Countdown begins to Swaledale Festival


The countdown has begun to the award-winning Swaledale Festival is now just around the corner.

From 25 May to 8 June, 69 events will take place across the Dales in venues ranging from tiny chapels to large halls, as well as schools and care homes.

The programme includes classical, folk, jazz and world music, as well as film, talks, poetry, family events, art exhibitions, walks and even a fell run.

This year’s line-up includes big stars such as cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, flamenco icon Paco Peña, top violinist Tasmin Little, Northumbrian pipes legend Kathryn Tickell, and reigning BBC Young Musician Lauren Zhang, alongside highly talented performers from nearer to home, such as bass trombonist Simon Chorley from Wensleydale, Yorkshire-born bassoonist Catriona McDermid, pianist Richard Uttley, soprano Rowan Pierce, baritone Miles Taylor, and Teesdale-based poet Mary Jane Holmes.

Local brass bands will also feature, and the Swale Singers will perform Brahms’s German Requiem.

The Armonico Consort will perform Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas at St Mary’s in Richmond and the outstanding London Tango Trio will play in Grinton Church.

A classical music group from Denmark will make its Swaledale Festival debut this year — the Esbjerg Ensemble will perform glorious Beethoven and Nielsen in Grinton and Mahler and Mussorgsky in Richmond.

There is a series of free exhibitions including the remarkable young artist Nel Hume’s vibrant paintings at the National Park Centre in Bainbridge, cartoons by John Longstaff (aka Cluff), and Michael Bilton’s ‘Flamenco Sketches’ in St. Andrews in Grinton.

An exciting innovation for this year is a specially-produced beer to celebrate the Festival: Swaledale Festivale will be brewed by the superb Yorkshire Dales Brewery and will be available on tap in pubs in Askrigg, Grinton and Muker.

Artistic Director Malcolm Creese said: “We offer a varied programme of the highest quality this year, and I can’t wait to see lots of happy people in the audience.”

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