Leeds Lieder has launched the Angels Appeal crowdfunding campaign to help support the 2023-24 Concert Season, the 2024 Festival, and our vital outreach work in schools and communities.
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The arts are not a luxury or an indulgence for the few; they are for everyone to savour. They bring joy, inspiration and solace, benefit mental health and are there for all to explore.
Excellence and opportunity have always been the hallmarks of Leeds Lieder: “a northern powerhouse of song” The Times. Each year we bring the cream of international artists, rising stars and young artists on the threshold of their careers to Leeds. We enrich the song repertoire by commissioning a new work for every Festival, bring young composers together with local poets to craft new songs in the Composers and Poets Forum and offer superb training opportunities to young singers and pianists through our Young Artists Programme.
This journey, and indeed diversity in the arts, must begin in schools. Every year our award-winning work with over 1,000 young people in Leeds primary and secondary schools opens the door to the audiences and professional and amateur musicians of the future. We offer our projects to schools completely free of charge.
We have recently heard that, despite having supported almost every Leeds Lieder Festival since 2005, and helped us through the Covid-19 pandemic Arts Council England has rejected our application for a grant of £60,000 towards the 2023 Festival. While this does not mean that the Festival cannot go ahead our financial reserves will be severely depleted. This will have a significant impact on our forward planning for the 2023-24 Concert Season, the 2024 Festival, and our vital outreach work.
We are not alone of course; Leeds Lieder joins the list of arts organisations of national and international importance, including English National Opera, the Britten Sinfonia and Psappha, whose loss of ACE funding has had a devastating impact.
We keep our ticket prices as affordable as we can, but excellence comes at a cost. Venue and other associated costs are rising and the relatively modest grant from ACE would have been an invaluable buffer. Now more than ever we rely on philanthropy to sustain all aspects of our programme. We have worked hard to attract funding fom Leeds City Council, charitable trusts and foundations (some new to us this year) and individual donors, including the Friends of Leeds Lieder.
We are immensely grateful for all the support they give – but we need more. So depite the economic challenges we all face could you be a Leeds Lieder Angel?
This appeal is an opportunity for anyone, either individually or as part of a syndicate to close this year’s funding gap created by ACE. Our target is £60,000 which will take us confidently into the 2023-24 season and help us to continue to offer a wealth of life-enhancing artistic experiences to everyone.
“The perennially wonderful Leeds Lieder…a fixture that is now firmly established on the international calendar.” Classical Music Magazine