Preparations are under way for the Pennine Spring Music Festival in Heptonstall, near Hebden Bridge, later this month.
Participants come from afar and locally. They work hard learning new pieces; orchestral, choral and chamber music, all with skill, passion and the realisation that three concerts are to be
performed alongside professional soloists at St Thomas's church during the week.
This year Israel-born conductor Orr Guy will direct the orchestra. He completed his masters degree in conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music where he enjoyed numerous
masterclasses with Sir Mark Elder. He is now based in Vienna.
Keith Orrell will direct the festival chorus; a Lancastrian, Keith is director of the Manchester-based William Byrd Singers and the Liverpool Welsh Choral and he was chorus master of the Halle Choir for seven years.
The three concerts this year should have something to please everyone.
On Tuesday May 28, the programme includes; Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso by Saint Saens with Russian solo violinist Savva Zverev.
Born in 1998 he attended Moscow Conservatoire, he received a scholarship to study at the Royal Northern College of Music.
Savva's most recent performances include a concert with the Halle at Manchester's Bridgewater Hall.
This concert concludes with the magnificent Dvorak 8th symphony, written in 1889.
On Thursday May 30 the performances are more intimate and chamber like. Beginning with JS Bach’s Concerto for violin and oboe, continuing with Debussy, Poulenc and others.
The festival choir will sing pieces, among others, by Chilcott, Poulenc and Hamlisch and Cole Porter.
Mozart’s Vesperae Solennes de Confessor, to be performed on Saturday June 1, is the sacred offering, with the four soloists;
Ann Wilkes- soprano, Emma Wheeler-alto, Philip O’Connor-tenor and Sam Jackson-bass. By its title, this Mass indicates that the work was composed to honor a saint rather than one who confesses a sin.
The music is spirited and free flowing and has a wonderful interplay between Chorus, soloists and accompaniment. Also featured is the Polish composer Henryk Wieniawski and Tchaikovsky, his Symphony no 4.
All concerts start at 7.30pm in the St. Thomas Church, Heptonstall.