The Northern Aldborough Festival was born in 1994, centred around the picturesque village of Aldborough near York. It was recently described by The Times as “well on its way to being one of the leading fixtures on the classical music calendar”. This year the picturesque Roman village will play host to the festival from Thursday 15 to Saturday 24 June 2023.
The festival offers audiences the chance to experience performances normally seen in the world’s biggest concert halls, in a rural village setting. As a charity, its core aim is to bring exceptional music to new audiences, in intimate rural locations where it would not normally be heard. With musical talent sourced from all over the world, the festival offers audiences a consistently high standard of music.
Three decades of music at Aldborough Festival
Now in its 29th year, the Northern Aldborough Festival has built its reputation on delivering high quality music and talks to rural audiences. This year it welcomes TV historian Lucy Worsley, who aims to crack the Christie Code with a talk on her latest book, Agatha Christie: A Very Elusive Woman. There will be a rare double bill of Haydn’s comedies, The Diva and The Apothecary, presented by the nationally-renowned, Bampton Classical Opera company.
BBC Young Musician of the Year brass winner, trumpet-player Matilda Lloyd, hailed as “remarkable” by The Telegraph, will perform a programme from Italian opera. The festival also welcomes the first Asian winner, and the youngest for 40 years, of the Leeds International Piano Competition, Sunwook Kim, praised for his “spine-tingling” performances. Kim will play Beethoven’s final sonatas in the intimate setting of St Andrew’s Church.
The 2023 festival also features the inaugural New Voices Competition, a major new nationwide hunt for the best classical vocal talent. Young singers will perform live at the festival in the semi-final and grand-final. It will be judged by a distinguished panel, headed by one of Britain’s leading sopranos, Dame Felicity Lott, with a prize fund of £7k. The winner will also have the opportunity to perform at a number of leading UK music festivals.
Music in the heart of North Yorkshire
The award-winning jazz ensemble, The Tim Kliphuis Sextet, will perform at the Old Hall in North Deighton. The sextet has wowed audiences across Europe with their crossover approach to classical and jazz music. Also not to be missed is a performance by the acclaimed vocal ensemble, Armonico Consort, performing the towering masterpiece – Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 – in the beautiful setting of St Andrew’s Church.
Other acts include the Senegalese kora (harp) player, Jali Fily Cissokho, who has performed at Glastonbury and Womad, with his mastery of music that spans centuries and continents. The Young Artists’ Showcase will also return, providing a platform for upcoming Yorkshire talent. Aldborough’s late-night venue ‘The Shed’ also returns for concert goers who want to continue festivities in a relaxed environment with live entertainment and refreshments.
The festival culminates with the hugely-popular Last Night Outdoor Concert.
This year sees the return of the dynamic party band, The Big Cheese, helmed by Harrogate-born vocalist Alex Denny. It promises a summer’s night of high voltage pop and rock covers, topped with a spectacular orchestrated fireworks display, in the stunning grounds of Aldborough Manor.
Tickets for a leading fixture on the classical music calendar, the Northern Aldborough Festival, are now on sale for Friends of the Festival who receive priority booking before tickets go on sale to the wider public on 27 March.