Music and arts for all at King’s Lynn Festival

LtoR - Dr Paul Richards, Charles Burney, Alison Croose and Borough Mayor Elizabeth Watson at the King's Lynn Festival Launch 2014 holding a waistcoat worn by St Margaret's organist Charles Burney 200 years ago.

LtoR - Dr Paul Richards, Charles Burney, Alison Croose and Borough Mayor Elizabeth Watson at the King's Lynn Festival Launch 2014 holding a waistcoat worn by St Margaret's organist Charles Burney 200 years ago.

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This summer will see a host of world-famous acts flocking to perform at the 64th King’s Lynn Festival – for a very special feast of music and arts.

Marking the 100th anniversary of the First World War and the 200th anniversary of the death of Charles Burney, the line-up boasts a huge range of performances to suit all tastes.

Clare Teal

Clare Teal

Artistic director Ambrose Miller said: “The programme has very broad appeal and includes a wide range of music performed by international musicians maintaining the Festival’s tradition of excellence.”

Taking place over July 13-26, the festival will feature eagerly-awaited performances by the renowned Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, pianist John Lill, jazz singer Clare Teal with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, and guitarist Craig Ogden with the London Tango Quintet.

Adding to the variety of entertainment will be comedy cabaret duo Kit and McConnel, while speakers will include Antiques Roadshow ceramics expert Lars Tharp, and geographer and BBC Coast presenter Nicholas Crane. There will also be films, exhibitions and themed walks round the historic town centre.

Chairman of the King’s Lynn Festival, Alison Croose, said: “We have put together a varied top-class feast of music and the arts.

“We aim to continue to enrich the lives of people in West Norfolk and want to continue to make Lynn a cultural destination.”

One of the world’s finest brass bands will have the festival off to a rousing start, Fairey Band will premiere a specially-commissioned piece marking cultural links between Lynn and Amiens in France.

For classical music lovers, the first of three orchestral concerts will feature the inspiring Orchestra of St John’s conducted by its founder John Lubbock.

Many festival events will take audiences into Lynn’s historic buildings and the Orchestra of St John’s will perform at the Minster.

This year’s event marks two anniversaries - the start of the First World War, and the death of Charles Burney, the distinguished musical historian who was church organist at St Margaret’s, Lynn, for nine years.

Alison added: “There is a coincidental link between the two – the war covered all Europe as did Burney’s two great journals of his travels. So the Festival takes European diversity as its keynote and the theme will be reflected in several concerts including the King’s Lynn Festival Chorus performance of Brahms’ Requiem.”

At Wednesday’s launch, the organisers were joined by a direct descendant of Charles Burney, of the same name, who said: “It is a priviledge and a pleasure to come here and see him being remembered in Lynn.”

Charles Burney will be celebrated with a special Burney Day when Dr Peter Sabor will talk about the musician and historian’s friendship with Dr Johnson. English Concert’s performance will trace Burney’s travels round Europe and an organ recital will include some of his music.

St George’s Guildhall will host The Ruth Fermoy Memorial Concert, featuring the Navarra String Quartet, in honour of the Festival’s founder.

Starting off the popular series of coffee concerts featuring rising stars of the classical music world at Lynn Town Hall, The Jubilee String Orchestra will be performing an afternoon concert at Park House, Sandringham.

Renaissance wind band, Blondel, will celebrate the joys of summer at All Saints Church and Contemporary Consort will feature works by eminent British composer David Matthews.

For art-lovers, Lynn Arts Centre will feature work by West Norfolk Artists Association in the Fermoy Gallery alongside a Charles Burney exhibition in the Custom House. Lynn Community Film Club will also be showing a selection of films.

The Royal Geographical Society will host a lecture by writer and broadcaster, Nicholas Crane, who will talk about the fascination and importance of maps, while an illustrated lecture by Lars Tharp has the intriguing title of Living Up to Ones Teapot.

Finishing off almost two weeks of incredible classical music and the arts, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will perform the final concert, with acclaimed Bulgarian cellist Michael Petrov will playing Elgar’s Cello Concerto. Brahm’s Second Symphony will bring down the curtain on the 2014 event.

For more information about any of the events, go to or call the office on 01553 767557.

The festival box office, at Lynn’s Corn Exchange, will open on Monday, April 14, for Festival Friends’ and Patrons’ priority booking, with general booking opening on Monday, April 28.

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