King’s Lynn Festival line-up revealed

At the launch of this years King's Lynn Festival are (from left) Veronica Hutchby, Ivan Ball, Ema Ho

At the launch of this years King's Lynn Festival are (from left) Veronica Hutchby, Ivan Ball, Ema Holman, Kate Francis, Ian Barton, Veronica Sekules and Alison Croose. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

World-famous orchestras will open and close the 68th King's Lynn Festival which offers a packed two-week feast of music and the arts.

At the launch of this years King's Lynn Festival are (from left) Ema Holman, Alison Croose and Kate

At the launch of this years King's Lynn Festival are (from left) Ema Holman, Alison Croose and Kate Francis. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

The festival, renowned for its top quality and broad appeal, today unveiled its most diverse programme to date.

'Each year, the festival board tries to make the festival bigger and better,' said its chair Alsion Croose. 'It's a big challenge, but we're determined to maintain the festival's tradition of excellence.

'Our aim is not only to enrich the lives of West Norfolk people, but to attract people from far and wide to boost our tourism industry.'

West Norfolk Mayor Carol Bower said: 'We're extremely lucky to have such prestigious performers and celebrities from far and wide playing in King's Lynn.

'The wonderful thing is that this brings people into the town, they stay locally, we find that people return year after year because of the festival.

'It's exactly what we want for the town. The arts and business can work together really well.'

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This year's festival will welcome the Halle Orchestra and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra as well as the BBC Big Band.

There will be a special treat for Strictly Come Dancing fans when 2017 finalist Giovanni Pernice ends his 56-date national tour at the festival. The dance spectacular featuring seven world-class dancers will be staged at the Corn Exchange in partnership with Alive Leisure on July 18. Giovanni will also hold a masterclass for local dance enthusiasts.

Classical music provides the cornerstones of the programme and this year's Early Music Day on July 21 will feature another internationally-renowned ensemble The Sixteen and the festival's artist-in-residence, Polish cellist Marcin Zdunik.

The Halle Orchestra will launch the festival with works including Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and Vaughan Williams' Norfolk Rhapsody No 1 and The Wasps. Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Victor Aviat, will present the final concert, an all-Tchaikovsky programme.

Artistic director Ambrose Miller has chosen a Sounds East theme show-casing music from Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, Russia and Poland including exciting music played by virtuoso Slovakian violinists, brothers Vladimir and Anton, who were special guests in last year's Friday Night is Music Night recorded at Lynn. They return on July 26.

Other leading names from the classical music world include pianist Llyr Williams and the Chiaroscuro Quartet (July 24) who will present the Ruth Fermoy Memorial Concert in memory of the Festival's founder. A series of five coffee concerts will be given by rising stars of the classical music world, the Contemporary Consort will feature composer Roxanna Panufinik (July 16), King's Lynn Festival Chorus will perform Rachmaninov Vespers (July 17), and Welsh harpist Eira Lynn Jones (July 18) will be among musicians performing in Lynn's beautiful churches. West Acre Theatre will also host a string quartet concert.

Virtuoso Slovakian violinists Vladimir and Anton, who were special guests on Friday Night is Music Night recorded at the festival last year, return on July 26. They will perform exciting gipsy music from Hungary and Russia and their own arrangements of well-known songs.

Adding to the programme's variety are leading British folk singer Eddi Reader, and Los Pacaminos with Paul Young. Andrew Graham Dixon will give two talks, one on his latest project, Royal art work, and historian Suzannah Lipscomb will talk on witches.

The principle exhibition, Lynn from All Angles, in the Fermoy Gallery, will feature the work of two artists. Jon Harris from Cambridge has long-enjoyed capturing views of Lynn and its waterfront. He is a great admirer of the work of Walter Dexter, a prolific artist keen to show the beauty of the town which was his home for many years until his death in 1958. Both were fascinated by views of the River Ouse and its waterfront which will be well-represented in the exhibition.

The festival will also include pop-up concerts, films and walks.

Brochures will be available in late March/early April. Priority booking opens on April 3 and general booking on April 23. Call the box office on 01553 764864, click here or call the festival office on 01553 767557.

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