By Chris Bishop
Thursday, February 21, 2013
A world-class orchestra, an iconic saxophonist and Prince Charles’s personal harpist are all on the bill for this year’s King’s Lynn Festival.
It begins on Sunday, July 14, with a rousing Best of British concert, featuring the 100-strong King’s Lynn Festival Chorus with the European Union Chamber Orchestra and trumpet virtuoso Crispian Steele-Perkins, at Lynn Corn Exchange.
It will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation with music played at the ceremony and music by Benjamin Britten to mark the East Anglian composer’s centenary.
The festival will end on Saturday, July 27, with a performance by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, which will include Schubert’s Great Symphony.
Other highlights include saxophonist Courtney Pine and his band, who will be performing at the Corn Exchange on Friday, July 19 and Hannah Stone, the Prince of Wales’s harpist, who will be performing at All Saints Church on July 25.
As the programme was unveiled, artistic director Ambrose Miller said: “It will be a wonderfully lively festival, maintaining its tradition of excellence but also introducing some new features.”
Event chairman Alison Croose said: “It’s very exciting. It’s the culmination of many months of planning which began before last year’s festival. It’s like pulling together a big jigsaw – it’s all got to fit. Such a quality programme comes with a considerable price tag. It would not be possible without the support and encouragement of the borough council.
“Lynn businesses have also been very kind in continuing their sponsorship.”
The council sponsors the event to the tune of £43,000. Leader Nick Daubney said: “It’s a huge promotion for outsiders and a real source of pride for those of us who live here.”
The current BBC Young Musician, Dutch cellist Laura Van Der Heijden, will join the European Union Chamber Orchestra in the beautiful St Nicholas’s Chapel, with its nationally acclaimed acoustic on Tuesday, July 16, when she will perform Haydn’s cello concerto.
One innovation expected to attract national interest will be the performance of Beethoven’s complete cello sonatas on Monday, July 22. They will feature two major names – former BBC Young Musician, cellist Guy Johnston, and pianist Melvyn Tan.
On Thursday, July 25, the festival will return to All Saints Church with a concert by Hannah Stone, the current harpist to the Prince of Wales. The event has special links with Norfolk as the royal harp’s strings are made by Lynn-based Bow Brand International.
Blazin’ Fiddles, one of Scotland’s top traditional bands who perform at the BBC Proms as well as in remote highland village halls, will bring their special brand of passionate and sensitive fiddle music to Lynn for the first time on Friday, July 26.
Classic Buskers communicate their passion for music through their virtuosity and humour which both entertains and educates audiences.
The two highly talented musicians will make a welcome return on Monday, July 22, having first visited Lynn under their previous guise as Cambridge Buskers.
Renowned pianist Peter Donohoe will give a recital on Thursday, July 18, dedicated to the festival’s founder Ruth, Lady Fermoy.