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Lesley Garrett urges Yorkshire to support young talent

Lesley Garrett, the UK’s leading soprano, has spoken out to urge audiences to support the Harrogate International Festivals’ legacy of supporting young musicians.

The comments precede the Festival’s debut autumn series for Young Musicians which launches a series of evening concerts on September 26.

Lesley Garrett, cellist Julian Lloyd Webber and clarinettist Emma Johnson, all appeared as Young Musicians at the Harrogate Festival before becoming global stars.


Lesley said:

I’ve had a close relationship with Harrogate International Festivals for many years, which is why I love to come back and support their events.

I’ve said in the past I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Harrogate for giving me a live platform at such an early stage in my career.

Without these kinds of opportunities and the support of audiences, emerging young musicians are at risk, especially at a time when the Arts are taking a battering with Arts Council cuts.

I was lucky to have the support of the Festival who took that risk of investing in me when I was unknown.


The Festival has an almost 50-year legacy of supporting new talent.

The inaugural Young Musicians autumn series is being delivered in partnership with Live Music Now, whose mission is to bring the joy and inspiration of live music to those who have limited access to conventional music-making, helping to develop the careers of young talented musicians.


Lesley said:

Who knows who the future stars will be? One thing is for sure, without these platforms and opportunities we’re risking the futures of many young musicians. I urge people to get behind the young talent, to open their hearts and minds to new experiences and embrace the Festival’s inaugural autumn series.

There’s nothing more wonderful than the intimacy of experiencing music live, or as exhilarating as hearing a young musician you know is destined for big things. It’s a unique opportunity.

Since 1966 Harrogate has played a central role in shaping the nation’s musical landscape, and Yorkshire is lucky to have such a respected and renowned event on its doorstep. I urge audiences to support it.”


The autumn series features a wealth of vibrant young musicians with Wednesday evening concerts at Harrogate’s Wesley Chapel. Acts include the enchanting harp music of Anneke Hodnett to the ‘demon banjo and harmonica playing’ of folk duo Will Pound and Dan Walsh. The programme also plays host to Jazzwise’s first choice for new talent Katie’s Allsorts, and the exceptional, award winning Jacquin Trio. The season closes with an injection of infectious energy from the Musala Trio.


Sharon Canavar, CEO of the Festivals, said:

The Festivals’ Young Musician Series has helped launch the careers of many of today’s iconic musicians.

We’re really proud of that, and it’s a great opportunity for Yorkshire to witness the next cohort of national talent on the brink of big things.


Full programme details:


Anneke Hodnett

Wednesday 26 September, Wesley Chapel, 7pm, Tickets: £10

Anneke Hodnett emerged from London’s grand history of nurturing young classical musicians after studying at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and the London Symphony Orchestra String Academy. A committed chamber musician, she now performs with her flute, viola and harp trio alongside larger ensembles – most recently recording with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Hodnett presents a thrilling tour of harp music to open the series, with a programme that spans the centuries from 17th century Bach to 21st century Flothuis, and spans the world from England, Europe to South America – the perfect start to the new season.


Folk Duo: Will Pound & Dan Walsh

Wednesday 3 October, Wesley Chapel, 7pm, Tickets: £10

Will Pound- ‘one of the most original harmonica players in Britain’ – was nominated as BBC Radio 2 Folk Musician of the Year in 2012. Alongside Dan, ‘the UK’s top Clawhammer banjoist’, this folk duo is already a hugely successful partnership. The duo deliver a programme featuring the Eastern flavoured ‘Turkish Delight’, funk and bluegrass hits, and Irish jigs and reels, alongside their own original songs – definitely not to be missed.


Katie’s Allsorts

Wednesday 10 October, Wesley Chapel, 7pm, Tickets: £10

Young, vibrant, eclectic – this trio travel a unique musical highway, stopping off via Frank Zappa, with a dabble of rock and roll, pop, funk, country and even Latin vibes. The trio met at Leeds College of Music and features Katie Patterson on drums, Peter Gavin on bass, and Aron Kyne on piano. Young in years and in spirit, their playing has already been praised for its ‘liquid quality’ bursting with ideas and inspiration. Catch them in Harrogate while you can.


Jacquin Trio

Wednesday 17 October, Wesley Chapel, 7pm, Tickets: £10

These young musicians joined forces at the Royal College of Music in 2009, and they have since gone on to win the Douglas Whittaker Ensemble Prize in 2010 and the St Martin-in-the-Fields Chamber Music Competition 2012. They are current Live Music Now Scheme Artists for 2011-13 and have been short-listed for the 57th Annual Park Lane Group concert series. The trio is in demand across London as composers queue up to write works for them thanks to the exquisite combination of clarinet, viola and piano, now this is Harrogate’s chance to experience their outstanding talent.


Musala Trio

Wednesday 24 October, Wesley Chapel, 7pm, Tickets: £10

The Musala Trio, an outfit made up clarinet, guitar and accordion take familiar, accessible tunes and make them exotic and new, highlighting the threads that run through these eclectic musical languages.

Join the Musala Trio as they explore their unique interpretations of a range of traditional music from around the world including the rachenitza, gankino and makadonsko from Bulgaria, Roma music from the Balkan states and mornas from Cape Verdian singer Cesária Évora. A triumphant close to Harrogate International Festivals’ first Young Musicians Autumn Series.

Box Office: 01423 562 303. Series subscribers enjoy a 10% discount when booking for all five concert. Series subscription £45.

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