This year, Aldeburgh Festival celebrates its 50th anniversary of music at Snape Maltings.
The festival, which opens today (9 June), hosts two of Benjamin Britten’s operas, alongside residencies from musicians and ensembles from the UK and beyond, alongside a comprehensive series of talks, walks, films and exhibitions.
In recognition of the event’s opening, PRS for Music’s classical account manager Harriet Wybor has scoured the rich programme to pick out some of her highlights and curate this week’s M playlist…
Benjamin Britten: The Building of the House
An anniversary toast to Snape Maltings with the overture that Britten wrote for the opening night of the Concert Hall 50 years ago; on 17 June Mirga Gražinyt?-Tyla conducts the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with Aldeburgh Voices and Aldeburgh Music Club. Other Britten highlights in this year’s festival include the operas Billy Budd and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Oliver Knussen: Ophelia’s Last Dance
On 15 June, Tamsin Waley-Cohen and Huw Watkins perform two of Knussen’s recent chamber works, Ophelia’s Last Dance (2010) and Reflections (2016). The programme also features Watkins’ own Sarabande and sonatas by Schubert, Janá?ek and Ravel, chosen by Knussen.
Kate Whitley: I am I say
The Multi-Story Orchestra return to an Ipswich car park on 24 June with children from Ipswich primary schools, with the aim of ‘bringing classical music to unexpected places’. Alongside Handel and Mozart, they will perform I am I say, which was written by the orchestra’s co-founder, Kate Whitley.
Nishat Khan: Dhun Nishat Khan
Throughout 17 June, Nishat Khan brings the tradition of North Indian classical music to the festival, with three concerts at 8am, 4.30pm and 10.30pm which reflect the responsive and evolving nature of raags, each performance being unique to its moment and place. Khan will create music for each part of the day: a Suffolk summer morning, the point at which afternoon tilts towards evening and late into the night, as the cycle of the day approaches its end and its renewal.
Deborah Pritchard: Wall of Water
On 13 June, Harriet MacKenzie and Catrin Finch perform the world premiere of Edge, a double concerto for violin, harp and string orchestra by Deborah Pritchard, supported by the PRS for Music Foundation’s Open Fund. Edge will be performed alongside Wall of Water; both works are after paintings of the same name by artist Maggi Hambling, which will be projected during the concert.
Aldeburgh Festival runs from 9 to 25 June. For more info, see https://snapemaltings.co.uk/season/aldeburgh-festival/