Inspired by the leading lights that dominate our shore line, welcoming ships into port, this year’s festival presents a programme of artistic events for all ages and tastes that we hope will draw people not only from the local community but from further afield to this very special place.
In these times of financial constraint it has been difficult to find the funding to develop the festival as we might have hoped but it has given us the opportunity to consolidate and to search for new ways to engage with new audiences.
There is still a commitment to contemporary music as established by Diana Burrell but there are also new genres represented as we welcome the BBC award winning Birmingham Town Hall Gospel Choir and the steam punk band Tankus the Henge. For those who like the old traditions there is even an opportunity to hear some of the ‘last night of the proms’ favourites at our opening event on the Quay. Theatre returns to the festival with Small Nose Theatre and our very own Dovercourt Theatre Group and we are using some new venues as we explore new possibilities.
We also welcome a large number of young performers to Harwich, with the Royal College of Music, Fieri Consort, Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker, a concert of Nigel Hess’ Rats!, which will be given by our primary schools and we have a line-up of young professional soloists joining the Dovercourt and Witham Choral Societies for a performance of the topical HMS Pinafore.
From Holland we welcome the Rotterdam aan Zee Concert Band as well as a retrospective of paintings by one time local resident Piet Mulders.
I hope you enjoy the festival and that you will bring along as many of your friends as you can. When it is over it is over!
Artistic Director 2015
Tendring Brass band – Opening Ceremony
Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker
The Harwich Festival of the Arts would like to thank The RVW Trust (http://www.rvwtrust.org.uk/) for its support for the Harwich Festival 2015.
The RVW Trust is one of the most significant sources in the UK of funding for contemporary and recent British music. The trust was established by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) in 1956 and it continues to fulfill the purposes he intended. It is with the support of the RVW Trust that The Harwich Festival was able to commission the composition of ‘Gemini’ by former Harwich Festival Artistic director Diana Burrell and its subsequent world premier performance by Jane Chapman – Harpsichord on Sunday 5th July as part of the Harwich Festival 2015.
Jane Chapman will be performing ‘Gemini’ at Turner Sim, Southampton, in November 2015 and will be recording the piece in 2016. Jane was thrilled with the opportunity to play the piece and has said that she will now play it many times in addition to those laid out above.