Festival opens in nine days: 9 reasons to be in Beverley next week

16th September 2019

The much-anticipated 2019 Beverley Chamber Music Festival tees off next Wednesday.  In 9 days, a cohort of outstanding musicians arrive in town for a long weekend of exhilarating music-making.

Inspired by Beverley’s historic golf course – one of the oldest in the North of England – we chart a quick nine-hole course map through the festival.  Here are 9 reasons why you should be in the heart of the East Riding of Yorkshire next week/end:

1. Martin Roscoe and Libby Burgess are joined by an exceptional line-up of artists – Jennifer Pike, Laura van der Heijden, Kitty Whately, Sarah-Jane Bradley, Onyx Brass and the Brodsky Quartet.

2. Hear Elgar’s great works of chamber music – the piano quintet, the string quartet and the violin sonata – written one hundred years ago.

3. Bask in masterpieces of the Russian repertoire including Borodin’s much-loved String Quartet No 2 and the Rachmaninov Cello Sonata.

4. Our venue, St Mary’s, is a stunning space in which to experience live music – beauty abounds in this exquisite building.  Savour its superb acoustic in Firebox, the Saturday lunchtime concert by Onyx Brass.  And visit the South Transept to see a rare exhibition of large linocuts by Andrew Anderson.

5. The Friday lunchtime recital features the world premiere of ‘Godiva’, a new monodrama for mezzo-soprano and piano by Juliana Hall on a libretto by Caitlin Vincent, alongside ever-popular luscious songs with viola by Brahms and Bridge.

6. We welcome two sought-after speakers on music – fresh from the BBC Proms – to give talks about the music on the programme.  Both talks are free!  On Thursday morning, Marina Frolova-Walker gives an insight into the life and world of Shostakovich – whose music has a prominent place in our Russian theme.  ‘Written on the skies’ is the alluring title of Katy Hamilton’s Friday afternoon talk on Elgar’s late chamber works.

7. With its medieval skyline, bustling market, rich cultural heritage, beautiful architecture and characterful pubs, Beverley is a wonderful place to explore.  We are proud that this hidden gem of a town is home to one of England’s ‘most magnificent libraries’ (see Historic England’s article of last week here).

8. The Friday of the festival ends with Captured Moonlight, a late-night event combining Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata and Shostakovich’s spiritual Viola Sonata – his last work.  Martin Roscoe’s recordings of the Beethoven piano sonatas have attracted great critical acclaim, and this will be a special opportunity to hear him performing one of the most famous of those sonatas live in the atmospheric surroundings of St Mary’s.  Tickets start at £5!

9. Young string players from across Yorkshire are working together with players from the BBC Symphony Orchestra on the Saturday of the festival to present a matinee performance in Beverley Minster of engaging works by Warlock, Britten, Mozart and Piazzolla.  The day is designed to give those young musicians a boost at the start of the new school year.  Countless musical careers have begun in the East Riding Youth Orchestra over the years and we’re proud to be doing our bit to help nurture and inspire the next generation.

Treat yourself to a musical adventure in the East Riding next week/end.  Tickets are still available.  Buy yours today.  A warm welcome awaits you to Beverley.