2014 Festival: 18 July – 3 August
With its captivating riverside setting and majestic buildings, the historic university city of Cambridge provides the perfect backdrop for one of the UK’s longest-standing and most successful music festivals, the Cambridge Summer Music Festival.
Brief lives ... World War I commemoration
In 2014, the Festival will mark the 100th Anniversary of the start of World War I, taking as its theme ‘brief lives’. Concerts will feature works by many composers and poets whose lives and talents were cut down – composer George Butterworth and poets Rupert Brooke and Wilfred Owen, for example – and others who were deeply affected by the ‘Great War’ – such as Edward Elgar and Ivor Gurney, who spent the rest of his life battling mental illness.
Elgar’s elegaic Spirit of England, written during the War and dedicated ‘to the memory of our glorious men’, is performed on the first Sunday of the Festival in the now well-established ‘Festival Chorus’ concert, when singers from all over East Anglia come together to perform in King’s Chapel under international choral conductor Tim Brown. Their programme also includes the beautiful Fauré’s Requiem.
In what promises to be a moving recital, English baritone Roderick Williams and pianist Gary Matthewman explore contrasting themes, from the so-called ‘nobility’ of war, to the horror of life in the trenches and the devastating effects of war. Pianist Maria Marchant takes ‘conflict and memories’ as the theme of her solo recital, featuring works by Ravel, Ireland, Rachmaninov and Debussy. Pianist Lucy Parham and actor Henry Goodman present a fascinating words-and-music programme, Rêverie: The Life and Loves of Claude Debussy. Set in Paris in 1918, the First World War is the backdrop for the composer’s complex life story, told in his own words and including gems of his piano repertoire.
Quality and Variety
In another large-scale concert, we welcome the legendary Sir Roger Norrington – peerless pioneer of period performance – who directs the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and Zürcher Sing-Akademie in a performance of Bach’s St John Passion.
Other well-known names gracing this year’s festival include superstar pianist Joanna MacGregor, playing the complete Goldberg Variations by J.S. Bach. Arguably the world’s greatest oboist Nicholas Daniel brings his Haffner Wind Octet to play classical works by Schubert, Beethoven, Hummel and Mozart, alongside a contemporary piece by Jonathan Dove. Some performers are returning by popular demand after their storming successes in 2013: Tim Kliphuis and 4 Girls, 4 Harps, to name but two.
Other top ensembles include Festival favourites, the Aurora Orchestra, joined by Thomas Gould’s new group Man Overboard, specialists in music from the sparkling swing era of the 1920s and 30s.
Posted by Cambridge Summer Recitals on January 22 2014 at 2:13pm
Thousands enjoy 2013 Festival
Our 2013 Cambridge Summer Music Festival was a huge success, delivering over fifty events, indoors and out, to audiences of around ten thousand people. Music that delighted, inspired, provoked thought, impressed - or was simply enjoyed - was provided by first-class soloists and ensembles, choirs and quartets. We heard classical, folk, jazz, and even street opera; we marvelled at Tim Kliphuis breathtaking Trio, the stunning sound of Moneverdi's Vespers in King's College Chapel, Mikhail Rudi's virtuoso and unusual performance of Pictures at an Exhibition with video, Emma Johnson and Pascal Rogé at our first Mayor's Concert in the Guildhall - and much more. The Festival reached a glorious finale with the premiere of Kathryn Tickell's new band at Childerley Hall.
Thanks to all those wonderful people who helped to make everything run smoothly, to our Friends and supporters, volunteers and sponsors, advertisers and partners. We'd love to have you on board, so get in touch if you'd like to be part of our amazing team! Thanks to our audience for making it such a success, and we look forward to seeing you again next year when we celebrate our 35th season. Look out for our Spring Concerts and Music in Quiet Places during May, and of course the Summer Festival, which will run from 18 July – 3 August 2014!
Posted by Cambridge Summer Recitals on December 16 2013 at 10:25am
Support music in Cambridge!
Please help us to continue to promote world-class music in Cambridge throughout the year. From just £2 a month you can have a share in our '200 club'. You will be entered into a cash prize draw and each quarter, you get the chance to win up to 40% of the proceeds from the 200 Club. The more people who join, the bigger and better the prizes you can win! To take part download and complete the 200 Club form.
Congratulations to our October and January 200 Club winners: Colin Tait and Mrs Gardner.
You can also support Cambridge Summer Recitals via our Sustainability Appeal and play your part in ensuring we are able to provide imaginative, high-quality concerts, and exciting education and outreach programmes, well into the future.
Posted by Cambridge Summer Recitals on January 12 2013 at 3:38am