Public booking for the 2019 Beverley Chamber Music Festival opens today

1st July 2019

We are pleased to announce that tickets for the festival are now on sale. Get yours today via the Tickets page on this website.

Join festivalgoers from across the country for four days of sparkling music-making in the heart of the East Riding of Yorkshire. This year we invite you to discover Russian musical treasures as we explore masterpieces of chamber music from that vast country. Three highlights include:

  • Borodin’s luscious String Quartet No. 2 performed by ensemble in residence, the world-renowned Brodsky Quartet, in the opening concert ‘Notturno’.
  • A late-night performance of Shostakovich’s last work, his deeply spiritual Viola Sonata, by Sarah-Jane Bradley and Martin Roscoe, tickets for which start at £5!
  • Rachmaninov’s passionate Cello Sonata performed in recital by Laura van der Heijden and Libby Burgess. Winner of the 2012 BBC Young Musician of the Year and a fluent Russian speaker, Laura graduated from Cambridge University only a fortnight ago. She has spent the last three years studying for a Bachelor’s Degree in music at St John’s College while also maintaining a busy concert diary. Her debut disc of Russian repertoire, ‘1948’, won an Edison Classical Award as well as Newcomer of the Year at the BBC Music Magazine Awards. We greatly look forward to welcoming this very special emerging talent to the festival for the first time in the autumn.

Into the woods
We also invite you to experience Elgar’s ‘woodland magic’ as we trace a journey through all three of his great chamber works. Written 100 years ago, during a period of recuperation and inspiration at Brinkwells, the cottage in Fittleworth secured by Elgar’s wife Alice, all three works are imbued with a strong sense of the woodland surroundings or, as Alice had it, ‘woodland magic’.

  • Outstanding violinist Jennifer Pike performs Elgar’s impassioned Violin Sonata with Martin Roscoe in the closing concert of the festival, ‘The Lark Ascending’.
  • The Brodsky Quartet play Elgar’s brooding String Quartet in ‘Captured Sunshine’, a concert in which the quartet are also joined by Laura van der Heijden for performances of Schubert’s epic String Quintet and Boccherini’s String Quintet in C Major Op. 30 No. 6 ‘La musica notturna dell estrade di Madrid’.
  • Martin Roscoe and the Brodsky Quartet perform Elgar’s devastatingly beautiful Piano Quintet in the opening concert of the festival.

Big sky
Beverley boasts a number of handsome tree-lined streets, but it lies within one of the least wooded regions of the UK. And so we are pleased to be ‘greening’ the county musically this year. In this newsletter we feature a strikingly bleak, atmospheric corner of the county, well worth a visit during your time at the festival: the Holderness peninsula. Bounded by the North Sea to the east and the Humber Estuary to the south, topologically the flatlands of Holderness have more in common with The Netherlands than with other parts of Yorkshire! The Prime Meridian passes through this area of rich agricultural land near Patrington – which is home to, St Patrick’s Church, ‘The Queen of Holderness’, considered to be one of the most beautiful buildings in England.

The tip of the peninsula, Spurn Point, is a long stretch of sand extending three and a half miles into the sea – an excellent place from which to look up and marvel at the huge skies of the East Riding. You can roam the dunes on foot (although high tide does cut off the Point from the mainland so do check the tide times carefully) or take Spurn Safaris’ giant 4×4 over to the restored lighthouse. We hope that those of you who make it to the Point enjoy the feeling of being at the end of the world and the bluster of the sea air.

Discovery events
This year the festival features enlightening talks from two distinguished speakers on music, both of whom are regulars on BBC Radio 3 and who are also addressing audiences at the Proms this summer:

  • Marina Frolova-Walker gives a morning talk about the fascinating life and world of Dimitri Shostakovich.
  • Katy Hamilton gives the pre-supper talk ‘Written on the skies’ – Elgar’s late chamber works in which she leads us through these rich, sometimes unsettling pieces through the words of the violinist WH Reed – who was involved in the premieres of all three – and the critic and playwright George Bernard Shaw.
Farewell Tony
It is with much sadness that we learned of the death of the composer Dr Anthony Hedges on 19th June, aged 88.  Tony had been loyal supporter of the festival for many years.  A wonderful musician, he will be greatly missed by many.  It was a joy to feature his music in the festival last year.  Below is a picture of Tony standing to receive rapturous applause after Martin & Libby’s performance of his Four Concert Duos.  It was lovely to listen to the tribute to him on Last Word on BBC Radio 4 in the week which can be heard here (at 20:06).

On the wireless … and TV
Many of you will have heard Petroc Trelawny mentioning the festival on the BBC Radio 3 Breakfast show this morning which you can listen to here (at 2:18:11).  We are proud that news of this year’s festival will have reached the show’s ¾ million listeners and we’re grateful to Petroc for his unstinting support of culture in our region.

During the show Petroc was reminiscing about his time at the recent BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition.  We are thrilled that New Paths artist Katie Bray won the Dame Joan Sutherland Audience Prize and we send her massive congratulations.  Her superb singing in the competition brought back happy memories of her electrifying performances in this year’s Spring Festival alongside Libby, Martin and Aoife Miskelly.  It was also a joy to see hugely popular New Paths alumni Jonathan Lemalu and Katarina Karnéus in the commentary box providing such thoughtful and articulate insight into the whole thing.  It makes our heart sing to see these artists connected with Beverley doing such good work out in the world.

Others will have heard New Paths’ founder Roland Deller speaking with Burnsy on BBC Radio Humberside this morning.   You can listen to their conversation here (at 2:17:40).

If you want to hear even more talk of the festival live on the radio then tune into Beverley FM on Thursday at 11:30am when Libby speaks with Roy Woodcock about the festival from the artistic perspective.

We greatly look forward to welcoming you to the festival in under three months.  Until then we wish you a glorious summer.  Whether you are looking for a musical adventure or a musical retreat, Beverley is the place to be this autumn.  Buy your tickets today and start planning your journey.  We leave you with a joyful image from the festival’s home – lovely St Mary’s – from the spring: Libby, Martin, Katie and Aoife.