, in addition to a range of festive special events including a salsa ball and a medieval tavern night.
Joanna said: “Dartington is a place of shimmering beauty, and its world-famous Summer School is 70 years young this year – proudly contributing to the creative life of this country since 1948.
“We have a packed programme of celebratory events, with over one hundred concerts, photographic exhibitions and installations, film and illustrated talks.
“From opera, jazz, chamber music, folk, and poetry, to musical theatre, Brazilian rhythms, gospel and choral music, there’s a vibrant sequence of live events, and a really festive atmosphere.”
The concerts will take place alongside extraordinary courses that provide a unique and immersive experience for musicians of all levels of learning, talent and skill and a carefully curated selection of non-musical events including, poetry readings, films, art installations and yoga.
Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased through the Dartington Summer School website. Ticket prices range from £10-20 and the festival will host a number of free events.
A full programme is available on the website: https://www.dartington.org/
(top image: Paul Hutchinson)
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