Harrogate's summer of music revealed - highlights include pianist Eric Lu, violin prodigy Christian Li and James Bond's Casino Royale in concert

Harrogate International Festivals has announced the programme of events for this year’s music festival.

By Sue Wilkinson
Thursday, 4th April 2019, 9:45 am
Updated Thursday, 4th April 2019, 9:54 am
Casino Royale in concert
Casino Royale in concert

Eric Lu, winner of the 2018 Leeds International Piano Competition, will headline the classical music line-up.

The 21 year-old has blown audiences away with his breath-taking finesse.

His appearance marks a chance to catch the young Chinese American acclaimed as one of the most exciting prospects in piano.

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The month-long summer season offers immersive Arts experiences across a range of classical, jazz, folk, and family events in indoor and outdoor venues across the town.

The festival continues its legacy to provide a platform to rising talent with its Young Musician Series.

The very young violinist, Christian Li, flies in from Melbourne to perform. At 11, he is the little maestro with a big future after winning the 2018 Menuhin Competition, known as the Olympics of the Violin.

The Australian prodigy won aged 10, becoming the youngest ever winner.

The late Sir Yehudi Menuhin had a close relationship with Harrogate International Festivals as an honorary patron, performer and conductor.

Charlotte Woods, music and education manager at Harrogate International Festivals, said: “Our events this year build on our 50-year legacy, and as our innovative line-up shows, we’re always looking forwards.

“We hope audiences will be encouraged to be bold and explore new live experiences. It’s truly an international affair with artists flying from all over the world to perform. We have still to announce more music events and art installations over the summer, so do keep your eyes peeled for the full programme launch next month.” Other award-winning young musicians to appear include the Solem String Quartet, winners of the 2014 Royal Over-Seas League Ensemble Competition, and saxophonist Rob Burton, who won the woodwind category of the BBC Young Musician 2018.

Young pianist Xinyuan Wang will also join the line-up. Wang came third in 2018’s Leeds International Piano Competition, cementing Harrogate International Festivals ties with its honorary patron Dame Fanny Waterman, who created the piano event.

The 24 year-old was singled out for his fearless playing at breakneck speed.

This summer also sees the return of the Concert by Candlelight, featuring all-male vocal ensemble, The Gesualdo Six. Festival favourites Oddsocks will give their wacky take on Shakespeare with Midsummer Night’s Dream, celebrating their 30th anniversary in the enchanted RHS Harlow Carr Gardens.

The finale sees the award-winning Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra with a programme celebrating Mozart, alongside Puccini and Brahms. It will feature one of Britain’s finest clarinettists, Julian Bliss, as guest soloist.

Harrogate International Festivals will also deliver a special one off event in May.

The Hallé Orchestra will provide a live soundtrack to the James Bond movie, Casino Royale. Audiences will experience Bond on the big screen accompanied by the full symphony orchestra performing composer David Arnold’s thrilling musical score live to picture.

Casino Royale brings us Bond at the start of his career, having just earned 00 status and his licence to kill, and introduced us to Daniel Craig as Bond. Casino Royale in Concert is presented by Film Concerts Live! It is produced in association with EON Productions and Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios.

On June 23, the festival will also host 1940s Day in Valley Gardens. The free family day-out features military vehicles, vintage stalls, re-enactors and appearances from the Royal Air Force and the Army. Live music features throughout the day, with fairground rides, food trucks and bars. Many dress to impress in 1940s attire.

Booking opens on Tuesday April 9. Box office: 01423 562 303 or online harrogateinternationalfestivals.com