13 things not to miss at this year’s King’s Lynn Festival

Classical guitarist Craig Ogden, appearing at the 2014 King's Lynn Festival.

Classical guitarist Craig Ogden, appearing at the 2014 King's Lynn Festival. - Credit: Archant

This year sees the 64th King's Lynn Festival - and organisers are promising the usual eclectic mixture of top-name concerts and events, from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to an Antiques Roadshow favourite, and from jazz star Clare Teal to BBC COast presenter Nicholas Crane.

King's Lynn Festival organisers are expecting brisk box office business when tickets for this summer's wide-ranging programme go on sale on Monday.

Ticket sales got off to a flying start with priority booking which reflected public enthusiasm for the varied two-week line-up which includes the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, pianist John Lill, Clare Teal with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, the Fairey Brass Band, the Orchestra of St John's, guitarist Craig Ogden with The London Tango Quintet and cabaret duo, Kit and McConnel.

'We have already received a lot of positive comments about the great breadth of interest in the programme and anticipate that interest to be translated into a busy box office,' said Festival chairman Alison Croose. 'For many the highlight of the festival is to hear and see a major orchestra. As well as the RPO this year there will also be the Orchestra of St John's and English Concert to enjoy. Lots of people tell us how much they look forward to hearing a brass band and this year, for the first time, we feature the prize-winning Fairey Band.

'John Lill has built up a following at Lynn and we look forward to his return, and we will also welcome back guitarist Craig Ogden and jazz singer Clare Teal who have both given sell-out festival concerts at Lynn in recent years,' Mrs Croose said.

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1 - Kit Hesketh-Harvey and pianist James McConnel, who have both lived in Norfolk for many years, have promised plenty of local flavour in their Lynn cabaret performance on July 25, not long before they set off for a prestige venue at Edinburgh Festival.

2 - Geographer and BBC Coast presenter Nicholas Crane will talk about his first solo adventure as a 14-year-old schoolboy living near Norwich. His destination... King's Lynn! His talk, Maplines, to be given on July 16 in conjunction with the Royal Geographical Society, will focus on the fascination with and importance of maps and include many anecdotes relating to his travels and adventures – and the story behind the ubiquitous umbrella in his rucksack...

Artistic director Ambrose Miller said: 'The programme has very broad appeal and includes a wide range of music performed by international musicians maintaining the Festival's tradition of excellence.'

3 - The festival will have a rousing start on July 13 with a brass spectacular staged by the Fairey Band, one of the world's finest brass bands. The concert will include the premiere of a short, specially-commissioned piece marking cultural links between Lynn and Amiens in France.

4- As well as marking the start of the Great War 100 years ago the Festival will also mark the death 200 years ago of Charles Burney, the distinguished musical historian who was church organist at St Margaret's, Lynn, for nine years.

There is a coincidental link between the two – the war covered all Europe as did Burney's two great journals of his travels. So the Festival takes European diversity as its keynote and the theme will be reflected in several concerts including the King's Lynn Festival Chorus performance of Brahms' Requiem on July 20.

5 - Charles Burney will be celebrated with a special Burney Day on July 19 when Dr Peter Sabor will talk about the musician and historian's friendship with Dr Johnson. English Concert's performance will trace Burney's travels round Europe and an organ recital will include some of his music.

6 - The Ruth Fermoy Memorial Concert, remembering the Festival's founder, will be given by the Navarra String Quartet at St George's Guildhall on July 17. The quartet has an international reputation and is described as one of the most dynamic and poetic quartets of today.

7 - Pianist John Lill will return to play music by Mozart, Schumann, Brahms and Beethoven on July 24.

After her sell-out Lynn Festival concert two years ago jazz singer Clare Teal will be back as special guest of the National

Youth Jazz Orchestra on July 18. Another artist making a welcome return to Lynn will be guitarist Craig Ogden who will appear with London Tango Quintet on July 23.

8 - The Jubilee String Quartet will launch the Festival's popular series of five morning coffee concerts at Lynn Town Hall on July 21. But first they will perform an afternoon concert at Park House, Sandringham, on July 20. The coffee concerts feature rising stars of the classical music world in a variety of ensembles and programmes.

9 - Antiques Roadshow ceramics expert Lars Tharp will give an illustrated lecture on the importance of Living Up to One's Teapot on July 21.

10 - Renaissance wind band Blondel will celebrate the joys of summer at All Saints' Church on July 22 and Contemporary Consort will feature works by eminent British composer David Matthews who will also talk about his music on July 14.

11 - During the final concert by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on July 26 acclaimed Bulgarian cellist Michael Petrov will perform Elgar's Cello Concerto. Brian Schembri will conduct Brahm's Second Symphony to bring down the curtain on the 2014 Festival.

12 - The Festival exhibition will feature work by West Norfolk Artists' Association in the Fermoy Gallery at Lynn Arts Centre. The Festival is also supporting an exhibition in the Custom House focusing on Charles Burney.

13 - Two films, The Red Violin and Oh, What a Lovely War!, are being shown in partnership with Lynn Community Film Club.

The 64th King's Lynn Festival runs from July 13-26.

The box office opens on Monday (April 28) – contact Lynn Corn Exchange on 01553 764864, visit www.kingslynnfestival.org.uk or call the Festival office on 01553 767557.

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