From the Royal Albert Hall to St Wilfrid’s Church...

Zelkova String Quartet
Zelkova String Quartet
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Emphasis is on youth at the 22nd Ribchester Music Festival

Some of the country’s finest young classical and jazz musicians are coming to Lancashire for this year’s Ribchester Music Festival.

Artists from the prestigious Royal Academy of Music in London and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, two of the finest music academies worldwide, will perform.

The festival is the 22nd to bring world-class performers to the county such as Dame Evelyn Glennie, Julian Lloyd Webber and Humphrey Lyttleton, however this year the focus is clearly on youth.

The 22nd Ribchester Music Festival starts this week with a free beautiful choral concert on Saturday evening at St Wilfrid’s Church in Ribchester.

Stonyhurst College’s Schola Cantorum is performing a selection of sacred and seasonal works, in preparation for their forthcoming tour of Rome. including pieces by Edward Elgar, Balfour Gardiner, Malcolm Archer, Mendelssohn and Haydn.

The evening will be complemented by a cheese and wine tasting in the Village Hall, presented by Festival sponsor Booth’s Supermarkets, for which there is an £8 charge with all proceeds going directly towards the cost of the Schola tour.

Festival chairman Tim Rainford said: “We are delighted to be showcasing a line-up of high quality, young, talented artists with extremely promising professional careers.

“We really want to help unearth tomorrow’s stars today.”

The festival is one of the highlights of the classical music and jazz season, taking place from Saturday, June 7 until Sunday, June 15, featuring choral performances, string ensembles, piano recitals, guitar music, late night jazz, and street theatre.

The award-winning artists have already performed at venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, the Barbican and Wigmore Hall, as well as featuring in the BBC Proms and on Radio 3, and they will now be performing at St Wilfrid’s Church, Ribchester, St Saviours at Stydd and at Ribchester Village Hall.

Lovers of string quartets will enjoy the Zelkova Quartet, performing Beethoven, Bartok and Brahms.

The violin, cello and piano ensemble, the Novak Trio, will be performing Prokofiev, Stravinsky and Shostakovitch and audiences will relish a piano recital by Ugnius Pauliukonis, a 23-year-old pianist from Lithuania, who has won prizes in numerous national and international piano competitions and has performed recitals all over the world.

Several of the young musicians will, in their performances, remember the centenary of the outbreak of World War One.

Both the Encompass Trio and the Sam Rapley Jazz Quintet at the late night jazz concerts will play classic songs from the time.

The festival’s iconic event, the Saturday lunchtime Bagels and Bubbly concert held in the intimate medieval church St Saviour’s, features the violin and piano duo of Kirsty Lovie and Thomas Ang, performing pieces by Beethoven, Dvorak and Britten.

Lovers of choral music will savour two high quality choirs from the North West. Stonyhurst College’s Schola Cantorum is performing a selection of sacred and seasonal works, while the wonderful Manchester Chamber Choir, under the direction of Darius Battiwalla, will be singing at the Festival Eucharist on Sunday morning.

The Festival Fringe street theatre is a ‘promenade’ entitled A Walk with Miss Potter.

In this family event, performed by members of Ribchester’s Amateur Theatrical Society, people are guided through popular locations in the village, accompanied by Beatrix Potter, meeting a host of well-known and quirky characters on the way!

Tickets for the concerts are all priced at no more than £10 and can be bought by ringing the Ribchester Festival Box Office on 01254 878881, or bought in person from the Whalley Wine Shop in Whalley, or from the Ribchester Arms in Ribchester.

Information on all events and concerts is available online at www.ribchesterfestival.co.uk