Clive Wilson, in his introduction to the first Harrogate Festival of Arts and Sciences in 1966, wrote “the Festival must be seen as a developing thing, widening its scope and perhaps shifting its emphasis as the years go by.” Harrogate International Festivals certainly looks very different to how it did over 50 years ago, but our classical and chamber music programme remains at the heart of the Festival.
From our Young Musician series to showcasing the work of globally acclaimed artists, we’re proud of our history of supporting and celebrating the work of musicians at all stages of their careers.
Harrogate Music Festival 2023 welcomed internationally renowned orchestra Chineke!, who made their Harrogate debut at the Royal Hall. The 2023 season ran throughout July with three long weekends of classical, chamber and jazz music including Julian and Jiaxin Lloyd Webber, Fenella Humphreys, renowned musicians in a residency curated by pianist Robin Green and an electrifying night of the world’s best session musicians brought together in one mega band with Mike Lovatt’s Brass Pack.
Mike also hosted a surprise pop-up event in the town centre, where lucky fans had the opportunity to see the live premiere of Eclipse, which was written during the pandemic by local award-winning composer Dr. David Lancaster and performed by musicians around the world in a virtual lockdown concert, whilst the musicians in residence performed together in a free gig at Lilypad bar.
Festival favourites Oddsocks, the UK’s much loved touring theatre company, returned with their iconic style of outdoor performance, bringing Much Ado About Nothing to the glorious grounds of RHS Harlow Carr.
Planning is now underway for Harrogate Music Festival 2024 – keep an eye out for announcements in the new year as there is much to look forward to next summer!