The first week of the Aldeburgh Festival

Bicycles, Boulez, Benjamin, Britten & Bach and a whole load of other stuff that doesn’t begin with B featured in our packed first week at the Aldeburgh Festival. Catch up with what happened in our round-up.

The talented students of Andreas Scholl’s masterclass course showed off what they’d learnt in a recital in Aldeburgh Church on Tuesday. Each performed a song from the Baroque era solo, and we were treated to all the singers and harpsichordists together to bring the recital to a close.

828 Singers on the Vocal Masterclass Course performing together at Aldeburgh Festival

After their two exciting concerts as an orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra rounded off their residency with a chamber music concert with two different arrangements of soloists, including   Edward Nesbit’s Aldeburgh Music commissioned premiere Concerto. 

A week of heavy-weight musical performances was punctuated on Wednesday by a simple joyful moment with our band of fantastic volunteers performing Eine Brise by Kagel, a piece for 111 cyclists, to celebrate the arrival of the Women’s Tour cycle race in Aldeburgh. We were also treated to a fantastic set on our Bandstand by Aldeburgh Residency artists Project Jam Sandwich.

Our thread “Boulez at 90”, celebrating the great musician, began on Wednesday evening with the UK premiere of A Pierre Dream. Using video design by Mike Tutaj and choreographed screen moves, and featuring the Royal Academy of Music’s Manson Ensemble under the baton of Susanna Mälkki, the show presented acoustic and theatrical journey through Boulez’s life.

Our focus on Boulez’s music continued with a series of illustrated performances with Julian Anderson delving into detail on two of Boulez’s key pieces Livre pour quatuor and Piano Sonata No.3 with Quatuour Diotima and Florent Boffard playing extracts of both respectively.

Julian Anderson & Quatuor Diotima at Aldeburgh Festival

Julian Anderson & Quatuor Diotima

On Thursday, approaching the midway point of the Festival, Alice Coote and Christian Blackshaw gave a recital of Haydn, Britten, Mozart and Schubert.

Alice Coote & Christian Blackshaw at Aldeburgh Festival

Alice Coote and Christian Blackshaw