"A gem of an arts festival” - Marcus du Sautoy

The magic of Swaledale Festival has finished for another year!  We had classical guitar masters, champion brass bands, award-winning folk, cutting-edge saxophones, outrageous Celtic Gypsy Klezmer, comedy, theatre, film and stunning solos, duets, quartets and orchestras.  

We were treated to vihuelas, accordions, marimbas, harpschord, harp, kora and quanun - not to mention the theorbo (a lute so long it needed a special vehicle of its own!).  We featured national and international artists from Syria, Senegal, China, Australia, Latvia and Venezuela.  And in amongst it all were quoits, impromptu clog dancing and a series of sensational art exhibitions by local artists.

Bach’s Goldberg Variations featured in outstanding concerts by pianist Angela Hewitt and harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani, as well as in mathematician Marcus du Sautoy’s Reeth Lecture.  It also made a surprise appearance in Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita’s enchanting performance of Bach to Baisso where world music met classical.

Participatory events were stronger than ever: from printmaking with artist Chris Moss, to fell-running with local historian Heather Hodgson, to Janet Seymour’s School of Theatre Dance - where twenty-five young dancers from the local community dazzled with ballet, jazz and folk moves.  In one special Festival moment, audience members at The Young’uns sell-out concert stood up to join in with a haunting chorus they had learned at the singing workshop that day.

Thank you as ever to all our supporters: audience members, Festival Friends, Angels, Sponsors and of course our volunteers who were recognised with the most prestigious accolade – the Queens Award for Voluntary Service.  

Artistic Director Malcolm Creese is already working hard on next year’s programme.  The dates are 25 May to 8 June.  See you there!

The Festival is extremely grateful for the generosity of our sponsors, funders, donors, legacy givers, Festival Friends and Angels, as well as the tireless work and dedication of our loyal volunteers, our staff, and members of the Festival Board. Swaledale Festival receives support from Arts Council England and from generous sponsors including  Sherwoods (Vauxhall) of DarlingtonHandelsbanken, Latimer Hinks Solicitors, Kenneth Easby Accountants, T&R Theakston Ltd, Purple Creative StudioTennants Garden RoomsMillgate House B&B in Richmond, the Burgoyne Hotel in Reeth and the Bridge Inn in Grinton. We are also supported by a number of Local Businesses shown here.

Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita, international harp and kora stars, who performed in Grinton Church on Monday 28 May 2018

Recent News

Swaledale Festival online booking opens

Online booking for the 2017 Swaledale Festival opened on Monday 27 March. 

The award-winning festival of music, arts and walking, now in its 46th year,  takes place from 27 May to 10 June - mainly in charming village churches and halls dotted around the breathtaking landscape of the three northernmost Yorkshire Dales - Swaledale, Wensleydale and Arkengarthdale. 

Swaledale Festival, which is a registered charity, is attracting larger audiences each year. Around half of the audience members live in the area and the other half come on holiday especially for the Festival. 

Highlights include pianist Stephen Hough, vocal group VOCES8, London Mozart Players Chamber Ensemble, Red Priest, The National Youth Jazz Orchestra, The Unthanks, Urban Folk Quartet, John Potter’s 'Amores Pasados', Northern Monkey Brass Band, Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments, and a trio of stellar guitarists: John Williams, John Etheridge and Gary Ryan. 

Swaledale Festival’s Young Artists Platform this year includes the extraordinary cellist and reigning BBC Young Musician of the Year Sheku Kanneh-Mason who will perform with two of his equally talented siblings, as well as Jess Gillam, (the first saxophone player to win the Woodwind Final in the same competition), the sensational young chamber orchestra Arch Sinfonia, and the virtuoso classical accordionist Bartosz Glowacki.

There is outdoor Shakespeare, a celebration of the world’s first ballet, a film about Hieronymus Bosch, poetry, art exhibitions, Dales brass bands, talks and guided walks. And for the first time in the Festival’s history, under 25s can buy tickets to every event (except one) for just £3 each.

The Festival has won numerous awards for its artistic achievements, and also for its extensive community and education work. Every year the Festival sends top musicians into local care homes to play for those who are unable to attend the regular concerts. And this year the Festival has launched a major music and visual arts project entitled JAZZ! in which hundreds of children in the Catterick Garrison area will have the opportunity to hear and study jazz music and history, attend a special concert by the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, and produce artworks for a series of exhibitions during the Festival.

Artistic Director Malcolm Creese, now in his tenth year, says: “I’ve been fortunate to secure a fantastic line-up of world-class performers for 2017, and there really is something for everyone. It’s my strongest programme yet.”

Full programme details and tickets are available at: www.swalefest.org

 

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