Artistic Director’s Welcome


Hello and welcome to the Ryedale Festival 2023 – a season of inspiring performances in beautiful and historic North Yorkshire locations.

Artists in residence include two great performer-communicators – organist Anna Lapwood and tenor Nicky Spence – as well as superstar violinist Bomsori Kim and the exciting talents of pianist Mishka Rushdie Momen and the Dudok Quartet.

Trailblazing musicians like Jess Gillam and the Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective mingle with stars of the new generation, such as guitarist Plínio Fernandes, trumpeter Aaron Akugbo, pianist George Fu, song duo Siân Dicker and Krystal Tunnicliffe, and the vibrant voices of the National Youth Choir of Scotland.

Jazz legend Clare Teal visits with an all-star band; there’s also a folk night from the Young’uns and a Light Music Afternoon celebrating the music of Max Jaffa and Noel Coward. The Orchestra of Opera North and Royal Northern Sinfonia give unmissable performances in Scarborough and Hovingham, and a pop-up production of John Blow’s magical mini-opera Venus and Adonis visits some of Ryedale’s most ancient and atmospheric churches.

The King’s Singers and leading actors are among those marking the 400th anniversaries of William Byrd and the First Folio of Shakespeare. Tchaikovsky is also in focus, with a complete cycle of his string quartets, while Rachmaninov’s 150th birthday is celebrated by pianist Boris Giltburg, and a performance of his All-Night Vigil (or Vespers) that follows the composer’s own example in raising funds for the victims of war.

The venues are stars of this festival too: from the splendour of Castle Howard (which hosts a Triple Concert) to the quiet Yorkshire corners visited by our Troubadour Trail ­and Late-Night Candlelit Concerts.

Also in the festival whirl: an innovative new way to tell the story of one of Schumann’s greatest song cycles, an invitation for all to Come and Sing, performances for children and babies,Relaxed Concert for those who prefer a more informal performance style, poetry, talks, free masterclasses, and a new choir bringing musical opportunities to hundreds of Ryedale children.

Next up: a week of Spring Concerts, beginning with the world premiere of a Community Song Cycle on 29th April. With new music by Bernard Hughes and words co-created by participants with Hazel Gould, Give to me the life I love is a celebration of life’s adventure and the power of the imagination, performed by an all-age cast alongside tenor Nicky Spence (BBC Music Magazine Personality of the Year). Then between 2-5 May, we welcome BBC New Generation Artists to Ryedale for a week of Lunchtime Concerts recorded for broadcast on Radio 3. Come along to discover some of the fastest-rising talents in classical music, including Hugh Cutting, Ryan Corbett, Santiago Cañón-Valencia and the Mithras Trio.

I hope you enjoy exploring the festival, which is made possible by the loyalty and generosity of our many supporters, donors and volunteers – a huge thank you to them all. Discounted tickets are available to many events through the Ryedale Rush scheme, and if you are under 25 you can come to most concerts for £5 or less. 

The festival was recently praised by The Guardian for its ‘soaring ambition’. To support that ambition, please consider making a donation so we can plan for the future with confidence. Every penny will be spent carefully to ensure that live music continues to thrive in beautiful Ryedale places.

I look forward to seeing you this spring and summer and hope you find lots to inspire and uplift you in the festival.

Christopher Glynn