Aldeburgh Festival 2018 celebrates Britten and America. It also reflects 1948 – the remarkable period in post-war British history when the festival began and when so much of what we now regard to be the backbone of our cultural life was launched. In his centenary the music of Bernstein plays a significant part in the festival. Britten and Bernstein: composers, pianists, conductors, programme planners, educators, and major media figures were towering creative leaders, and are linked but rarely met each other. They sailed against prevailing winds and were celebrated and revered everywhere, and here they can be heard side by side with many connections that resonate across the festival. These links include Peter Grimes, W.H. Auden, Revd Walter Hussey and their composing friend Aaron Copland.
America is also represented by the Artists in Residence, composer Michael Hersch, flautist Claire Chase and violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja. In collaboration with the Ojai Festival, Kopatchinskaja has played a significant part in curating the final days of the festival. Three living British composers from different generations are featured with new work – Harrison Birtwistle, Simon Holt and Emily Howard, whose new opera is part of our opening night. Conductor John Wilson is in residence for our opening weekend. The French period instrument ensemble Le Concert Spirituel and its dynamic director Hervé Niquet visit the festival for the first time and we look forward to returning to Ely Cathedral for a choral and instrumental spectacular as the centrepiece of their performances.
The availability of £10 tickets for every performance is a new festival offer and, with so much distinctive programming, this line-up of concerts, exhibitions, talks, films, walks and events at The Pumphouse and much loved Bandstand on the Beach, has something for everyone to enjoy.
‘a festival so broadly rich in interest that it ranks among the finest in the world’
New York Times
General booking opens on Wednesday 14 February.
While some concerts sell out quickly we almost always have tickets returned. You can sign up for notifications via WhatsApp to find out when sold out concerts become available. If you have tickets you’re not going to use, please let the box office know in good time so we have a good chance of re-selling them for you.