Big names lined up for King's Lynn festival

Alison CrooseAn exciting variety of entertainment, ranging from a top German orchestra to The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, Classic Brit award winners Blake, and clarinetist Emma Johnson will give this summer's King's Lynn Festival especially broad appeal.Alison Croose

An exciting variety of entertainment, ranging from a top German orchestra to The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain and Classic Brit award winners Blake, will give this summer's King's Lynn Festival especially broad appeal.

With favourites from the classical music world, jazz, folk and top-name writers, artistic director Ambrose Miller said the line-up offered 'something for everyone'.

'By widening the appeal of the event we are not compromising our high standards but are continuing our tradition of excellence in all that we do,' he said.

Classical music remains the cornerstone of the 59th festival which runs from July 12-25 and includes a visit by Berlin Symphoniker, a leading German orchestra.

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Classic Brit 2008 Album of the Year award winners Blake, four classically-trained singers who have successfully bridged the gap between pop and opera, will make their first appearance in the area. Their meteoric rise to stardom has included singing at the Queen's 80th birthday party at Windsor Castle, and their version of Swing Low became the official anthem of the England team in the 2007 rugby world cup.

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain has proved a sensation, selling out where ever they appear. Their first gig in 1985 was intended as a one-off but they were soon touring the world and have been described as 'a musical phenomenon'.

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Jazz is represented by the Mike Piggott Hot Club Trio with their tribute to the legendary jazz violinist Stefane Grapelli, and folk music by Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick.

Former director general of MI5, Dame Stella Rimington, and writer and critic A N Wilson will be the speakers at the literary dinner, and other writers appearing at the festival are the Rt Hon Shirley Williams, who will talk about her life and career, and historian David Starkey, a festival vice-president.

The opening concert, in St Nicholas' Chapel, will feature King's Lynn Festival Chorus and the European Union Chamber Orchestra who will perform Faure's Requiem and Haydn's St Nicholas' Mass.

Two days later the orchestra will appear with pianist Freddy Kempf, a festival vice-president, who is set to win even more admirers with a performance of a Mozart piano concerto.

Another favourite, clarinettist Emma Johnson, will return for a recital will Andrew West (piano) and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment will feature in the early music day presenting A Grand Tour of Italy.

The Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields will make a return, and the final concert will be given by Berlin Symphoniker in an all-Beethoven programme including the piano concerto No 5 and the Pastoral Symphony.

The highly popular series of five morning coffee concerts will feature rising stars of the classical music world.

The brochure with full details will be published in early May and the box office will open at Lynn Corn Exchange in mid-May.

For more information call 01553-767557 or visit

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