A feast of music at this years King’s Lynn Festival

Lara Melda. Photo: Benjamin Harte.

BBC Young Musician Lara Melda. Photo: Benjamin Harte.

A celebratory feast of music and the arts featuring top-class international names has been lined up for this summer’s King’s Lynn Festival to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics.

The 62nd Festival, being staged from July 15-28, will be launched by Grimethorpe Colliery Band whose programme will include William Walton’s stirring Crown Imperial which was played at the Queen’s Coronation. The band have won many championship titles and gained international fame through the 1995 film Brassed Off!

The Philharmonia Orchestra, the King’s Singers, pianist Freddy Kempf, the Endellion String Quartet and BBC Young Musician Lara Melda and are among the cream of the classical music world taking part.

Artistic adviser Ambrose Miller said: “It will be a celebratory festival to mark two very special events. The top class programme will maintain the festival’s tradition of excellence and have broad appeal.”

This year’s Festival Exhibition will feature etchings and paintings by members of the 19th century Norwich School including Cotman, Bright and Colkett alongside works by 21st century artists who draw their inspiration from the East Anglia terrain. The exhibition is being staged by the Festival in partnership with Sherie Naidoo who runs Artlands, an East Anglian-based art dealership, and will be held in the Fermoy Art Gallery at Lynn Arts Centre from July 16-28.

The Philharmonia Orchestra, one of the most popular orchestras to perform at Lynn, last visited five years ago. They will again give the final concert with a programme including Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture, Fingal’s Cave, a Beethoven symphony and Bruch’s violin concerto featuring 21-year-old Belgian violinist Yossif Ivanov who won the Montreal International Music Competition when he was only 16.

The King's Singers. Photo: Alex MacNaughton

The King's Singers. Photo: Alex MacNaughton

It is about 30 years since The King’s Singers, one of the world’s most celebrated ensembles, appeared at Lynn. The six singers maintaining the group’s great reputation will make a welcome return to the renowned acoustic of St Nicholas’ Chapel on July 17. Their specially-devised programme, Royal Rhymes and Rounds – music from Medieval times to the present day – will celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Jacqui Dankworth the jazz singer daughter of Sir John Dankworth and Dame Cleo Laine will be at the Guildhall on July 25 with her quartet.

King’s Lynn Festival Chorus will perform a concert version of George Gershwin’s opera Porgy and Bess on July 22. Chorus chairman Nick Balaam said: “Porgy and Bess is a great piece of music which many people are familiar with. We are very excited to be asked to perform it with the spirituals from Sir Michael Tippett’s A Child of Our Time.

“They will give us the opportunity to show regular festival-goers the breadth of our range and also to attract new audiences. People will leave the concert humming and singing some wonderful tunes,” he said.

Freddy Kempf. photo: Neda Navaee

Freddy Kempf. photo: Neda Navaee

Pianist Freddy Kempf, a festival vice-president, is also returning to give a recital on July 26, and the 2010 BBC Young Musician, pianist Lara Melda who was 16 when she won the title, will give one of the series of five very popular morning coffee concerts in Lynn Town Hall on July 23-27.

Early Music Day on July 21 will feature The Parley of Instruments in St Margaret’s Church and a late night programme, For the Queen’s Delight.

Instant Sunshine will provide an antidote to the Olympics on July 27 – the day the games open – and the early Olympics and Ancient Greece will be covered in an illustrated talk by historian Dr Michael Scott on July 16.

Adding to the variety will be a literary dinner at which the speakers will include thriller writer Philip Kerr, a Royal Geographical Society-IBG lecture by explorer Hugh Thomson, and a visit by Contemporary Consort.

Film reviewer Barry Norman will appear at the festival on July 18 to talk about and show clips of his favourite movies and relate anecdotes relating to the film industry and its stars.

King’s Lynn Town Guides will be offering a variety of walks celebrating Lynn’s rich history during the Festival Fortnight. It is a time when many other West Norfolk organisations also stage events which provide a wealth of interest and opportunities for both visitors and local people.

For programme details visit www.kingslynnfestival.org.uk. Call the festival office on 01553-767557 or the box office which will open in late May at King’s Lynn Corn Exchange on 01553-764864.


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