Catch up with the year at Aldeburgh Music

As everyone prepares to wind down for the Christmas break, we thought we’d give you the chance to watch footage from the events we’ve documented in 2014. We hope it goes down well with a glass of mulled wine…

And when you have a moment, take a look at our Spring programme and Aldeburgh Festival 2015 highlights to start planning your visits next year. We’ll be announcing the Festival programme in full on Tuesday 27 January.

Have a great Christmas and we hope to see you in 2015.

2014 Aldeburgh Festival

Neil Bartlett’s production of Britten’s opera Owen Wingrave opened this year’s Festival and our Owen Wingrave Study Day brought together members of the 2014 and original 1970 casts. An Aldeburgh Musicircus was a remarkable extravaganza involving around 1,000 musicians that turned the town into a glorious sonic marketplace and was later turned into a fun and innovative online experience in partnership with The Space. Meanwhile our contemporary art show SNAP commissioned new works from Anya Gallaccio inspired by the landscape and heritage of Orford Ness in partnership with the WWI cultural programme 14-18 NOW.

Faster Than Sound

Our Faster Than Sound strand of cutting-edge, cross-artform projects devised in the course of residencies completed the final year of its current programme with collaborations between musician and writer Richard Skelton and The Elysian Quartet, EXAUDI Vocal Ensemble and noise artist Russell Haswell, and composer-performer Jennifer Walshe, sound artist Lee Patterson and Aldeburgh Young Musicians. You can also watch 14 projects from the Faster Than Sound back catalogue.

Friday Afternoons

Following last year’s project, which was one of the highlights of the worldwide Britten Centenary celebrations, in 2014 we commissioned new folk song arrangements for children by Sally Beamish, Jon Boden, Gwyneth Herbert, Nico Muhly, Rachel Portman, Talvin Singh, The Unthanks, John Woolrich and Jason Yarde. On the culmination day, Friday 28 November, events took place in many regions of the UK and in Belgium, Greece, Norway and the USA, several of which were live streamed at fridayafternoonsmusic.co.uk and theguardian.com. The project will continue in 2015 – look out for an announcement about the new songs in the spring.

New Opera

Nurturing the creation of new operas is a central part of our work and in initiating a three-year co-commissioning and co-producing partnership with The Royal Opera and Opera North, we hope to provide a rare platform for medium-scale opera writing. In March 2014 we launched the project with The Commission and Café Kafka, new operas by Elspeth Brooke & Jack Underwood and Francisco Coll & Meredith Oakes. Meanwhile behind the scenes in the Jerwood Opera Writing Programme we continue giving composers and writers support as they begin thinking about approaching opera for the first time, as seen in this work-in-progress scene by Benjamin Scheuer and Tom Swift.

Britten Weekend

This year’s Britten Weekend fizzed with the energy of new collaborative work, with the inspirational Italian-based unconducted orchestra Spira mirabilis accompanying Rob Murray in Britten’s Nocturne song cycle and premiering Colin Matthews’ Spiralling, and young artists from the Aldeburgh Middle Eastern Orchestral Development Programme joining Aldeburgh Young Musicians to perform two new orchestral songs by young composers Samantha Fernando and Jay Richardson.

See a photos of Colin Matthews and Spira mirabilis
Roger Wright’s first Britten Weekend

Residencies and Artist Development

We continue to welcome a hugely diverse range of musicians and artists to our campus to develop their skills and create new work, from the outstanding under 18s of Aldeburgh Young Musicians to established artists such as Mahan Esfahani. Here are just a few of the highlights from the huge amount of artist development work that takes place behind the scenes all year round.