Valley piano festival finds keys to success

Charles Owen - Hebden bridge Piano Festival
Charles Owen - Hebden bridge Piano Festival

After the success of last year’s inaugural event, the second Hebden Bridge Piano Festival is set to return in April.

The 2014 programme launch party will be held on Saturday, January 25, at Hebden Bridge Town Hall.

Festival director Dave Nelson and Henry Botham, who performed two blues/stride jazz concerts in the 2013 festival, will provide live piano entertainment at this free event which is open to anyone and starts at 6.30pm. It will also be the first opportunity to buy tickets and passes for the festival weekend which starts on April 11.

Headlining the festival, which also takes place in the Town Hall, are top-class artists who have performed all over the world. Kathryn Stott, Noriko Ogawa, Paul Roberts and Charles Owen are some of the most distinguished classical pianists in the UK, as indeed are veteran piano duettists Allen Schiller and John Humphreys. Jazz piano is also

featured in the shape of the masterful and inventive Gwilym Simcock.

These high-calibre concerts are interspersed with events intended to involve the whole community. Alongside the top-notch concerts, lecture-recitals and masterclasses, the programme also features inexpensive concerts for children and families, ‘drop-in’ recitals by local pianists, free concerts featuring non-classical piano music, the rather wacky Pianotronic project and, on the Riverside Terrace, a piano available to anyone who wants to play it.

“We want to make the programme launch a delightful and memorable event,” said Dave Nelson.

“There’ll be a bar and we’ll be doing some party food too. We’re even hoping that there’ll be some jive dancing and Lindy-hopping going on during Henry’s performance!

“But mainly it’s an opportunity for everyone to see the wonderful programme we’ve managed to put together and to secure those tickets for what will undoubtedly be a sell-out weekend.”

On-line tickets will also become available on January 25, followed by postal and in-person bookings from the Town Hall from January 27. Visit