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Ode to Joy – Leeds Lieder Festival 2020

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UPDATE: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
Leeds Lieder cancels 10th Festival April 16th-19th 2020

Following the UK Government and Public Health England’s announcement of enhanced recommendations to counter the spread of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic by avoiding large gatherings, we have taken the decision to cancel the 2020 Leeds Lieder Festival.

More information can be found here

Ten Festivals! In 2004 a group of passionate, visionary song enthusiasts began programming recitals in Leeds and this venture has steadily grown to become the jam-packed season we now enjoy. With multiple artistic partners and thousands of individuals attending our events every year, Leeds Lieder is a true cultural success story. In 2020 we have invited more artists than ever before to appear in our Festival and for the first time we look forward to being hosted by The University of Leeds. The art of the song recital continues to be relevant and flourish in Yorkshire.

We celebrate Beethoven’s anniversary in 2020. A thread runs through the Festival exploring Romanticism, the birth of the song cycle and the evolving place of artists in society. As the finest Festival of art song in the North, we continue to provide a platform for international stars to rub shoulders with the next generation of emerging musicians. Our Young Artists will perform across the weekend and work with Dames Felicity Lott and Ann Murray DBE, Sir Thomas Allen and Iain Burnside. Iain has also programmed a fascinating musical theatre piece for the final lunchtime. New talent is on evidence at every turn in this Festival. James Newby returns, having made such a splash last year stepping in at the eleventh hour to give one of the most memorable recitals of recent years. I’m also thrilled to welcome Siobhan Stagg. Don’t miss her Messiaen. We recently recorded it for the BBC and hers was a knockout performance. The peerless Graham Johnson appears with one of his Songmakers’ Almanac programmes and we welcome back Leeds Lieder favourites Roderick Williams, Carolyn Sampson and James Gilchrist.

Our last season was our most ambitious to date, and we are unashamed in boasting about our growth in audience: a staggering 60% increase in the past four years. Let’s keep this upward trajectory! Our exciting Learning and Participation programme which opens up creative music-making to people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities allows many more individuals to take delight in our events. Around 1,000 school children will learn songs through our education programmes this year alone. Ticket sales and public funding provide around half of Leeds Lieder’s income and the remainder comes from the most generous philanthropic support, without which the scope of our programming and artistic vision would be compromised. Our audiences prove to be our greatest supporters and we remain immensely grateful to all our Friends. Every gift, no matter what size, really does make a difference. I hope you like what is on offer over the next few pages and I look forward to welcoming you to this Festival.

Joseph Middleton – Director