King’s Lynn Festival line-up announced - double celebration for Diamond Jubilee and Olympics

The King's Singers, Philharmonia Orchestra, Grimethorpe Colliery Band and Freddie Kempf all head to Norfolk for summer celebration

The King's Lynn Festival 2012 is set to be a double celebration for both the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics.

The line-up for the summer event, from July 15 to 28, includes a return for the King's Singers who will celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee with a programme of music at the town's St Nicholas' Chapel.

The 62nd festival has attracted a range of international names, including the Philharmonia Orchestra, pianist Freddie Kempf and BBC Young Musician Lara Melda.

'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,' said artistic adviser Ambrose Miller.

The Philharmonia Orchestra returns to the town after a five year break and will give the final concert of the programme on Saturday, July 28.

The King's Singers were last in King's Lynn around 30 years ago and the six singers will be performing a specially devised programme, Royal Rhymes and Rounds - music from medieval times to the present day - to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

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Dr Michael Scott will present an illustrated talk on the ancient and modern Olympics on July 16, just 11 days before London 2012 is opened.

King's Lynn Festival Chorus will perform a concert version of George Gershwin's opera Porgy and Bess on July 22.

'People will leave the concert humming and singing some wonderful tunes,' said chorus chairman Nick Balaam.

BBC3's Jazz Singer of the Year Claire Martin will join pianist Richard Rodney Bennett and celebrate the music of composer and lyricist Irving Berlin with their programme A Couple of Swells.

The festival begins with the Grimethorpe Colliery Band at the Corn Exchange on Sunday, July 15, and the programme will include William Walton's Crown Imperial which was played at the Queen's Coronation.

The literary dinner will include thriller writer Philip Kerr while explorer Hugh Thomson will be giving a talk on his 400 mile journey from Dorset to Norfolk along the Icknield Way.

The festival will also include the popular coffee concerts and a couple of slots are still awaiting confirmation and will be announced at a later date.

This year's Festival Exhibition will feature works by members of the 19th century Norwich School alongside artists who are inspired by the East Anglian terrain. It is being run in partnership with Sherie Naidoo who runs art dealership Artlands and will be staged at Lynn Arts Centre from July 16 to 28.

The festival office can be contacted on 01553 767557 for more information and the box office opens in late May.

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