Harrogate audiences have the opportunity for an exclusive preview of the 2016 Harrogate International Festivals’ 50th anniversary programme this Saturday.

The unveiling of the 2016 summer music and literature line-up will take place in the Royal Hall on Saturday 12 March. The night features a special one-off concert from the Simón Bolívar String Quartet.

 ‘Friends of the Festival’ can secure seats first for some of the hottest acts this Summer, which will be announced as part of the evening, with Friends Priority booking opening Monday 14th March.

The Friends’ scheme, which starts from just £30, offers a number of fantastic benefits, such as priority booking, priority entry and invites to exclusive receptions. The membership scheme helps support the charitable organisations year-round arts delivery and educational work. Harrogate International Festivals actively raises 98% of its funding every year to host live arts events, support emerging talent, and deliver educational programmes.

Marc Dunleavy, Music Festivals Manager, said: “For five decades Harrogate International Festivals has brought top class performances with its vibrant portfolio, dramatically increasing the cultural and tourism offer for Harrogate and the North of England. We really hope audiences will support us on Saturday night, and might consider becoming a Friend of the Festival in this anniversary year. What’s more, we can’t wait to announce and celebrate the remarkable programme we have lined-up for this summer.”

The celebratory concert sees the vibrant Simón Bolívar String Quartet play a selection of major string quartets, including Bartok’s technically varied String Quartet No 4, concluding with Mendelssohn’s String Quartet No 2 in A minor.

Created from within the Fundación Musical Simón Bolívar, the Simón Bolívar String Quartet is made up of principal musicians of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela. The Quartet has given concerts throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, performing in concerts as well as taking part in education and community events.

To celebrate the programme launch and encourage young audiences to experience classical music, tickets are available for Under-18s for just £1.

The full 2016 Summer programme will be available to view on the Festival’s website from Monday 14th March. General booking opens Tuesday 29th March.

To book tickets, or for more information on the Festival Friend’s scheme, visit: harrogateinternationalfestivals.com or call the Box Office on 01423 562 303.