Leeds Lieder announces:

  • New Director
  • Day of Song, Saturday 25 April 2015: A Garland of Song
  • Programme highlights for the coming season

New Director – Joseph Middleton

Leeds Lieder is delighted to announce the appointment of pianist Joseph Middleton as Director.

Leeds Lieder is ‘one of the most exuberant and far-reaching festivals of art-song in the UK’ (The Times) and Middleton’s appointment will seek to continue the organisation’s ‘stimulating exploration of the genre’ (Classical Music Magazine). An acclaimed pianist, Middleton specialises in the art of song accompaniment and chamber music and has been described by BBC Music Magazine as ‘one of the brightest stars in the world of song and Lieder’ and by The Times as ‘the cream of the new generation’. Regularly appearing in the world’s major music centres and with the finest singers, we are thrilled that he will infuse Leeds Lieder with his expertise and passion for song. He commented: ‘I am passionately committed to the furthering and nurturing of this most special genre, through performances with leading exponents in this field and through thoughtful and stimulating education projects. I have twice performed for Leeds Lieder, with Ann Murray DBE and with Clara Mouriz, and was struck both times by the vibrant enthusiasm Leeds Lieder showed for this repertoire. I now relish the opportunity to work with them and to develop and expand upon the outstanding breadth of performances that have taken place over the past ten years.’


Day of Song, Saturday 25 April 2015: A Garland of Song

To celebrate Joseph Middleton’s new appointment and the coming of spring, Leeds Lieder have programmed a one-day mini-Festival exploring floriculture in song. The distinguished line-up features star-soprano Carolyn Sampson, alongside regular duo-partner, Middleton, in a floral-themed programme which will include songs by Schumann, Strauss, Fauré, Debussy, Hahn, Britten and Quilter. Joining Sampson and Middleton will be BBC New Generation Artist, baritone, Benjamin Appl, together with pianist, Jonathan Fisher, in a lunchtime recital of Schubert’s flower songs. The mini-Festival also continues Leeds Lieder’s pioneering education and outreach programmes, including a recital with emerging young singers, Heather Lowe and Philip Wilcox; a lecture by Schubert scholar, Paul Reid, exploring Schubert’s diverse responses to flowers; a masterclass led by Carolyn Sampson and Joseph Middleton with three song duos selected from the UK’s finest conservatoires; and a Composers and Poets Forum featuring the premières of new songs by student composers from the universities of Leeds, Huddersfield, Sheffield and Durham as well as Leeds College of Music, partnered with texts from local poets.


Programme highlights for the coming season

Internationally renowned baritone, Roderick Williams, is confirmed as Artistic Director for Leeds Lieder’s next International Festival of Art Song. Running fromFriday 1 April to Sunday 3 April 2016, it will feature three days of events centring around Roderick Williams’s chosen theme for the weekend: Story Telling. PastFestivals have included such luminaries as Elly Ameling, Dame Margaret Price, Dame Felicity Lott, Florian Boesch, Barbara Bonney, Christiane Karg, Graham Johnson and Malcolm Martineau. Details of participating artists in the 2016 Festival programme will be released in May 2015.

Historically, the main feature of Leeds Lieder was a biennial festival, complimented by a thriving education programme. From the autumn of 2015 Leeds Lieder will present a series of recitals, including newly commissioned works, and extensive education programmes throughout the season, working in partnership with Leeds International Concert Season, Opera North and the University of Leeds. Further details to be announced soon.


Notes for Editors

Leeds Lieder is one of a small number of UK festivals devoted to the art of song. Founded in 2004 by Jane Anthony alongside colleagues and Leeds College of Music, Leeds Lieder promotes the enjoyment, understanding and performance of art-song. It presents an annual series of recitals, including newly commissioned works, and education programmes throughout the season, working in partnership with Leeds International Concert Season, Opera North and the University of Leeds. Further details to be announced soon.

The International Festival of Art Song was inaugurated in October 2005 and there followed a decade of biennial Festivals attracting some of finest singers and pianists of our time.

The Day of Song takes place at the Leeds College of Music on Saturday 25 April from 9:45 am – 9:30 pm. Tickets for individual events from £5 – £22 with a combined ticket for all events priced at £55 (£45 unwaged/disabled). Booking now open. For further information about the activities taking place on the Day of Song please visit www.lcm.ac.uk/whats-on/Booking-information or telephone 0113 222 3434 between 10am to 5pm (8pm on concert days).

Joseph Middleton was born in Gloucestershire and graduated with an MPhil from the University of Birmingham before studying piano on an EMI Scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music. Upon graduation he held Junior Fellowships at both the RCM and RAM, had the title of Associate conferred upon him by the RAM, was made the Samling Foundation’s inaugural Pianist Scholar and took up the post of Musician in Residence at Pembroke College Cambridge. Joseph’s competitive successes include the Accompaniment Prizes of the Wigmore Hall International Song Competition, Kathleen Ferrier Awards, Richard Tauber Prize, Royal Over-Seas League Competition and Geoffrey Parsons Memorial Award. In Germany he recently won the ‘Best Lied-Pianist Prize’ at the International Schubert Competition LiedDuo.

Roderick Williams

For more information please contact:Sarah McWatt (Administrative Assistant) info@leedslieder.org.uk
Direct Tel +44 113 234 6956