This month sees a bunch of festival announcements from areas of the United Kingdom outside London, and a pair of great North American Bach festivals.
Aside from the BBC Proms, the other huge UK summer festival is the Edinburgh International Festival, who always put on a fascinating array of events, which this year include a performance of a Chinese Opera version of Hamlet by the Shanghai Peking Opera Troupe. Opera is provided by the Mariinsky Opera and Vlaamse Opera, while the range of international orchestras include the Philadelphia, Tonhalle Zurich and Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal. Martha Argerich will put in a rare performance playing 4 hands with Nelson Goerner, while Karita Mattila and Magdalena Kozena will both give recitals. Take a look for yourself; you're welcome to disagree with us as to which are the highlights!
Still in the north of the United Kingdom, you can find an intimate festival at Paxton which gives you Joanna MacGregor with a wonderful programme of Piazzolla and Mussorgsky set in the picture gallery of a 1758 Adams brothers house. A number of good chamber groups offer not only staple chamber programming but also a really interesting mix of the more unusual.
In Kent, Egerton Festival takes place just once every three years. You have a chance to see the Sacconi Quartet playing Dvorak’s American, listen to early music or go to see Britten's Albert Herring, which makes it a varied and eclectic small festival.
Also in Kent, if your taste in classical music is a little more modern, you are just in time to catch Sounds New in Canterbury, which features compositions of both chamber and orchestral from a string of living composers including guest composer Arvo Pärt and performers from around the world.
Going backwards in time musically, you can hear a range of Bach in some lovely settings both by the sea and in the forest courtesy of the Carmel Bach Festival in California.
Bach is also being performed in Ontario at the Bach Music Festival of Canada who present Lara St John amongst others in their week long festival in South Huron:
There is a wonderful new season now up on the site from the Luxembourg Philharmonie where you can see world class performers. Take a look:
Our iPhone app (a free download at the iTunes store) has been rated one of the top 50 apps in the world in all categories by the Sunday Times. You can see a quick demonstration on bachtrack.com/bachtrack-for-iphone. We're also very proud to have made New York’s classical radio station WQXR's number 1 slot for classical music apps. You can read their article here:
Take a look at a review in this month from Tom Hancox about the LSO/Gergiev concert he attended; Tom gives a wonderful flavour of the event: http://www.bachtrack.com/review-lso-gergiev-shostakovich-tchaikovsky
Ballet is also starting to feature more in our reviews and Susan Blood writes enthusiastically about the Boston Ballet whose events she is reviewing, in particular the latest Balanchine / Robbins programme she recently attended:
In London Margaret Willis has danced and written for many years about ballet in general and Russian Ballet in particular, so it was very appropriate that she should review the wonderful Russian Gala she saw at the Coliseum at the weekend and let us know her favourite young stars to watch out for:
In order to get more out of the many operas he sees and reviews, David has been learning how to sing opera and he has some interesting insights that you can read about in his blog. For your comfort and safety, you may wish to know that no audio is included.
David and Alison Karlin