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Newbury Spring Festival 2015

Berkshire presents some of the world’s finest musicians in a fortnight of 45 concerts in 20 venues

The inimitable duo Kit & McConnel close the festival with their particular brand of musical satire

Newbury Spring Festival, now in its 37th year, presents some of the world’s finest musicians in a fortnight of 45 concerts in 20 venues in and around Newbury, from pretty village churches to magnificent country houses such as Highclere Castle and Englefield.

International Concert Programme including BBC Symphony Orchestra 

A number of leading musicians will be making their Newbury debuts. These include the BBC Symphony Orchestra with Valeriy Sokolov under Edward Gardner, Classical Opera with Allan Clayton, Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra performing Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the festival’s own chorus and, also from Poland, Andrzej Szadejko with his Goldberg Baroque Ensemble.


There will be first-time visits for sought-after pianist Peter Donohoe, young violinist Hyeyoon Park, and the Irish Ambassador Daniel Mulhall who will talk about his great compatriot WB Yeats in the poet’s 150th anniversary year. Among those making welcome returns to the festival are the Philharmonia Orchestra, Mahan Esfahani, Adam Walker, Endellion String Quartet, Calefax and choral groups Voces8, Tenebrae and Ex Cathedra.

Jazz & Music Theatre with Ronnie Scotts' All Stars

At Newbury’s Corn Exchange, jazz greats Julian Joseph, Pasadena Roof Orchestra, and Ronnie Scotts’ All Stars contrast with Irish new wave folk band CrossHarbour. Music and theatre come together in a variety of ways: Ballet Central’s annual showcase and Charles Court Opera’s new production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s Ruddigore present traditional lyric theatre, while Concert Theatre’s innovative Romeo & Juliet, combines physical theatre with live music and The Imperfect Pearl is an innovative play with live music accompaniment. The inimitable duo Kit & McConnel close the festival with their particular brand of musical satire.

Hollywood & Cinema with Sinatra Jukebox

There will be a chance to revisit Hitchcock’s cinematic masterpieces Psycho and Vertigo, both enhanced by Bernard Herrmann’s powerful scores. The composer’s widow, Norma Herrmann, will introduce a concert by the Tippett Quartet that includes arrangements of her late husband’s music before we screen both films. The Hollywood theme develops with Clare Martin’s Hollywood Romance, Gary Williams’s Sinatra Jukebox, Harry the Piano’s A Night at the Movies, Swell Party Company’s Till The Clouds Roll By, and Robert Harris’s interview From Page to Screen, where we will hear about his international career in the movies.

Young Artists

Traditionally, the festival presents the best young talent from around the world and in addition to its regular Young Artist’s Lunchtime Recital Series, many international young stars are included in the evening programme. The soprano Ruby Hughes makes a welcome return to the festival as does Dinara Klinton, a previous winner of the Festival’s own Sheepdrove Piano Competition. This important annual competition is open to candidates from the eight leading UK conservatoires; the distinguished jury will include the venerated pianist John Lill.

Newbury Spring Festival 2015 takes place 9-23 May.


Top Image - Kit and McConnel

Bottom Image - Pasadena Roof Orchestra


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