It’s that time of year again when the Windsor Festival, strikes a pitch-perfect note. This year will see the festival celebrate its 45th year. The schedule will see a packed and varied programme of performances by a Grammy winner, young British soprano and orchestras. Also scheduled are presentations from novelist, Frederick Forsyth and well-known historian, David Starkey.
From Sunday, 20th September to Sunday, 4th October the festival will be amongst the premier Music and Arts Festivals in the UK. The event offers an extensive, varied and exciting range of opportunities for people to learn, listen, participate and enjoy in what must be one of the world’s most exclusive royal venues.
The royal town, castle and surrounding area will proudly play host to events aimed at promoting high-quality performances in music and the arts. Windsor Festival offers a diverse range of cultural events which engages the enthusiasm, interest and support of a broad cross-section of the general public.
Once again The Queen has graciously consented to the Festival holding events in the Waterloo Chamber, Windsor Castle and the Royal Chapel, Windsor Great Park. Whilst festival events held in St George’s Chapel and the Vicars’ Hall are by kind permission of the Dean and Canons of Windsor. The Provost and Fellows of Eton allow Festival events to take place in Eton College Chapel and the Music Schools.
Highlights of this year’s festival will include:
• Eight Ukuleles, 16 hands, 32 Strings, 16 million minutes, one billion Seconds, 30 years. The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain will be performing as part of the festival on Sunday, 20 September at 7.30pm in the Windsor Parish Church.
• Young British soprano Sophie Bevan, recipient of the Young Singer Award at the inaugural 2013 International Opera Awards and The Times Breakthrough Award at the 2012 South Bank Sky Arts Awards, will join Ian Page and Classical Opera for a concert of works by composers of the classical period on Friday 25 September at 7.30pm in the Waterloo Chamber of Windsor Castle.c
• Grammy award winner Maxim Vengerov will be performing on Tuesday 29 September at 7.30pm in the Waterloo Chamber, Windsor Castle. Maxim will be accompanied by pianist Marios Papadopoulos.
• On Friday 2 October at 7.30pm, St George’s Chapel will play host to an evening of music as Orpheus Sinfonia return to the festival stage. The orchestra formed of young professionals, led by principal conductor Thomas Carroll, will bring to life Walton’s score for the 1943 Laurence Olivier film Henry V to commemorate 600 years since the Battle of Agincourt.
Martin Denny, Windsor Festival director, said: “We are proud to say our programme this year sees more events at Windsor Castle and throughout the town than ever before. The calibre of performers, in particular, our musicians, is absolutely breathtaking. So, as summer draws to a close once again in this Royal Town, we invite you to immerse yourself in this series of enchanting events – we are confident that this year’s Festival will not disappoint.”
The Earl of Wessex is Patron of the Windsor Festival and noted: “A quick glance at this year’s programme reveals a wonderful cornucopia of delights. The biggest problem, if indeed it is a problem, is trying to decide what to go and see, or more accurately, what not to see. However the real challenge of any festival, and Windsor is no different, is trusting the festival director’s taste and trying something new.”
“None of this effort would be worthwhile without you, our audience. Thank you and I hope that this year’s Festival doesn’t disappoint, most especially if you take that plunge and try something new,” Edward concluded.
For a full line-up, please see the festival’s website: windsorfestival.com
Photo Credit: Duncan Sowry-House