Artistic Director James Slater has just launched Wiltshire Music Centre’s programme for its Spring Summer 2020 Season. The coming year looks very exciting, thanks to an incredibly diverse array of musical styles on offer and a wide range of performances by outstanding British and international artists across classical, jazz, folk and world music.
Tom Poster opens the season on 24 Jan with his chamber ensemble Kaleidoscope Collective, British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor will give his debut piano recital on 21 February with a programme of Beethoven and Liszt, and then the City of London Sinfonia perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 with soloist Danny Driver on 25 April. Other classical season highlights include a much-anticipated return from pianist Steven Osborne on Friday 5 June for a recital of music by Rachmaninov and Schubert, the Doric String Quartet joining forces with the Marmen Quartet on Friday 15 May to perform Enescu’s epic Octet for Strings, and then the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE)’s return with special guest soloist Alina Ibragimova for a concert that includes Michael Haydn’s Violin Concerto on Wednesday 20 May. We are delighted that leading international vocal ensemble VOCES8 will also make their WMC debut on Wednesday 27 May with a programme that spans Renaissance polyphony to contemporary choral classics.
Beethoven fans will be looking forward to his 250th Anniversary year in 2020, and WMC offers a season that will feature his symphonies, string quartets, piano sonatas and piano concertos. One particular highlight will be a specially-curated Beethoven Festival from 4-7 March, presented in association with WMC’s Young Quartet in Residence, the Marmen Quartet, which features a series of string quartet concerts alongside a keynote lecture and a lecture recital presented by musicologist and BBC radio presenter Katy Hamilton. Thanks to the support of the Cavatina Chamber Music Trust, we are delighted to announce that the entire Festival will be free for Under 25s.
Jazz lovers are also in for a treat with performances by the great British jazz vocalist Elaine Delmar on Saturday 14 March and then leading international star Stacey Kent returns to WMC on Saturday 9 May. We are also thrilled to announce that cutting edge jazz quartet Empirical will be our Nimmo Artist in Residence for 2020, which will include a special concert with acclaimed pianist Gwilym Simcock on 8 February and a collaboration with the hugely talented Wiltshire Youth Jazz Orchestra on 15 March.
Our folk programme spans the British Isles and opens this season with the Orkney based all-female quartet FARA on Wednesday 19 February and then Blazin’ Fiddles will raise the roof with their unique brand of Highland folk. 9Bach from Wales will present their stories, songs and unique blend of traditional folk and electronic instruments on Sunday 7 June, and the iconic folk duo Belshazzar’s Feast return on 16 May for an evening of pure entertainment. The Centre will also be transformed once again into your favourite local festival venue, when Bradford Roots Music Festival returns from 17-19 January for the next instalment of this iconic Wiltshire event, where local music, crafts, dance and food combine to put a smile on your face, even in the depths of winter.
Fans of world music will also not be disappointed, as award-winning qanun virtuoso (a 78-string traditional Syrian instrument) Maya Yousef will perform with her Trio on Saturday 22 February before London-based afro-dub ensemble Fofoulah bring their unique combination of jazz, dub and the sounds of West Africa to the WMC for the first time on Friday 29 May. The great multi-instrumentalist Baluji Shrivastav OBE also presents his latest project on Saturday 2 May, which is a multi-disciplinary cross-cultural performance with 14 visually impaired musicians of the Inner Vision Orchestra.
“This coming Spring Summer Season is bursting at the seams with both talent and diversity. There is genuinely something for everyone, with lots of new acts that will delight and amaze alongside many longstanding WMC favourites.”
- James Slater, Artistic Director Wiltshire Music Centre
As always there is plenty for families and young people this season, with a performance of Sir Scallywag and the Battle of Stinky Bottom by Ensemble 360 on Saturday 1 February and a number of brand new family shows including WMC’s new co-production with Swindon-based Prime Theatre Don’t Pick Me Miss on Sunday 23 February (a new musical and theatre production for school children aged 9-11 exploring the themes of identity and self-reflection), Up in the Air by Mini BSO on Sunday 19 April and Michael Loader’s Jerusalem Zoo on Sunday 31 May.
With a host of other activities including interactive workshops, intimate ‘Live in the Bar’ gigs, free pre-concert talks, lectures, Royal Opera House, Royal Ballet and musical theatre screenings and much more, every taste and interest is catered for in the Wiltshire Music Centre Summer Season 2020.
Explore our website to view the full season. General booking opens on Monday 25 November 2019, with Friends and Angels Priority Booking open now.