The cultural festivals you need to head to this summer

The cultural festivals you need to head to this summer

7 Jun 2019 - 12:16 BY The Arts Society

From literature festivals to concerts, don’t miss these upcoming cultural events.

Aldeburgh Festival

Aldeburgh Festival 2019 - original illustration by Brian Grimwood

7–23 June

It’s not every classical music festival that takes place in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Hosted at Snape Maltings concert hall, a venue surrounded by the reeds and mudflats of the River Alde, the Aldeburgh Festival brings together renowned artists from the UK and beyond. This year, the Festival will feature performances from the BBC Symphony Orchestra, cellist Alisa Weilerstein and Belgian early music ensemble Vox Luminis. The programme’s highlights include Stravinsky’s opera The Rake’s Progress and Benjamin Britten’s songs – a nod to the Festival’s founder.

Ledbury Poetry Festival

© Paul Ligas

5–14 July

Margaret Atwood, Carol Ann Duffy and Poet Laureate Simon Armitage are just some of the stars to see at this year’s Ledbury Poetry Festival. A fusion of words, music and art, the UK’s biggest poetry event sees creatives from around the world descend on the Herefordshire market town. The programme for 2019 includes readings from Sir Andrew Motion, poetry from the Rohingya refugee camp, and discussions with Ali Smith.

BBC Proms

Royal Albert Hall: ShutterstockRoyal Albert Hall: Shutterstock

19 July–14 September

This summer, the world’s greatest classical music festival returns to the Royal Albert Hall for its 125th season. Whether you’re a classical music newbie or seasoned Prommer, the 2019 series has plenty to delight music lovers. The season will feature works including Mozart’s Requiem, Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique and excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. Don’t miss the concert themed around Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, with music performed on Victoria’s own piano.

Dartington International Summer School & Festival 2019

27 July–24 August

For four weeks each summer, the Dartington International Summer School sees professional musicians, creatives and music lovers come to Devon to play, learn and enjoy world-class performances. With more than 90 concerts on offer, the programme’s highlights include performances by the Škampa Quartet, pianist Joanna MacGregor, violinist Thomas Gould, and a cappella ensemble Black Voices. There are also opportunities to take part in poetry workshops and sing Handel’s music in a choir.

Edinburgh International Festival

Sheku Kanneh-Mason: © Lars Borges

2–26 August

From reimagined operas to performance poetry, the Edinburgh International Festival showcases leading performers and ensembles from the worlds of opera, dance, music and theatre. Highlights from this year’s programme include performances from Sir Ian McKellen and cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, and a reboot of Henrik Ibsen’s play Peer Gynt. Also look out for Scottish Ballet’s world premiere of Arthur Miller’sThe Crucible and a performance of Bernstein’s West Side Story.

National Eisteddfod of Wales

3–10 August

Expect acrobats, folk tales and lots of singing in the 2019 National Eisteddfod. A celebration of Welsh language and culture, the national festival brings together music, dance, literature and visual arts. This year’s line-up includes performances from the Welsh Pops Orchestra, The Cymanfa Choir and The Experimentrics – a group that mixes physical theatre and science demonstrations.


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