The 2020 Bradfield Festival of Music will run between Saturday 27th June and Saturday 4th July 2020. This year tickets are also available on-line, click here for more information. Please click here for a statement on COVID-19.
Records show that the very first Bradfield Festival of Music was held in the late 1800’s. It was revived in the modern era 23 years ago, with the aid of Yorkshire Arts Foundation funding, and is enjoying a renaissance going from strength to strength due to the combination of its unique qualities. Each year our Festival seems to get better and better, and we hope to maintain or even better our standard again this year!
Musicians marvel at the extraordinary acoustics when they come to play at the festival. An instrumentalist from the Berlin Philharmonic Ensemble described them as both wet (like the rich sound of singing in the shower!) and dry (clear, pure and perfect). This, coupled with the intimacy of the setting where the audience sit close to the performers, enhances the musician’s performance creating an unforgettable experience.
On a glorious midsummer evening with light in the sky until 11pm nothing can beat the exquisite view from the church in High Bradfield where the concerts are held, spanning 180 degrees and stretching out over the valleys and hills of the glorious peak district.
The Bradfield Festival of Music has an enviable tradition of attracting the very finest musicians, and has developed a quite extraordinary international reputation. This year international, national and local musicians of the highest calibre will perform in the perfect acoustics of the festival setting.
We are thrilled to welcome back the ensemble from the world famous Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Now almost equally famous, we are delighted that an ensemble from Chineke! will perform for us. ZRI return to enthuse us with their energetic take on classical and gypsy music. We will welcome the fabulous young Linos Piano Trio, and the outstanding trombone quartet, Bones Apart. A highlight for many will be a solo piano recital by the phenomenal Isata Kanneh-Mason. Our closing night will be an opera gala put together by students from the Royal Northern College of Music.
Saturday 27th June 2020 at 7:30pm – ZRI (tickets £18)
Max Baillie (violin), Matthew Sharp (cello), Ben Harlan (clarinet), Jon Banks (accordion), Iris Pissaride (santouri)
ZRI first performed at Bradfield in 2017, and we are delighted that they are returning. This year they will play their “Brahms and the Gypsy” programme, featuring the complete Brahms Clarinet Quintet re-scored with santouri (cymbalom) and accordion to bring out the gypsy and Hungarian qualities of this much-loved piece of chamber music. It was ZRI’s debut program and has toured the UK extensively and recorded to critical acclaim.
“ZRI played with consummate virtuosity, magic and passion. The emotional charge of Brahms illuminated by the gypsy spirit was a great combination.” – (Royal Albert Hall Café Ignite Series)
Brahms wrote his Clarinet Quintet in 1891 in Austria. It is one his last compositions and expresses some of the pain and melancholy of his unfulfilled love affair with the renowned pianist Clara Schumann, wife of Brahms’s hero and mentor, Robert Schumann.
ZRI will also perform Hungarian dances, gypsy tunes and Jewish klezmer melodies, the repertoire of the gypsy bands that Brahms loved listening to in the Viennese tavern ‘Zum Roten Igel’ – ‘The Red Hedgehog Tavern’ – hence our name, ZRI.
Brahms was one of the foremost classical composers to draw on ‘folk’ styles in his own writing and indeed his set of 21 Hungarian Dances is one of his most popular works. This approach is also very apparent in the Clarinet Quintet. ZRI will magnify this collision of styles by replacing Brahms’s original instrumentation of string quartet and clarinet with clarinet, violin, cello, santouri (hammered cymbalom type instrument) and accordion. So think of us as a Hungarian gypsy band that can also play Brahms’s Clarinet Quintet.
By the time that Freud was beginning to formulate some of his ideas, Brahms had already died, so with this new instrumentation and mixing up of repertoire, ZRI are doing a kind of posthumous therapy on Brahms’s music and letting out some of his repressed late 19th century emotions!
‘Faithfully re-imagined, ZRI present one of Brahms’ best loved chamber music works, the Clarinet Quintet, in the form of a tavern ensemble of its time. Re-scored here with a santouri and accordion for the rich folk band sounds that inspired the original piece itself, ZRI weaves in gypsy and klezmer music to present a concert from a time when classical and folk came from the same place.’
Sunday 28th June 2020 at 6.30pm – Book of Common Prayer Choral Evensong
The normal service of Book of Common Prayer Evensong at St Nicholas’ Church Bradield, with the St Nicholas’ Church Choir, and guest preacher the Rt Revd Richard Blackburn.
Monday 29th June 2020 at 7.30pm – The Chamber Ensemble of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields (tickets £24)
The Academy of St Martin in the Fields is one of the world’s premier chamber orchestras, renowned for its fresh, brilliant interpretations of the world’s most-loved classical music.
Formed by Sir Neville Marriner in 1958 from a group of leading London musicians, the Academy gave its first performance in its namesake church in November 1959. Through its live performances and vast recording output – highlights of which include the 1969 best-seller Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and the soundtrack to 1985’s Oscar-winning film Amadeus – the orchestra quickly gained an enviable international reputation for its distinctive, polished and refined sound.
The Academy of St Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble was created in 1967 to perform the larger chamber works with players who customarily worked together, instead of the usual string quartet with additional guests. Drawn from the principal players of the orchestra and led by violinist Tomo Keller, the Chamber Ensemble performs in all shapes and sizes, from string quintets to octets, and in various other configurations featuring winds. Its touring commitments are extensive and include regular tours of Europe and North America, whilst recording contracts with Philips Classics, Hyperion, and Chandos have led to the release of over thirty CDs.
This evening, the ensemble will play:
Borodin, string sextet in D Minor
Schoenberg, verklarte nacht, opus 4
Brahms, string sextet no.1 in b flat maj, opus 18
Tuesday 30th June 2020 at 7.30pm – Chineke! Ensemble (tickets £22)
The Chineke! Foundation was created in 2015 to provide career opportunities for established and up-and-coming Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) classical musicians in the UK and Europe. Chineke!’s mission is: ‘Championing change and celebrating diversity in classical music’. The organisation aims to be a catalyst for change, realising existing diversity targets within the industry by increasing the representation of BME musicians in British and European orchestras.
Chineke! is the brainchild of Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE, who says: ‘My aim is to create a space where BME musicians can walk on stage and know that they belong, in every sense of the word. If even one BME child feels that their colour is getting in the way of their musical ambitions, then I hope to inspire them, give them a platform, and show them that music, of whatever kind, is for all people.’
This evening, the ensemble will play:
Schubert Adagio and Rondo Concertant in F for Piano Quartet, D 487
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Piano Quintet in G minor, Op 1
Schubert Piano Quintet in A, D 667 (Trout)
Wednesday 1st July 2020 at 7.30pm – Linos Piano Trio (tickets £18)
Pianist – Prach Boondiskulchok
Violinist – Konrad Elias-Trostmann
Cellist – Vladimir Waltham
First Prize and Audience Prize winner of the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition 2015, the Linos Piano Trio is increasingly recognised as one of Europe’s most creative and dynamic trios.
Drawing on the rich and varied cultural and musical backgrounds of its members, which encompass five nationalities, as well as specialisms in historically informed performance and new music, the Linos Piano Trio possesses a colourful and distinctive musical voice.
Praised for its “slow-burning, gripping performance” by The Strad, and an “astounding performance” by the Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung, the trio’s reputation has taken it to prestigious venues worldwide including the Barbican and Wigmore Halls, Melbourne Recital Centre, Muziekgebouw Eindhoven, Holzhausenschlösschen in Frankfurt and the György Ligeti Saal in Graz.
This evening, the ensemble will play:
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Piano Trio in C Major, K 548
Kaija Saariaho Light and Matter
Ludwig van Beethoven Piano Trio in B flat major, op. 97, Archduke
Thursday 2nd July 2020 at 7.30pm – Isata Kanneh-Mason (tickets £20)
Isata Kanneh-Mason thrilled the Bradfield audience with her phenomenal playing when accompanying her brother Sheku Kanneh-Mason at our Festival in 2018. Isata now returns in her own right as an outstanding soloist.
She has performed around the UK and abroad, with concerto appearances, in solo recitals and in chamber ensembles, including at the Wigmore Hall, The Royal Festival Hall, St Martin-in-the -Fields, The Duke’s Hall (Royal Academy), The Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, Kings Place and Milton Court, Barbican in London. She has performed in The Portland Piano Series in Oregon, USA, in The Barbican Sound Unbound Series, The Colour of Music Festival in South Carolina, The Hebden Bridge and Lincoln Music Festivals, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, the Caribbean, The Cayman Islands, Canada and Switzerland.
Isata has performed several times on BBC television and radio, including Radio 3 In Tune, Radio 3 RPS Awards, BBC2 The Proms Extra, Radio 4 Woman’s Hour, Al Jazeera TV, BBC World Service, Channel 4, The One Show, the BBC4 documentary: Young, Gifted and Classical, ITV Born To Shine, BBC2 Classroom Heroes, BBC Young Musician, and a documentary for Sunday Morning by CBS Television (USA).
This evening, Isata Kanneh-Mason will play:
Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 2 in A Major, Op. 2, No. 2
John Field: Nocturne No 5 in Bb major
Clara Schumann: Nocturne No. 2 in F Major, Op. 6
Samuel Barber: Nocturne, Op. 33
Francis Poulenc: Eight Nocturnes, FP. 56, No. 5, Phalènes
Francis Poulenc: Eight Nocturnes, FP. 56, No. 7, Assez allant
George Gershwin: Three Preludes
Samuel Barber: Piano Sonata in E-flat minor, Op. 26
Friday 3rd July 2020 at 7.30pm – Bones Apart (tickets £18)
Sarah Williams, Helen Vollam, Becky Smith and Jayne Murrill. Bones Apart performed at Bradfield in 2014, and we are delighted that they can return in 2020.
Bones Apart is a highly acclaimed trombone quartet based in the UK. Since its inception in 1999, the quartet has rapidly gained international recognition as a leading ensemble in brass chamber music. The group has performed its unique and diverse repertoire to audiences worldwide. bring together a wealth of performing experience at the highest level, from symphony and chamber orchestra, early and contemporary music, to brass band and jazz.
Bones Apart is committed to raising the profile of the trombone as a chamber music instrument by demonstrating its versatility. Through commissioning new works and arrangements Bones Apart has expanded not only the repertoire but the boundaries of brass chamber music, widening its appeal to an ever increasing audience.
This evening, Bones Apart will perform:
“Wonder Women: Muses, Queens and Warriors”
‘Wonder Women’ is an eclectic programme showcasing female trailblazers in music and history. Including music by Hildegard von Bingen, Lili and Nadia Boulanger, Joni Mitchell and Nina Simone, and exploring colourful characters from Boudicca to Calamity Jane.
Also performing this evening will be two outstanding young musicians from the Sheffield Music Hub.
Saturday 4th July 2020 at 7.30pm – Opera Gala Royal Northern College of Music (tickets £18)
An uplifting and entertaining evening of song from a variety of composers including Mozart and Puccini.
Singers from the Royal Northern College of Music for an Opera Gala. The College has an enviable reputation for nurturing the most talented emerging musicians; this promises to be a wonderful evening of music.
The Royal Northern College of Music, a leading international conservatoire, has a fully justified reputation for attracting talented students, teachers, conductors and composers from all over the world.
The Bradfield Festival has always cherished its link with the RNCM, partly because it reflects our desire to support and encourage able young musicians but also, of course, because of the high quality of musicianship developed and enhanced by the College.
Tonight’s performers include Rachel Speirs (Soprano) who has recently completed her Master’s degree at the RNCM where she won the prestigious Kennedy Strauss Award; Charlotte Badham (mezzo-soprano), who graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music in 2018 with a first class honours degree as well as a Master of Music degree with Distinction; Christopher Littlewood (tenor), a recent graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music has most recently sung in the chorus of Bergen National Opera, was awarded the Elsie Thurston Song Prize in 2013; and Tim Bagley (bass-baritone) who has completed both his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the College.
They will be joined by Philip Sharp (accompanist) for a performance offering extracts from operas including The Magic Flute, Carmen, Rigoletto, Don Giovanni, La Traviata, Hansel and Gretel, The Pearl Fishers, Kiss Me Kate, and My Fair Lady.
Rachel Speirs, Charlotte Badham, Christopher Littlewood, Tim Bagley and Philip Sharp appear by kind permission of the RNCM.