The Suffolk Coast
  • Monterverdi Choir with John Eliot Gardiner at Aldeburgh Festival

The Aldeburgh Music Festival 2016 Programme has been Announced!

The Aldeburgh Festival 2016 programme has been announced – a 17-day celebration of music and arts with circus, birds and pianos at its heart.

The Festival centrepiece is Catalogue d’Oiseaux (Sunday 19 June), a marathon journey through music and nature from sunrise to midnight.

Aldeburgh Festival Artistic Director Pierre-Laurent Aimard performs Olivier Messiaen’s huge work for piano over four concerts, set against the panoramic backdrops and teeming wildlife of Snape Maltings and RSPB Minsmere.

Birdsong fascinated French composer Olivier Messiaen all his life and Catalogue d’Oiseaux is his largest work inspired by birds, a 150-minute piece for solo piano which creates a rich musical language from the depictions of 77 species of bird that Messiaen heard in his native Camargue region of south-west France.

Pierre-Laurant Aimard - Photo by Rob Brimson

One of the world’s leading interpreters of Messiaen’s piano music, Pierre-Laurent Aimard creates a day that animates the piece as never before. Hear the birds evoked by the piano alongside the myriad real birds of the Suffolk coast amidst the region’s unspoilt expanses of reedbeds, marshy waters and sky.

The day starts with at Snape Maltings with a view of sunrise over the River Alde, the climax will be a FREE concert outdoors on the BBC Springwatch stage at RSPB Minsmere, and the finale will see the audience back at Snape near midnight, seated on the concert hall floor in almost total darkness.


The Festival opens with Illuminations (Friday 10th, Sunday 12th and Monday 13th June), the premiere of a new staged work for singer, string orchestra and circus performers. Inspired by the surrealism of Rimbaud’s poetry set in Britten’s song cycle Les Illuminations, director Struan Leslie creates a newly-commissioned staging fusing music and contemporary circus performance.

Soprano Sarah Tynan joins an ensemble of international circus performers, Aurora Orchestra and conductor Nicholas Collon in a 75-minute devised piece which includes Britten’s Les Illuminations and Young Apollo, Debussy’s String Quartet and music from John Adams’ Shaker Loops.


The final weekend of the Festival (24th to 26th June) will be a huge celebration of the piano. Pierre-Laurent Aimard assembles an array of pianists, from visiting international stars to outstanding young musicians from East Anglia – and possibly you if you’re willing to sign up to the Grade 1 Challenge!

Aldeburgh Music and the Britten-Pears Foundation invite anyone of any age who is interested in starting to learn the piano to sign up to the Grade 1 Challenge at www.aldeburgh.co.uk/gradeone to receive support over the next six months, with the chance to book practice rooms at Snape Maltings, attend tutorials and access a host of useful information on piano teachers, repertoire, exam boards and more. Participants will have the opportunity to make their Aldeburgh Festival debut on the main stage at Snape Maltings Concert Hall in the Festival finale!

Les Siecles - (c) A. Klostermann

There are many more threads to follow through the Festival:

The remarkable French orchestra Les Siècles visit for a four-concert residency, playing music from the 17th century to the 20th on different sets of instruments contemporary with each of the periods. Audience members will have the chance to recreate the soundworlds the music’s first audiences would have heard, and also chart the changing fashions of musical instrument making.


There will also be a thrilling series exploring the explosion of creativity during the years of the First World War (17th and 24th June), a triptych of concerts juxtaposing the music of Benjamin Britten and Michael Tippett (16th to 20th June), five concerts centred on Bach, an exploration of this year’s featured composers Julian Anderson, Benedict Mason and Rebecca Saunders, an introduction to the Norwegian Hardanger fiddle tradition, a Festival Organ Crawl on a vintage bus and a 21st-century meditation on a 16th-century sculpture garden from Solomon’s Knot and Mira Calix.

Further musical highlights include John Eliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi Choir, Emanuel Ax, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Ian Bostridge, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, Thomas Zehetmair, while Festival exhibitions feature visual artists Justin Partyka and Helen Napper.

There will also be walks, talks and films, the 30+ non-classical events at The Pumphouse fringe (weekends during the Festival, programme to be announced in April), and free music every lunchtime on the Bandstand on the Beach (programme to be announced in June).

To see the full Aldeburgh Festival 2016 programme, visit www.aldeburgh.co.uk


Things to see and do


RSPB Minsmere Nature Reserve

RSPB Minsmere Nature Reserve

Westleton

Discover nature together on the beautiful Suffolk coast. Wander among the wetlands and woods, potter along the beach, and pause to watch some amazing wildlife. Explore the Wild Zone with the family, then sample some delicious home-cooked, locally-sourced food in the cafe.

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Snape Maltings

Snape Maltings

Snape

Snape Maltings is a place of energy and inspiration – a visitor destination of outstanding natural beauty and one of the world’s leading centres of music, founded by Suffolk-born composer Benjamin Britten. 

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Free wifi Dog friendly

events


The Suffolk Walking Festival 2017

The Suffolk Walking Festival 2017

Woodbridge | Sat 13th May - Sun 04th Jun 2017

Save the date for this fantastic walking festival, with a large programme of guided walks across Suffolk from the 13th May - 4th June 2017.

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Felixstowe Book Festival

Felixstowe Book Festival

Felixstowe | Sat 01st - Sun 02nd Jul 2017

Now in its fifth year, Felixstowe Book Festival, returns for another exciting weekend of events on 1st & 2nd July, 2017.

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Tidal Margins Family Art Workshop - RSPB Minsmere

Tidal Margins Family Art Workshop - RSPB Minsmere

Dunwich | Sat 13th Feb 2016

A unique opportunity with Tidal Margins artists to produce drawings and prints using the inspiration of the plants, birds and wildlife that live and visit RSPB Minsmere.

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Matthew Bourne's The Car Man

Matthew Bourne's The Car Man

Lowestoft | Wed 09th Mar 2016

Filmed live at the Sadler’s Wells Theatre, UK this is a sensational new dance event from the internationally acclaimed choreographer Matthew Bourne and his Dance Company New Adventures.

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Wheelchair Accessible


Branagh Theatre Live: Romeo & Juliet

Branagh Theatre Live: Romeo & Juliet

Lowestoft | Thu 07th Jul 2016

The Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company Live cinema season continues with a new vision of Shakespeare’s heartbreaking tale of forbidden love. Branagh and his creative team present a modern passionate version of the classic tragedy.

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Wheelchair Accessible


PHOTOEAST - These Are Our Dogs- Libby Hall  – The Cut, Halesworth

PHOTOEAST - These Are Our Dogs- Libby Hall – The Cut, Halesworth

Halesworth | Tue 24th May - Sat 25th Jun 2016

PhotoEast is a brand new photography festival celebrating contemporary photography in Suffolk. The inaugural 4-week event will take place from 24th May to 25th June 2016 in Ipswich and in other towns and communities linked by the East Suffolk railway line.

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Half Term Film Festival for Teenagers - The Cut, Halesworth

Half Term Film Festival for Teenagers - The Cut, Halesworth

Halesworth | Wed 17th - Fri 19th Feb 2016

Head to The Cut, Halesworth, Suffolk to cure teenage boredom as 6 films have been selected  for teenagers and adults especially for the Half Term holidays 17th - 19th February 2016.

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Champagne Tasting Night at Salthouse Harbour Hotel

Champagne Tasting Night at Salthouse Harbour Hotel

Ipswich | Tue 08th Mar 2016

Bethan Wallace, Devaux representative in the UK, and Peter Rowe will host a Devaux champagne tasting night alongside a variety of other wines for you to try.

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WHERE TO EAT


Eat at Snape Maltings

Eat at Snape Maltings

Snape

There's an excellent selection of places to eat at Snape Maltings, from freshly prepared local food and cream teas to cafés overlooking the Alde estuary, providing guests with one of the best views of reeds, water and sky in the UK.

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Free wifi