Great music in beautiful places…
Welcome to the Ryedale Festival
Great music, outstanding performers, beautiful venues, scenic countryside, a unique and friendly atmosphere: welcome to the 2016 Ryedale Festival
The late music of Beethoven takes centre stage, including all of his late string quartets. These extraordinary masterpieces are heard alongside the poems they inspired T.S Eliot to write over a century later. His Four Quartets also introduce a festival theme of ‘time’ that is reflected in works such as Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, Haydn’s Clock Symphony, Handel’s Alcina, Jonathan Dove’s The Passing of the Year, Vaughan Williams’s On Wenlock Edge, and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.
There are other threads to follow through the fe stival too. Sir James MacMillan is Composer in Residence and there are many opportunities to discover his music, which fuses influences including his Scottish heritage and Catholic faith into a language that is both accessible and deeply expressive. The festival also marks the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare with a series of festival events celebrating his legacy – including one recreating the sights and sounds of an Elizabethan tavern!
The music of Bach is heard by candlelight in a series of late-night concerts; the festival also breaks new ground with six world premieres and a UK premiere. The sights of the festival areas varied as its sounds, with events including a Triple Concert at Castle Howard, two Double Concerts at Sledmere, and a series of Coffee Concerts bringing music to the many beautiful country churches of the area. Away from the music, a series of literary events Ways with Words celebrates the work of five outstanding women writers.
The festival also breaks new ground with seven world premieres and presents a new production of Handel’s great fantasy-opera Alcina. Festival partners and artists in residence include the Royal Northern Sinfonia, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Heath Quartet and Jeremy Irons. A series of workshops gives local musicians the chance to work with world-class visiting performers, while the Ryedale 500 scheme offers tickets to help more young people explore the festival.
To the many loyal audience members who return year after year, thank you for your continued support and generosity; to those who will visit for the first time, I hope you enjoy the festival’s special magic. I look forward to seeing you all there.