Manchester International Festival

World-class musicians are taking to the stage in Manchester's incredible Bridgewater Hall and Albert Hall for this summer's Manchester International Festival.


John TavenerOn 7 July audiences at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall will be able to witness a piece of history: an evening of three world premieres and rarely performed work from the much-loved English composer John Tavener.

Tavener came to prominence at the age of 24 with his dramatic cantata The Whale when he was described by The Guardian as‘the musical discovery of the year’. His Song for Athene was performed at the end of Princess Diana’s funeral and in 2000 he was knighted for his services to music.

His music is known for its spirituality and beauty and this evening will be no exception. The Love Duet from his new opera, The Play of Krishna, draws on inspiration from the Hindu faith, and stars tenor John Mark Ainsley and soprano Elin Manahan Thomas. Cellist Steven Isserlis and bass-baritone Jonathan Lemalu will be performing The Death of Ivan Ilyich, a new work based on the novella by Tolstoy and the evening will also include Tavener’s Mahamatar, set to Werner Herzog’s film Pilgrimage.

You can book tickets directly from the Bridgewater Hall website.

Michelangelo Sonnets

Manchester Albert HallRenowned director Peter Sellars makes his Manchester International Festival directorial debut in 2013, with Michelangelo Sonnets: a new staging of Dmitri Shostakovich’s Suite on Verses of Michelangelo Buonarroti, performed from 4-7 July. It's a new arrangement for organ, drawing on the physicality of Michaelangelo's vision in the sonnets. Sellars will be joined by bass-baritone Eric Owens, star of New York’s Metropolitan Opera and organist Cameron Carpenter, the big hit of Proms 2012, who will also be performing Bach's dramatic cantata, Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen (BVW 56).

Michelangelo Sonnets is staged in Manchester’s Albert Hall, a lost gem of a space in Manchester city centre which opens to the public for the first time in more than 40 years. Tickets are available from the Manchester International Festival website.

Martha Argerich

Martha ArgerichWorld-renowned Argentinean pianist Martha Argerich gives a rare performance at the Manchester International Festival. She joins conductor Gábor Takács-Nagy, trumpet player David Guerrier and Manchester Camerata for Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No.1, in a performance at the Bridgewater Hall on 12 July 2013 in what's sure to be an unmissable highlight of the festival.

They'll be performing alongside pianist David Kadouch, who'll be performing Bartók’s Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste, and Arvo Pärt’s Lamentate. Tickets for the concert are available on the Bridgewater Hall website.