All the world’s a stage: Actor Richard Avery

New Paths is delighted to announce that eminent local actor, Richard Avery, will make a special guest appearance as narrator in the Shakespeare celebration at the East Riding Theatre on Sunday 10th April at 3.30pm. Mr Avery will join forces with Mary Bevan (soprano), Marcus Farnsworth (baritone), Simon Tandree (viola) and Libby Burgess (piano) for the one-off matinee performance.

Richard is a former Royal Shakespeare Company, Young Vic, and Bristol Old Vic actor. He is a board member of the East Riding Theatre, playing Jacob Marley in its first in-house production, A Christmas Carol, in December 2014.

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare and the special concert is part of celebrations taking place around the world. The programme includes some of the most well-loved musical settings of Shakespeare plus some little-known gems. Interspersed among the songs will be prose, sonnets and speeches read by Mr Avery.

Two violas! Meghan Cassidy

We’re delighted that violist Meghan Cassidy will be joining us for the first two days of the festival, playing in the Opening Night and Déjeuner à Paris concerts. For these she will replace Simon Tandree, who will still perform in his remaining concerts as planned.

Read more about Meghan here.

Beverley violin maker to open workshop to public during festival

We are pleased to announce that Beverley violin maker, Peter Hall, is joining in the New Paths festivities by opening his workshop to the public on Saturday 9th April. Members of the public will be given the special opportunity to see this craftsman at work.

Peter will be joined by his students from the Yorkshire Stringed Instrument Fellowship in Harrogate who will demonstrate the centuries old art of violin making. Festival artists will be giving short informal performances throughout the day at Peter’s studio.

Visit Peter Hall Violins on Norwood between 10am and 4pm to learn more about the craft of violin making and to enjoy some fun pop-up performances by festival artists.

Triumphant opening event: Come & Sing

Our opening event was a resounding success with a packed Minster, wonderful music-making, and a huge amount of money raised for the Alan Spedding Memorial Fund. Read more and enjoy pictures from the day here.

Festival brochure available

Our festival brochure is available here. It gives full details of all events, venues and tickets, in a downloadable PDF form.

To receive a hard copy, please send us your postal address via the contact form, and we will pop one in the post.

Festival talks

Details of both talks during the festival are now confirmed:

Of romance, role-models and… hedgehogs? Johannes Brahms meets the Schumanns
Thursday 7th April 6:30pm-7:15pm, Peter Harrison Room, Beverley Minster

In advance of our opening concert, researcher, writer and presenter Katy Hamilton gives us an introduction to the complex musical and personal triangle of Robert and Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms. Taking our name, New Paths, from Robert’s response to Brahms’ music (‘Neue Bahnen’), we are focussing on the music of these three musicians throughout the festival – so come and find out about them! Katy has made several appearances on BBC Radio 3, as a Brahms specialist and as part of the CD Review team, and has provided concert introductions and programme notes for the National Gallery, the Victoria & Albert Museum, Royal College of Music, and the Wigmore Hall.

Shakespeare in English Romantic Song
Sunday 10th April 2:30pm-3:15pm, Beverley Memorial Hall

Well-known to local audiences as an esteemed professor at the University of Hull, and to international audiences as a leading Shakespeare music scholar, Professor Christopher R Wilson here gives us an insight into Shakespeare in English Romantic Song, ahead of our Shakespeare Celebration. His book Music in Shakespeare is the most comprehensive study of all the musical terms found in Shakespeare’s complete works and is acknowledged as an indispensable reference work for scholars and practitioners. Come and glean insights into the afternoon’s programme from the top expert!

Both events are free, and places can be reserved by emailing

Baritone: Alexander Robin Baker

We will be joined during the festival by baritone Alexander Robin Baker, singing English song in the War Commemoration concert and taking part in our Opera Gala.

Here he is singing Ya vas lyublyu, which will feature in our Opera Gala:

“The production was fortunate in fielding a strongly played, funny Papageno in Alexander Robin Baker, whose attractive voice and natural comic timing had the audience eating out of his hand and his robust way of charming the birds out of the trees.” – Classical Source

Tenor: Nick Pritchard

Our opening concert will feature the first ever song cycle, 200 years old this year. Beethoven’s An die ferne Geliebte is a beautiful evocative tale of love transported through nature, and we are delighted that tenor Nick Pritchard will sing it for us.

Nick is busy singing St John and St Matthew Passions in the coming months, including a semi-staged performance in St Albans Cathedral. He will also be singing roles for Opera North and English Touring Opera this season, including the world premiere of Mark Simpson’s new chamber opera Pleasure, a family tragedy played out against the backdrop of a gay nightclub, which will first be performed in Leeds.

Here is Nick singing some more familiar repertoire – Schubert’s Ganymed – last year at the Southwell Music Festival, accompanied by Libby Burgess. Together they will also perform Schubert in our opening concert.

Flautist: Ian Denley

We are delighted to welcome local man Ian Denley as our festival flautist.

Ian is known to local audiences as principal flute in the Hull Philharmonic and visiting tutor in flute at The University of Hull – but he is also an experienced recitalist and concerto soloist and has played on BBC Radio and at the Wigmore Hall.

Mezzo-soprano: Anna Huntley

Anna Huntley is taking the music world by storm at the moment, and has just been listed as this month’s BBC Music Magazine ‘Rising Star’ in their ‘Great Artists of Tomorrow’ series. Congratulations Anna!

Here she is singing a tearjerking The Water of Tyne – Anna’s own part of the world – recently at the Wigmore Hall:

Anna will be singing in various concerts throughout the festival – exquisite songs by Fauré and Hahn in our French lunchtime concert, rich songs by Brahms including his atmospheric viola songs in our Viennese coffee concert, and operatic favourites in our Saturday night opera gala.