Aldeburgh pitches in with full-scale August Proms

Aldeburgh pitches in with full-scale August Proms


norman lebrecht

May 09, 2022

BrittenPears Arts, run by the former BBC Proms director Roger Wright, has put together a summer programme that pits strongly against the BBC’s. Here’s the rundown:

Britten Pears Arts is delighted to announce the return of ‘Summer at Snape’ from 31 July – 31 August. Snape Maltings Concert Hall will host daily concerts featuring outstanding artists and ensembles from the worlds of classical music, jazz, blues, folk, and pop. The Dome Stage returns with 20 free outdoor performances in a special setting by the river at Snape Maltings from Wednesday – Sunday throughout August.

Highlights include:
• Summer at Snape welcomes the newly formed Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra conducted by Keri-Lynn Wilson
• Visiting orchestras include London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle, Academy of Ancient Music, BBC Concert Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, Chineke! Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Philharmonia Orchestra, & Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra
• International artists include trumpeter Alison Balsom, cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, guitarist Miloš and pianists Christian Blackshaw, Angela Hewitt and Katia & Marielle Labèque
• Choral and Chamber music from The Kingdom Choir, The King’s Singers, Cuarteto Casals, the Emerson Quartet and Takács Quartet
• Two films with live music: The New European Ensemble joins forces with Dutch film director Lucas van Woerkum to present a brand-new silent film inspired by Mahler and Manchester Camerata and conductor Ben Palmer play live to Charlie Chaplin’s silent film ‘The Kid’.
• The jazz, blues and contemporary line-up includes singer and cellist Ayanna Witter-Johnson, Joe Stilgoe Trio, pianist Jason Moran, Julian Bliss Septet, Piccadilly Dance Orchestra, The Swingles and Vadé • Folk and country music from Judy Collins, Martha Wainwright and Dustbowl Revival • Popular classics from piano duo Worbey & Farrell and Brighouse & Rastrick Brass Band • The Dome Stage returns with 20 free performances in a special setting by the river at Snape Maltings
Snape Maltings Concert Hall
– The BBC Concert Orchestra and conductor Barry Wordsworth perform rousing and enchanting orchestral pieces by British composers, including Ralph Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending and Arthur Bliss’ ballet score, Checkmate (1 Aug).
– Britten Pears Arts welcomes the newly formed Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra as part of a European and US tour this summer. Brought together by the Metropolitan Opera, New York, and the Polish National Opera, the brand-new orchestra with Canadian-Ukrainian conductor Keri-Lynn Wilson includes recently refugeed Ukrainian musicians, Ukrainian members of European orchestras and some of the top musicians of Kyiv, Lviv, Kharkiv, Odesa and elsewhere in Ukraine. The Ukraine Ministry of Culture is granting a special exemption to their military-age male orchestral players, allowing them to participate in a remarkable demonstration of the power of art over adversity (8 Aug).
– The Academy of Ancient Music brings a wide-ranging programme of works from close friends JS Bach and Telemann, and from grand French courtly dances to vivacious Polish folk music (9 Aug). – The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra celebrates timeless classical music in a concert of film favourites conducted by Timothy Redmond, from the instantly recognisable themes of ‘Chariots of Fire’ and ‘Bridge Over the River Kwai’ to top the slow movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No.7 in ‘The King’s Speech’ (10 Aug).
– Manchester Camerata and conductor Ben Palmer bring to life one of the greatest films of the silent era, Charlie Chaplin’s 1921 film ‘The Kid’ (13 Aug).
– To present a poetic collage of Mahler’s symphonies, the New European Ensemble will perform extracts to accompany a new silent film, ‘The Echo of Being’, inspired by the composer’s life by Dutch film director Lucas van Woerkum, who will synchronise the music live during the performance. The film cast is led by actors Amira Casar (Call Me By Your Name) and Greg Wise (The Crown) (20 Aug).
– The Philharmonia Orchestra and conductor Anu Tali perform music from two great ballet scores: Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet (16 Aug).
– The London Symphony Orchestra and conductor Sir Simon Rattle return to Snape Maltings for a concert which features Bruckner’s Symphony No.7 and Sibelius’ tone poems (21 Aug).
International Artists
– Sisters Katia and Marielle Labèque showcase music for two pianos by Debussy, Ravel, and Philip Glass (6 Aug).
– Japanese pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii, who has been blind since birth, presents a programme of romantic piano classics by Beethoven, Liszt and Chopin (7 Aug).
– Angela Hewitt’s piano recital features JS Bach’s Preludes and Fugues from Book II of The Well-Tempered Clavier and Brahms’ Sonata No. 3 in F minor (11 Aug).
– Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason joins Chineke! Orchestra and conductor Kevin John Edusei for a programme which includes Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto (25 Aug).
– Classical guitarist Miloš brings his charismatic approach to a wide-ranging programme of works by Villa Lobos, Bach, Albeniz and Sor (28 Aug).
– Pianist Christian Blackshaw returns to Snape Maltings with Spanish string quartet Cuarteto Casals, which celebrates its 25th anniversary with a programme of Haydn, Shostakovich and Dvořák (30 Aug). – Trumpeter Alison Balsom joins the Britten Sinfonia and conductor Scott Stroman to perform pieces from her newly released album including arrangements of two much-loved concertos, Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, together with jazz-influenced pieces by Copland, Barber and Stravinsky (31 Aug).
Ensembles & Chamber Music
– Grammy award-winning a capella ensemble The King’s Singers performs songs inspired by birdsong and flight, written across 500 years, taking in Schubert, Ravel, the Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Beth Orton and Laura Mvula (5 Aug).
– Two internationally acclaimed string quartets perform: the Grammy award-winning Emerson Quartet bring a programme of Schubert, Brahms and George Walker (24 Aug) and the Takács Quartet, play Haydn, Coleridge-Taylor and Schubert (17 Aug).
Jazz & Blues
– London-born singer-songwriter and cellist Ayanna Witter-Johnson welcomes musical friends to join her as she performs her unique blend of classically infused jazz, reggae and soul, presenting a night of song and storytelling (22 Aug).
– The UK chart-topping Joe Stilgoe Trio makes a welcome return to Snape with new takes on jazz classics as well as Stilgoe’s own songs (12 Aug).
– Jazz pianist Jason Moran performs music by his heroes alongside his own compositions (14 Aug). – The Julian Bliss Septet presents Jazz in Hollywood, an evening of nostalgia with music from wartime musicals to classic Disney films (22 Aug).
– The Piccadilly Dance Orchestra brings music from The Roaring Twenties (23 Aug). – Grammy award-winning acapella group The Swingles is joined by R&B vocal quintet Vadé for a programme of songs from around the world (29 Aug).
Folk and country music
– Canadian-American folk-pop singer-songwriter and poet Martha Wainwright and her 4-piece band perform songs from her recent album, ‘Love will be reborn’, documenting her own pursuit of happiness (2 Aug).
– Los-Angeles based group Dustbowl Revival push the boundaries of American roots music, performing funk and folk with a theatrical twist (3 Aug).
– American singer-songwriter and musician Judy Collins, who has appeared in the Grammy Hall of Fame, brings imaginative interpretations of traditional and contemporary folk standards, as well as her own original poetic compositions (26 Aug).


  • Akutagawa says:

    So, to get things straight, if the South Bank Centre promotes the Chineke! Orchestra and artists like Sheku Kanneh-Mason, then it’s tokenistic PC nonsense because you hate the South Bank Centre, whereas if Aldeburgh promotes the Chineke! Orchestra and artists like Sheku Kanneh-Mason, then it constitutes a strong challenge to the BBC Proms because you hate the BBC. Happy to have cleared this up on behalf of your loyal readership.

    • Alan says:

      Never mind the fact that Aldeburgh will have blues and jazz etc. which apparently isn’t highbrow enough for the BBC Proms

      You’d be hard pressed to keep up with the thought processes around here.

      • Tancredi says:

        What a stupid use of ‘highbrow’. The Proms are supposed to be classical music, but to my distress have in the past couple of years subjected one to American musicals; unfortunately these seem to occur when I’m in! As far as Aldburgh is concerned, I would avoid the jazz, but welcome blues. The real problem with Radio 3 is constant insulting advertising. [Remote control to Classic until the ads pass.]

    • Jonathon says:

      Precisely! Compared to years gone by this is a very ‘dumbed-down’ season from Aldeburgh, offering much the same mix of content as this years Prom season. ‘Chariot’s of Fire….Bridge over the River Kwai…. an evening of nostalgia with music from wartime musicals to classic Disney film. What would Britten make of it all? Remember when the Aldeburgh Festival was classical ‘and no special pleading was required?’ (NL)

    • Allen says:

      Except that Aldeburgh seems to achieve more with less.

      Just thought I’d clear that up.

  • Manu says:

    At least one main promoter in UK, together with the Wigmore Hall, who invites master pianist Christian Blackshaw. Shameful he is not more present, as he is a unique interpreter of Mozart.

  • La plus belle voix says:

    Chineke, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Miloš, Angela Hewitt plus the Labèques. Can hardly wait.

  • Maria says:

    All fine if you have a car, if you on holiday in a caravan or something, and plenty of money. Aldeburgh is a terribly expensive place to stay in the summer, and not easy to get to and over-rated.

  • BPA says:

    Don’t confuse this Summer at Snape season with the Aldeburgh Festival in June.

  • Piston1 says:

    The “Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra conducted by Keri-Lynn Wilson”, a.k.a. Mrs. Peter Gelb…….if that doesn’t take the proverbial cake……