Lake District Summer Music

Benjamin Frith piano quartet 4-MALITY percussion quartet première a piece by Jan Bradley (photo Upstream Photography) Apollo Saxophone Quartet Dreyer's 1928 masterpiece The Passion of Joan of Arc

This year marks the 30th Anniversary Festival programme for Lake District Summer Music. Running from 1-14 August, this year’s festival celebrates with fifty events in 15 Lake District venues, including a welcome return to the south west corner of the Lakes – the Coronation Hall in Ulverston, which hosts the opening concert, and Victoria Hall in Grange-over-Sands.

Lake District Summer Music 2015 showcases fifty events in 15 Lake District venues

Taking its anniversary as a starting point, the themes this year mark many other anniversaries, including the 150th birthdays of the great Nordic composers Sibelius and Nielsen, and music composed against the background of conflict:

  • WW1 centenary
  • 70 years since the end of WW2
  • Bicentenary of Waterloo in 1815

The opera-on-film strand includes Prokofiev’s War and Peace and Verdi’s Aïda.

The centenary of the birth of French cabaret singer Edith Piaf in December 1915 and its connection to the execution of British nurse Edith Cavell is marked in a concert at Zeffirellis, signalling a new jazz collaboration between LDSM and this venue.

New off-shoots in this evergreen festival include two events in Kendal Town Hall marrying live music with silent film. Dreyer’s 1928 masterpiece The Passion of Joan of Arc is played out as the Orlando Consort brings the voices of 15th century French sacred and secular music to its drama. By contrast, George Melies’ pioneering cameos inspire the Apollo Saxophone Quartet, giving life to the characters on screen.

Among those returning this year are the Kuss Quartet from Germany, cellist Gregor Horsch from The Netherlands and Trio di Parma from Italy. Artists from the UK include the Apollo Saxophone Quartet who also celebrate their 30th anniversary and for whom LDSM has commissioned a new work from the young composer Luke Bedford. The 4-MALITY percussion quartet brings the première of a work by Jan Bradley for mezzo-soprano and percussion, setting texts by three female WW1 poets.

LDSM also welcomes new artists – the Ukrainian pianist Vadym Kholodenko, winner of the Gold Medal at the prestigious Van Cliburn 2013 International competition, making his UK festival début; the Françoise-Green Piano Duo; and Laura Snowden, guitar. Baritone Benjamin Appl brings Schubert in his first LDSM appearance. Benjamin Frith brings his piano quartet for the first time. There is a focus on riches and rarities from Dvŏrák, Schumann and Sibelius. Celebrating local talent, Cartmel Fell storyteller Emily Hennessey will be reliving a great Russian folktale in one of two family events at Carver Church, Windermere.

Reaching our 30th anniversary is a milestone pointing forward but allowing us to look back over years of wonderful music-making with world artists, inspiring teachers, new generation musicians, an ever-widening circle of friends and colleagues and always highlights that remain long after the year has gone. We end with a candlelit concert given by our LDSM Academy Artists. Remembering so many great past students, their contribution to our celebration may well be their springboard to future successes.

– Founder and Artistic Director of LDSM, Renna Kellaway MBE

Find out more about Lake District Summer Music here

To enjoy this Lakes cultural event and much more, book your break in the Lake District here