Top classical music gathering celebrates 30 years as Cumbria's flagship festival

LAKE District Summer Music has announced another quality line-up for this year’s festival.

Running from August 2-15, with almost 50 events, LDSM celebrates 30 years as Cumbria's flagship festival with a marvellous mix of music marking many anniversaries – from Shakespeare's 450th birthday, CPE Bach's 300th and Richard Strauss' 150th, to what would have been the 70th birthday of Sir John Tavener.

The programme also includes a commemoration of the start of the First World War reflected by music and poetry of the time, including Debussy and Ravel's poignant responses to the carnage, and by contrast, the birth of ragtime.

The internationally-renowned festival - regarded at one of the top in the UK - opens with Manchester Camerata, one of the UK’s leading chamber orchestras, with rising star conductor Jamie Phillips, at the Lakes Hall, Troutbeck Bridge.

Sunday, August 3 (8pm) includes a Celebrity Evening Recital by pianist Andrew Brownell at Ambleside Parish Church; Wednesday, August 6, has a Japanese strand opening with highly regarded violin and piano duo Kazuki Sawa and Emiko Tadenuma and concluding with multi-media chamber opera Tokaido Road, and Thursday, August 7 (8pm), sees the Chilingirian Quartet make the first of its festival performances at Ambleside Parish Church.

Quartets Plus plays a major part of this year’s LDSM with the Chilingirian, Fine Arts and Vogler quartets joined by other eminent chamber musicians.

The festival’s countless concerts are complemented by masterclasses, opera and drama on film at Ambleside’s Fellinis, pre-concert talks, poetry and jazz, with artists ranging from the thrilling Stile Antico to the celebrated writer Louis de Bernières.

LDSM’s esteemed founder and artistic director Renna Kellaway pointed out that the spirit of exploration, expectation and excitement which opened LDSM in 1985 was undimmed today.

Addressing those who gathered for the festival launch at Ambleside Parish Centre, Renna said: "We hope that you will all join us to enjoy great music, old and new, in our atmospheric and intimate venues, from Blackwell Arts and Crafts House to churches in Kendal, Ambleside, Windermere, Grasmere, Rydal, Hawkshead and Kirkby Lonsdale, and our Academy at Brathay Hall on the shores of Windermere, in this special year. We are particularly pleased that alongside our international guests, three local choirs, the Pro Nobis Singers, the Herdwyck Consort and the Brampton Chamber Consort, have accepted our invitation to appear."

For copies of the Festival Diary telephone 01539-742620, visit www.ldsm.org.uk, or call in at the Festival Office at Stricklandgate House, 92 Stricklandgate, Kendal LA9 4PU.

Advance booking opens to festival patrons on May 12, online and postal bookings on May 26 and by telephone 01539-742621 from June 2.

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