Leeds Lieder Festival 2022

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Song Illuminated
Thursday 28 April – Sunday 1 May 2022

‘Song Illuminated’: song, the artform we all love, illuminates so much of what we experience in life and through its inexplicable magic also illuminates so much of ourselves, to ourselves. The great poets and composers we celebrate and champion at Leeds Lieder prove themselves over and over to be our wisest companions as they cast light upon much of what it means to be human. Through them, connections between mankind and nature are shown in radiant relief. The environment, nature, rebirth, how song illuminates our lives and the beauty of the earth are themes that run through the 2022 Leeds Lieder Festival and it has been the biggest joy putting this Festival together for you all.

The great German soprano, Dorothea Röschmann, opens the Festival with music she has very much made her own, and it would be difficult to find music more steeped in its poetical landscape than Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn with its panoply of characters and direct, ingenuously folkloreish nature. Mahler features in the closing recital, given by ‘the brightest lyric soprano of the younger generation’: Louise Alder. Her typically wide-ranging programme includes delights from Fauré to Rodgers and Hammerstein.

Ian Bostridge and Dame Imogen Cooper have taken their place in the pantheon of all-time great recitalists and it is with such pleasure that we welcome Ian back to Leeds Lieder and that we invite Dame Imogen to join us for the first time. Both are master Schubertians and have selected songs that invite audiences’ imaginations to take flight and join them journeying outdoors. Schubert’s towering late masterpiece Schwanengesang is juxtaposed with songs taking similar themes. Evocations of the sparkling gold of the welcoming sun, breezes playing in a valley, murmuring brooks, a deep blue spring sky, a bountiful season of bud and blossom are all etched in brilliant colour by Schubert. The experiences to be heard and shared in this recital are much the same you might experience if you swap the concert hall for our collaboration with MIND.

On 18th April SongPath invites you to join them on one of their outdoor interactive events as they unite professional and amateur musicians, experts on the natural world and mental health professionals in uniquely curated walking trails rooted in our local landscape. A partner recital given by Jess Dandy and Martin Roscoe compliments this event. Other lunchtime recitals include partnerships with Samling Institute, the BBC New Generation Artists and Kathleen Ferrier Awards. Late night recitals invite artists and audiences alike to step away from the traditional formality of the concert hall. Piazzolla and Ramirez will be performed by Wallis Giunta, Sean Shibe and Adam Walker. Soprano Ruby Hughes performs our Festival commission by Deborah Pritchard alongside Errolyn Wallen and Mahler and it is you who can take centre stage in our Bring and Sing with Anna Lapwood or Lieder Lounge. As always, there are opportunities aplenty for you to learn from watching our Young Artist masterclasses, or from attending one of our pre-concert talks. To invite composers Jonathan Dove and Deborah Pritchard to give two of the talks is a real thrill.

We hope to see as many of you as possible in the glorious surroundings of the recently refurbished Howard Assembly Room, and for those of you further afield, everything will be livestreamed into the comfort of your home. Our online community continues to grow and over 200,000 people enjoyed Leeds Lieder performances digitally last year!

The scope of our work would be greatly compromised were it not for our Friends. Everyone needs Friends, and we are indebted to ours. Every gift, no matter what size, really does make a difference to our Award-winning education work, to our commissioning, to our ability to invite the world’s finest artists to Leeds. Thank you to our supporters!

This is our first paperless Festival. We are committed to looking after our environment. All concerts will feature surtitles and you will be able to download programmes and notes from our website. Look out for more information in our e-bulletins. You can sign up for them via our website. Please see the back of this brochure for more details. Looking forward to seeing you in Leeds soon!

With all best wishes,

Joseph Middleton
Director, Leeds Lieder