Rhinegold Photo credit: Sussie Ahlburg

Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

Leeds Lieder Festival 2018: Poetry into Song

5:01, 6th February 2018

The 2018 Leeds Lieder Festival will take place 19-22 April at Leeds College of Music.

This year’s event has the theme of ‘Poetry into Song’ and comprises four days of recitals, masterclasses, talks, workshops and informal discovery events.

Highlights include a performance of Schumann’s Myrthen by Carolyn Sampson, Julian Prégardien and Joseph Middleton; Schubert’s Winterreise from Robert Holl and Graham Johnson; Daniel Kidane’s new song cycle, Songs of Illumination; a programme of ‘songs of longing, love and lust’, featuring works by Strauss, Debussy, Britten, Liszt and Hahn, performed by Louise Alder and Joseph Middleton; and Schubert’s Schwanengesang from Matthew Rose and Malcolm Martineau.

Other recitals will come from Kathleen Ferrier and Wigmore Hall International Song Competition Award winners Julien van Mellaerts and Gamal Khamis, Radio 3 New Generation Artist Kathryn Rudge and Jonathan Fisher, and rising stars Nick Pritchard and Ian Tindale, as well as the 2018 Leeds Lieder Young Artists, who will study under John Mark Ainsley.

Sir Thomas Allen will lead masterclasses and appear in conversation with Radio 3’s Donald Macleod; French song expert Roger Nichols celebrates Debussy’s anniversary with two study events; and Lieder authority Richard Stokes will talk on Schubert cycles.

Community music-making is at the heart of this year’s Festival. Singers of all abilities are invited to a Bring and Sing! rehearsal and performance of Fauré’s Requiem, directed by Opera North’s chorus master, Oliver Rundell. Children under five and their families can discover stories in song in an interactive and informal workshop, Lieder for Little’uns, and a Pop-Up Poetry open-mic night and late night Lieder Lounge will allow exploration of the art-form in an informal setting.

‘A critic last year wrote that we had presented “a flourishing […] outstanding […] relentless sequence of superb recitals’ and this year we have programmed even more,’ said artistic director Joseph Middleton. ‘Repertoire will span from the 18th century to works written specifically for the thriving 2018 Leeds Lieder audience, an audience that has, thanks to our rich and adventurous programming grown significantly in the past few years and is helping to keep this marvellous art form alive.’

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