Canterbury Festival 2011

Canterbury Festival, Kent's International Arts Festival, is back in October 2011

Canterbury Festival is Kent's International Arts Festival, the largest festival of arts and culture in the region, and one of the most important cultural events in the South East.

Some of the world’s finest musicians will be performing at the Canterbury Festival between 15 and 29 October 2011. Opening the celebrations in the magnificent Cathedral, the Soweto Gospel Choir will set the party alight with their infectious and inspirational gospel programme, while in the newly built Marlowe Theatre over one hundred players of the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra will dazzle a capacity crowd with a stirring Russian menu by Glazunov, Tchaikovsky and Mussorgsky.

And that’s just in the opening weekend! The Festival comprises over two hundred events in a fortnight. Highlights include concerts by saxophonist Jan Garbarek and The Hilliard Ensemble – playing the strange and wonderful cathedral acoustic to maximum effect; the highly acclaimed Norwegian Chamber Orchestra The Trondheim Soloists with cellist Andreas Brantelid and the tremendous choral pairing of Rachmaninov’s The Bells with Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky performed by the massed forces of Canterbury Choral Society and Philharmonic Orchestra.

Mid Wales Opera bring their new Madam Butterfly to the charming and historic Theatre Royal in Margate while Surrey Opera continues its forty year tradition of sparkling, fresh and quality performance with Britten’s Albert Herring.

Young musicians take centre stage in the first Festival Bursary Concert competing for a valuable top prize to support their studies or help to purchase a new instrument. Other highlights include emerging soloist Albanian violinist Alda Dizdari, Kent’s star saxophonist John Harle, The Korros Ensemble graduates of the Royal Academy in 2001 and the youthful Benyounes Quartet. Pianist Lucy Parham plays Liszt in Odyssey of Love, a performance interspersed with readings from the composer’s letters and diaries by actors Harriet Walter and Martin Jarvis.

Finally – over ninety members and friends of the Royal Wind Orchestra of Heerlen (Netherlands) are making the trip to Kent to give a concert.

With fast trains every hour from St Pancras to Canterbury, more and more visitors are discovering that Kent is where Londoners – and great musicians – come to play.

Alda Dizdari

Albanian violinist Alda Dizdari.

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