Festival Launch and a change of Orchestra

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Festival Launch and a change of Orchestra


On March 2, the day when public booking opens for the 2022 Festival, Festival Director Mark Eynon announced the replacement of Russian Symphony Orchestra with distinguished British orchestra Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra. The orchestra will perform the same programme as originally scheduled, on the final night of the Festival, Saturday 21 May. British violinist Chloe Hanslip will still make her festival debut in the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto. The orchestra will be conducted by their Founder and Music Director Marios Papadopoulos.

Mark Eynon also reassured festival-goers that Ukrainian pianist Vadym Kholodenko, star winner of the prestigious Van Cliburn Competition, is now based in Luxembourg and confirmed that he will be performing Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto with BBC Symphony Orchestra as originally planned on Saturday 14May, under conductor Ryan Wigglesworth.

Following a cancelled 2020 Festival and a reduced capacity 2021 Festival, postponed to the Autumn, Mark was delighted to announce the return of Newbury Spring Festival to its traditional two weeks in May, visiting again some of its best loved rural venues, for an exciting programme of world-class music.

This year, as we celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the festival opens to the long awaited performance of Mozart’s Coronation Mass performed by Newbury’s own Festival chorus, finally back in full force, with London Mozart Players under the direction of Stephen Barlow. The same stellar cast of young soloists including soprano Sophie Bevan and rising star Ema Nikolovska , all previously scheduled for May 2020, will finally perform, as will many other musicians who were cancelled in 2020 and unable to appear in the 2021 Autumn Festival. The festival also celebrates the 150th Anniversary of the birth of Ralph Vaughan Williams, with a series of events including a broadcast performance by BBC Symphony Orchestra of his  Fourth Symphony and an afternoon of his major works for brass band performed by the Tredegar Town Band.

Other highlights include the return of VOCES8 celebrating their 15th anniversary and England’s greatest lutenist, Elizabeth Kenny, for A Taste of England at The Vineyard. The Festival is also honoured to welcome three great British Dames: Janet Baker, who gives a rare interview at Englefield House, Imogen Cooper for a Sunday afternoon recital at Newbury Corn Exchange, and Jane Glover, who will be talking about her passion for Mozart.

Introducing little ones to the magic of music, CBeebie’s favourite YolanDa’s Band Jam, featuring YolanDa Brown and her Bandjaminals, will take the series to Newbury’s Corn Exchange, and we will return to Sheepdrove for a the latest offering by Sound Beginnings, a special family-friendly performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with music from Weber and Mendelssohn, arranged for two pianos. This is supported by an education programme full of opportunities for young people to attend performances, workshops and master classes free of charge, building the audiences and artists of the future, a highlight of which will be Tasmin Little’s long awaited violin master class with local students, postponed from the 2020 Festival.

Among its many beautiful locations, the Festival will return to Englefield House, for an immersive performance of Jonathan Dove’s opera Mansfield Park, to Highclere Castle, for an intimate evening of Bach Cello Suites , by Tchaikovsky Prize Winner Andrei Ionita, and to Douai Abbey for The Sixteen’s Choral Pilgrimage under Harry Christophers.  And for. the first time, there will also be performances at Church of the Ascension, Burghclere, and St John’s Church, Newbury.

Mark Eynon, Festival Director says: ‘I am excited to be able to welcome so many world-class legendary musicians to the Festival, along with some brilliant young stars of the future. I am also delighted that we’ve been able to honour many of the performances that sadly had to be cancelled in 2020. We’d also like to thank all our donors and supporters without which this fantastic Festival would not be possible. We cannot wait to welcome back our regular Festival attendees and we also look forward to welcoming newcomers to this year’s varied programme of events.’