There is everything from clog dancing folk singers to a pop-up silent disco when the 66th King’s Lynn Festival delivers a summer feast of the arts.
Organisers have unveiled a line-up featuring a wide-ranging programme of 30 events from July 17-30, featuring top names from the worlds of classical music, jazz and folk plus exhibitions, films, talks and walks.
The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra will launch it in style with music from the movies, plus classical favourites by Tchaikovsky, Mozart and Dvorak.
The Czech National Symphony Orchestra, with celebrated conductor Libor Pesek, and violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky, play the final concert.
St Nicholas’ Chapel with its superb acoustic will be the setting for an uplifting concert, The Glories of English Choral Music, by the 100-strong King’s Lynn Festival Chorus.
It will be one of several events featuring the music of Ralph Vaughan Williams 60 years after he conducted a festival concert in the chapel.
A second event in the chapel will be based on TS Eliot’s Four Quartets which will be spoken by acclaimed actress Juliet Stevenson with cellist Guy Johnston playing selections from Bach’s cello suites, and former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, a poet and T S Eliot expert, discussing the texts.
Eight events will be staged in St George’s Guildhall where Lynn Festival has its roots.
The Ruth Fermoy Memorial Concert will feature clarinettist Emma Johnson with the Piatti Quartet.
There will be four concerts in the Minster. On July 21, Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt, renowned for her performance of Bach’s music, on July 23 the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment plus a harpsichord recital by David Wright, and on July 27 harpist Catrin Finch, former Royal Harpist to the Prince of Wales.
Catrin’s visit will coincide with Hands On Harps – an opportunity for complete novices to have a lesson on the harp.
Martin Green, Kris Drever and Aiden O’Rourke, who make up Lau, four-times winner of the BBC Radio Folk Award, will be at the Guildhall on July 18.
Another big name from the folk world, the Unthanks, will bring their exciting brand of folk music to the Corn Exchange on July 20.
Festival favourite Lesley Garrett returns on July 24 to sing much-loved arias, songs by George Gershwin and classics from the musicals.
Singer Claire Martin will team up with Ray Gelato and his band for A Swingin’ Affair on July 22 and Ronnie Scott’s All Stars celebrate the world-famous jazz venue on July 29.
Popular art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon will return to give two talks; the Art of Scandinavia and the Secrets of the Mona Lisa and TV historian Suzannah Lipscomb will speak on the wives of Henry VIII.
The Festival visits West Acre Theatre for a Sunday afternoon concert and tea on July 24. The Eeden Quartet will provide the music then launch the series of five coffee concerts in Lynn Town Hall on July 25.
The partnership established last year with the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich continues with an exhibition in the Fermoy Gallery of works by American-born artist, Alfred Cohen, who settled in North Norfolk in 1978.
He worked at his studio at Wighton until his death at the age of 80 in 2001. The exhibition will explore the theme of “light and water” including works featuring the Thames, the Channel coast and the Norfolk area.
A second exhibition, in the gallery foyer, will feature sculpture by Norfolk artist Susan Bacon inspired by some of Shakespeare’s most memorable creations. The bronzes were originally displayed as part of an exhibition at
the Globe Theatre last year.
Another event marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death will be the showing of Macbeth by King’s Lynn Community Cinema Club on July 23. Elvira Madigan will also be shown in partnership with the club on July 30.
Pianist Cordula Heiland will give a piano recital at the Town Hall on July 25, composer Toby Young will feature with the Contemporary Consort on July 18, and the Royal Geographical Society/IBG talk by Tristan Gooley on July 30 will be entitled How to read water.
Artistic director Ambrose Miller said: “It will be a top level festival with major international classical performers and stars of lighter music with something for everyone – including pop-up concerts in venues around the town.”
On Saturday July 16 Festival organisers are staging free entertainment in conjunction with the borough council as part of the council’s bid to attract more visitors to Lynn town centre. Attractions will include Hoofbeat, Silent Disco, Springwood jazz and concert bands, Travelling by Tuba and OAE Tots music workshops.
The Festival brochure will be available in April. Priority booking for Patrons starts April 4 and Friends April 11. General booking April 25.
Tickets will be available from the box office at King’s Lynn Corn Exchange on 01553-764864 or online at www.kingslynnfestival.org.uk. For further information, details about the membership scheme or joining the mailing list call the festival office on 01553-767557.