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Packed programme awaits at 70th King’s Lynn Festival

Past reflections and future stars are at the heart of the line-up for the 70th King’s Lynn Festival, which has been announced this week.

The annual two-week celebration of the arts will open on Sunday, July 19, with a day of free music and activities on the Tuesday Market Place in the town.

That will be followed in the evening by a concert from the European Union Chamber Orchestra and the King’s Lynn Festival Chorus at St Nicholas’ Chapel, including a performance of Haydn’s Nelson Mass.

Festival chairman Alison Croose with the painting of Lady Fermoy
Festival chairman Alison Croose with the painting of Lady Fermoy

The chapel’s bells will also be rung on the day.

Meanwhile, the last day of the Festival, Saturday, August 1, will include a performance by Alis Huws, the official harpist to the Prince of Wales at the All Saints’ Church, Hillington Square.

And the closing concert at the Corn Exchange will feature festival vice-president, pianist Freddy Kempf, performing with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Other highlights include the return of art expert Andrew Graham-Dixon, who will give two talks at the St George’s Guildhall on Wednesday, July 22.

Singer Clare Teal will appear alongside the National Youth Jazz Orchestra at the Corn Exchange on Friday, July 24, while the Brighouse and Rastrick Band will play there on July 26.

And Scottish fiddle band Blazin’ Fiddles will bring the music of the Highlands and Islands to the St George’s Guildhall on the festival’s penultimate day, Friday, July 31.

Meanwhile, the centrepiece of the festival exhibition will be a newly restored portrait of the festival’s founder, Ruth, Lady Fermoy.

The work by Thomas Anthony Devas has hung in the St George’s Guildhall for many years and has been renovated thanks to funding from West Norfolk Council.

The festival will also offer the chance to see an early masterpiece by JMW Turner, Walton Bridges.

The painting was acquired by the Norfolk Museums Service last year and Lynn’s Museum will be its first stop on a tour of East Anglia during the festival fortnight.

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