Beverley NewsNews

Tickets on sale now for New Paths music festival

Since 2016, the East Riding has been home to one of the UK’s fastest-growing classical music festivals. During that time, more than 25,000 festivalgoers and 200 leading artists have flocked to the New Paths festivals in Beverley.

Bursting onto the musical scene 8 years ago, New Paths quickly gained a national reputation and a strong local following for its outstanding performances and pioneering spirit.

The organisers of this year’s eagerly awaited Spring Festival say that the festival’s home is the impetus behind the popular event. “What drives us on is this place, with its incredible history and heritage” said New Paths founder Roland Deller. The former Minster chorister describes his first encounter with Beverley as “love at first sight”. His family moved to the town in the 1980s. “There’s nowhere like Beverley: it is a constant inspiration to us and our musicians!” he added.

From 10th to 14th April, music can be heard across the town at all times of day or night – from sunny breakfast-time performances in St Mary’s Church, to atmospheric candlelit events late at night. New events this year include yoga with live music in the Quaker Meeting House, Sunday brunch-time jazz Upstairs at the Monks, and a walk on the Westwood with live music along the way.

The festival draws an audience of all ages. Under-18s can claim free Golden Tickets to all events, offering them lifechanging opportunities to hear world-class music on their doorstep. The festival’s baby and toddler concert is a relaxed event for the very youngest audiences and their grown-ups. And two prestigious performance platforms will give talented local young musicians the chance to receive tips from festival artists and to appear on the main festival stage.

A special event in the Minster will see three exceptional student organists competing for the Dame Gillian Weir Messiaen Prize, judged by a panel featuring Dame Gillian herself, along with Westminster Cathedral Director of Music Simon Johnson and New Paths Artistic Director Libby Burgess.

“We are honoured to be partnering with the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire for this event,” said Libby. “Their organ studies department is one of the most highly regarded in the country, and we can’t wait to hear the three finalists they are bringing to Beverley. The Minster’s organ is a fine, historic instrument and we know this is going to be a special event!”

Audiences will also have the chance to hear Dame Gillian talking about her life and work as a trailblazing global concert organist as part of the festival’s programme of talks.

New Paths has recently named another veteran musician, the distinguished pianist Martin Roscoe, their Honorary Associate Artist. He appears in concert at the festival with his chosen collaborators contralto Jess Dandy and violinist Fenella Humphreys.

“Martin was for thirty years the Artistic Director of the Beverley Chamber Music Festival,” explains Roland. “In that time he played hundreds of concerts and brought reems of celebrated musicians to Beverley. More recently he has been a wonderful part of New Paths, and we are delighted to create this title, recognising his major contribution to the musical life of the region, and reflecting the fact that he continues to be very much part of the New Paths family!”

Other performers at the festival include soprano Harriet Burns, tenor Alessandro Fisher, violinist Jamie Campbell, cellists Cara Berridge and Nathaniel Boyd, and viola player Rosalind Ventris, whose recent solo album is currently up for a BBC Music Magazine award.

“We take such inspiration from the different venues and spaces which Beverley has to offer,” said Libby. “There is something wonderfully intimate about the music we programme: much of it features just two or three instrumentalists or singers at a time, so audiences really get to connect with their individual musical personalities. Our programming spans hundreds of years and includes a lot written by composers living today, as well as music from voices that were not properly recognised in their own lifetimes because of gender or race. In amongst this are some of the most famous pieces ever written – works by Beethoven and Brahms and Bach – so we really are confident there is something for everyone.”

The New Paths Spring Festival runs 10th-14th April. Tickets are available from www.newpathsmusic.com or the Beverley Tourist Information Centre.

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