Posted Mar 04 2020

Top names for our 70th Festival - launch details

The 70th King’s Lynn Festival will maintain our tradition of excellence in a packed programme with broad appeal.

We stand by the mantra of the Festival’s founder, Ruth, Lady Fermoy: Nothing but the best for King’s Lynn.

Our 36 events feature a host of famous names and truly offers something for everyone. The festival attracts people from far and wide and does much to put Lynn on the national map, as well as enriching the lives of local people.

One major attraction will be a painting of national significance by J M W Turner. His early masterpiece, Walton Bridges, was acquired by Norfolk Museums Service last year and Lynn will be its first stop on a tour of East Anglia.

It is currently on display at Norwich Castle Museum, but in July it will be moved to Lynn Museum to be part of Lynn Festival.

The programme reflects festivals past while also featuring rising stars of the future. We will welcome the return of some festival favourites including the Academy of Ancient Music, festival vice-president pianist Freddy Kempf, singer Clare Teal with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, Brighouse and Rastrick brass band and Scottish folk group Blazin’ Fiddles.

One of the festival’s aims is to enable audiences to enjoy Lynn’s wonderful buildings. The European Union Chamber Orchestra (EUCO) and King’s Lynn Festival Chorus will open the festival at St Nicholas’ Chapel when the programme will include Haydn’s Nelson Mass. The building, which has a renowned acoustic, will also be the setting for an organ recital by Ben Horden.

EUCO will give a second concert at the town's impressive Minster where Freddy Kempf will give a recital. Alis Huws, the current harpist to the Prince of Wales, will present her programme in All Saints Church.

As always, St George’s Guildhall is a key venue where the renowned Skampa Quartet will present the Lady Fermoy Memorial Concert, and art expert Andrew Graham-Dixon will give two illustrated talks. It will also be the setting for a celebration of Kathleen Ferrier, the renowned singer who featured prominently in early Lynn festivals.

Another famous name – conductor and musician Sir John Barbirolli - who took part in many early Lynn Festivals - will be remembered in a talk by Barbirolli expert David Greening.

We are delighted to have been invited to stage a concert in the magnificent setting of Houghton Hall - where the musicians will be Roberto Ruisi and Sten Heinoja.

Popular guitarist Craig Ogden will return to Lynn, this time with his latest - and very successful - musical venture with classical accordionist, Milos Milivojevic. Another guitarist, John Etheridge, who won many fans last year, will also be back – this time with singer Vimala Rowe.

One of the most popular features of the festival – the series of five, morning coffee concerts in Lynn Town Hall, will again feature rising stars of the classical music world. West Acre Theatre will host a Sunday afternoon concertwith the Marmen Quartet, followed by tea.

A popular feature of earlier festivals is to be revived this year with an afternoon coach tour of three magnificent Fenland churches. Their history will be explained by a priest, aesthetic features will be highlighted by an artist, and an organist will fill the spaces with music.

Other attractions include contemporary music, a festival walk and films.

A peal of bells to mark the start of the festival on July 19 will be rung at St Nicholas’ Chapel while on the nearby Tuesday Market Place there will be a full programme of free outdoor entertainment.

The Festival has a new look this year. Design Bridge, a leading international brand design agency has created an appropriate brand they consider reflects the quality of the festival’s programmes and the character of its venues.

This year’s festival exhibition in the Fermoy Gallery will be a retrospective featuring some of the artists and artefacts of past exhibitions. The centrepiece will be a newly-restored portrait of festival founder Ruth, Lady Fermoy. The painting, by British artist Thomas Anthony Devas, has for many years hung in the auditorium of St George’s Guildhall .

Tickets go on general sale on May 4, earlier for our Friends and Patrons.

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