Festival of song will ring out in Leeds

Roderick Williams and Julius Drake (piano) at Leeds Lieder Festival 2016. PIC: Robert Piwko
Roderick Williams and Julius Drake (piano) at Leeds Lieder Festival 2016. PIC: Robert Piwko
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A festival of song will ring out in the city this spring.

Songs of Travel will be the theme of the Leeds Lieder Festival 2017, from April 21 to 23.

The seventh festival will herald the start of the previously biennial event becoming an annual fixture in the city’s musical calender.

Supported by Arts Council England, Leeds Lieder Festival offers a weekend of events as well as live music, with something for all ages.

Leeds Lieder will welcome actors to join the line-up of internationally acclaimed musicians and rising star singers celebrating the world of song through recitals, interviews, commissions, talks, live-streams, walks and workshops.

In a rare UK recital appearance, Simon Keenlyside (baritone) will open the festival alongside pianist Joseph Middleton, director of Leeds Lieder, with Songs of Travel, at The Venue, Leeds College of Music on April 21.

Mr Middleton said: “Last year we saw a huge ticket sale increase. It’s a common misconception that classical music is a ‘difficult sell’ and it’s nice for Leeds Lieder to be bucking this trend, developing new audiences as well as challenging and delighting our existing audiences.

“We have a really wonderful, warm, loyal following who support us and we want to exploit the fact that this music is for everyone, regardless of where you come from or what you do. The themes we address in performing these songs are universal - they explore the human condition in all its guises be it emotions relating to love or death, or joy or nature or relationships. We also do a lot of work in schools too.”

Work by schoolchildren will be showcased in the Cool Lieder and Discovering Lieder concerts.

PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

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