A STAGGERING amount of musical talent is in the line-up for this year’s Ulverston International Music Festival.
Headlined by virtuoso violinist Nicola Benedetti, the festival runs from June 6-15 and includes everything from guitar and piano recitals to the chance to take part in a tango extravaganza.
Nicola needs little introduction.
At just 26 she is already regarded as one of the world’s finest and most in-demand musicians and was in commanding form alongside the Halle Orchestra gracing the Lakeland Sinfonia Concert Society series in Kendal two years ago.
Her 2012 album The Silver Violin not only topped the classical charts but also entered pop’s top 30, opening up the classical scene to many young people.
One of her passions is education through the art of music.
Nicola’s festival appearance will be on Sunday, June 15 (6pm) at the Coronation Hall performing in a trio with her boyfriend, German cellist Leonard Elschenbroich, and Russian pianist Alexei Grynyuk. The festival’s final concert also welcomes back the Northern Chamber Orchestra under the baton of John Gibbons. Festival founder and organiser Anthony Hewitt makes his conducting debut during the concert on the podium for Beethoven’s 2nd Symphony.
Another UIMF highlight promises to be Jack Liebeck's appearance in Virtuoso Violin on June 12. Jack is one of the most compelling young violinists on the world concert platform. He received a Classical Brit Award nomination for his debut album, and featured as soloist on the film scores of Jane Eyre and the 2013 Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA Nominated soundtrack for Anna Karenina.
Audience participation features in the opening concert Tango Milonga on Friday, June 6, at the Coronation Hall, when bandoneonist Eduardo García returns with his soulful Piazzolla Tango arrangements, joined by Anthony Hewitt and David Le Page. Miriam y Dante mesmerised the audience with their scintillating steps and the duo return this year with the additional element of a Milonga, or audience dance, which gives members of the audience the chance to take to the dance floor.
The Latin-American theme continues on Tuesday, June 10, with classy Brazilian guitarist Fabio Zanon in a full solo evening recital. Another festival innovation is the combination of comedy and classical music with multi-talented comedian and musician Rainer Hersch in With All Classical Music Explained, on Saturday, June 14 (11am).
Jazz night is at the Coro on the Friday, June 13 (7.30pm) and stars multi-award winning Ronnie Scott's headliner Liane Carroll with top jazz pianist Gwilym Simcock, while on Saturday, June 14 (7.30pm), local singing talent shares the spotlight at Ulverston Parish Church with John Gibbons conducting the Northern Chamber Orchestra and the fabulous Ulverston Festival Chorus.
Tickets and full details of the festival are available from the Coronation Hall box office (01229 587140) or at www.ulverstonmusicfestival.co.uk.