Programme announced for 2018 Swaledale Festival

Alexandra Whittingham.

The award-winning Swaledale Festival has launched its 2018 programme.

Artistic director Malcolm Creese, in his 11th year at the helm, describes this year’s line-up as “our most ambitious yet”.

The international programme features performers including The Hallé, Brighouse & Rastrick Band, violinist Jennifer Pike, the Sacconi Quartet with tenor James Gilchrist, guitarists Craig Ogden and Gary Ryan, Welsh harpist Catrin Finch with Senegalese kora virtuoso Seckou Keita, pianist Martin Roscoe with wind soloists from the European Union Chamber Orchestra, the Apollo Saxophone Quartet, gypsy-klezmer group Dodo Street Band, vocal ensemble the Marian Consort, pianist David Owen Norris, and the North’s favourite folk trio The Young’uns.

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Syrian musician Maya Youssef will give a concert with her trio, and there will be two performances of Bach’s keyboard masterpiece Goldberg Variations – by the celebrated pianist Angela Hewitt and top harpsichord soloist Mahan Esfahani.

The Aurora Duo.

The festival’s music programme will be complemented by a broad offering of theatre, poetry, dance, comedy, film, family events, workshops, art exhibitions, talks and guided walks.

Mathematician Marcus du Sautoy will give the tenth Reeth Lecture and the festival will feature a large number of local performers, including three brass bands, two choirs, a youth dance performance, a theatre group and exhibitions by a number of talented visual artists.

Events take place in charming venues all over Swaledale, Wensleydale and Arkengarthdale – from village churches, chapels and halls to theatres, cinemas and arts centres.

Swaledale Festival, which was started back in 1972, commissions new music and artworks and supports emerging performers with its young artists platform.

One of this year’s emerging stars to feature at the festival will be classical guitarist Alexandra Whittingham.

The festival’s award-winning community and education programme will bring top musicians into a dozen schools and five local care homes this year – to perform and conduct workshops.

The 2018 Swaledale Festival runs from Saturday 26 May to Saturday 9 June.

Full details can be found at www.swalefest.org