Harrogate Festival releases a glimpse of the 2016 line-up

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Sir Willard White, Mary Portas, The Unthanks, Kate Humble, the John Wilson Orchestra, John Suchet, Oz Clarke, Jeremy Bowen and James Naughtie are just some of the stars headed to .

Harrogate International Festivals has revealed a glimpse of its 2016 line-up in what’s set to be the biggest year in the arts charity’s 50-year history.

Established as one of the North’s leading festivals, Harrogate Music Festival promises a heady mix of classical, big band, jazz, opera and pop as the organisation celebrates its landmark half century anniversary, alongside its three literary festivals with more events still to be announced.

Reflecting on its beginnings in the 1960s as a Festival of Arts and Sciences, 2016’s theme is ‘Discover, Explore and Experiment’.

As well as welcoming back Festival favourites from over the years, this year’s programme will build on its legacy of nurturing new talent, looking to the future.

Marc Dunleavy, Music Festivals Manager, said:

We’ll be bringing back old friends and favourites from over the years, and present some remarkable new talent through our Young Musicians series, which we are extending and developing in this special year.

It also plans to showcase a world premiere from composer Howard Skempton to be performed by the Brodsky String Quartet.

The Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival returns in July with an eclectic programme from the worlds of politics, science and literature, including a special on Shakespeare’s sonnets, marking 400 years since his death.

July also features the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, with the Harrogate History Festival making a return later in the year.


Harrogate International Festivals has grown to become one of the most regarded leading cultural organisations in the North of England. The last 50 years has seen world-class names headline, including acts as diverse as Judi Dench, Paloma Faith, Stephen Fry, BB King, Amy Winehouse, Alfred Brendel and JK Rowling.

The Harrogate International Sunday Series showcases some of the finest international chamber musicians, continues at the Old Swan Hotel. Upcoming acts include the Navarra String Quartet, clarinet virtuoso Michael Collins, and two of the most promising talents of their generation, violinist Hyeyoon Park and pianist Benjamin Grosvenor.

The Berwins Salon North series showcases some of the leading thinkers in philosophy, psychology and science. ‘Explore’ on 25 February features founder and editor-in-chief of Mr and Mrs Smith, Juliet Kinsman, author and journalist, Olivia Laing, and Alec Ross, formerly Senior Advisor for Innovation to Hilary Clinton. The series continues with ‘Discover’ and ‘Experiment’ in April and March.

The full Harrogate Music Festival programme will be announced at an exclusive launch event, including a performance by the acclaimed Simón Bolívar String Quartet at the , on Saturday 12 March, 7.30pm, where audiences will have the opportunity to sign up for priority booking, before tickets go on sale March 29th.

For more info: www.harrogateinternationalfestivals.com or call 01423 562 303.

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