The UK's best music festivals for classical fans – The Guardian

The UK's best music festivals for classical fans – The Guardian


Aldeburgh Festival

The festival honours its founder Benjamin Britten with two of his operas: a new production by Netia Jones of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Opera North’s production of Billy Budd with Roderick Williams in the title role. There’s a focus on composers Olga Neuwirth and Jörg Widmann and, among other highlights, the Multi-Story Orchestra venture out of their Peckham car park to team with local school children and perform music by Kate Whitley, Handel and Mozart.
9-25 June, Aldeburgh, Suffolk; tickets from £4. snapemaltings.co.uk

Cheltenham music festival

This year, 50 living composers are represented in the programme, which features 20 premieres. The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra perform with their acclaimed new music director Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, I Fagiolini perform Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo and the Philharmonia’s Virtual Orchestra fully immerses you in Sibelius’s 5th.
1-16 July, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire; tickets from £5. cheltenhamfestivals.com/music

Buxton international festival

The annual festival in the beautiful spa town is a must in any opera-lover’s calendar. This year’s productions include Verdi’s Macbeth (Elijah Moshinsky directs), Mozart rarity Lucio Silla and Britten’s Albert Herring with rising young tenor Bradley Smith in the lead role. Highlights of a strong recital programme include Paul Lewis and Sir John Tomlinson, and the Fitzwilliam and Consone Quartets join forces for Mendelssohn’s glorious Octet.
7-23 July, Buxton, Derbyshire; individual opera tickets from £16. buxtonfestival.co.uk

Anna Tsybuleva will perform at Harrogate Music Festival.



Anna Tsybuleva will perform at Harrogate Music Festival. Photograph: Simon Jay Price

Harrogate music festival

Yorkshire’s longest-running arts festival is placing a firm emphasis on emerging talent. BBC Young Musician finalist Ben Goldscheider performs with the EU Chamber Orchestra, 2015’s Leeds Piano competition winner Anna Tsybuleva is among the recitalists, and new commissions by Gareth Williams and Mark Simpson are premiered.
30 June-29 July, Harrogate, North Yorkshire; tickets from £10. harrogateinternationalfestivals.com

Edinburgh international festival

Celebrating its 70th birthday, the festival has diversified under Fergus Linehan, with contemporary music now a strong part of the lineup. The classical offering looks back rather than forward, but there’s John Eliot Gardiner’s Monteverdi, Stuart Skelton and Ed Gardiner in Peter Grimes and Nicola Benedetti with Iván Fischer and his Budapest Festival Orchestra.
4-28 August, various venues, Edinburgh; tickets from £10. eif.co.uk



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