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Monday, 2 September 2013

Hebden Bridge Piano Festival 2014

Following its highly successful debut in April, the Hebden Bridge Piano Festival is pleased to be able to announce the dates and programme of the 2014 festival weekend.

Hebden Bridge Piano Festival 2014

Many aspects of next year’s festival which takes place at the Hebden Bridge Town Hall will be similar to this year’s highly praised event.

The ethos of programming high quality concerts given by performers of national and international repute alongside events intended to involve the whole community as participants and observers was evident at 2013 festival, and remains a constant for 2014 and beyond.

Alongside the top-notch concerts, lecture-recitals and masterclasses therefore, the festival programme features inexpensive concerts for children and families, “drop-in” recitals by local pianists and free concerts featuring non-classical piano music in the café. A great favourite this year was the piano on the riverside terrace which was available to anyone who wanted to play it, and on which was played everything from boogie woogie and show songs to jazz standards and classical favourites. Needless to say, this piano will be back!

Headlining the weekend festival, which starts on Friday April 11th, are top class artists who have performed all over the world. Kathryn Stott, Noriko Ogawa and Charles Owen are some of the most distinguished pianists in the UK and have released hundreds of recordings between them. The same can certainly be said for veteran performers John Humphreys and Allan Schiller who will be presenting a piano duet lunchtime recital on the Sunday.

Also co-headlining the festival are the eminent pianist, writer and educator Paul Roberts who will be making a welcome return to Hebden Bridge (having performed at the 1998 and 2011 Arts Festivals) to present a lecture-recital on the music of Liszt, and also the astonishing young jazz pianist Zoe Rahman whose exciting and highly original playing, inspired in part by the music of the Middle East, will appeal to classical and jazz lovers alike. In line with the festival’s policy of programming new talent, young Polish virtuoso Lukasz Filipczak will be giving a lunchtime recital on the Saturday.

As in 2013 there will be three pianos descending on the Town Hall including a superb full-size concert grand destined for the 150-seat Waterfront Hall, and a smaller grand piano intended for masterclasses and other events in The Space – an upstairs room which is perfect for more intimate recitals. As a result there will be almost continuous live piano music throughout the weekend.

The festival is directed by Hebden Bridge pianist and composer Dave Nelson who was the music co-ordinator for the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival for 15 years and who now runs an annual season of music concerts at Wainsgate Chapel and promotes occasional jazz concerts in Hebden Bridge.

“This year’s festival was so successful we’ve had the confidence to go for an even more exciting and imaginative programme,” said Dave. “There are more headline performers, new ideas such as talks and masterclasses, and we’ve even been able to persuade Noriko Ogawa to give a concert especially for children the day after her evening recital.

Ticket prices will have to rise a little next year, but people will be able to see these performers for considerably less than half the price it would be at the Bridgewater or in London, and what’s more they will never be more than a few rows from the stage!”

The printed programme will be published early in the New Year, with tickets (including great value weekend passes) going on sale at the same time. These will be available by post via a booking form in the Festival programme, on line, and then in person from the Festival Box Office in the Town Hall from the end of March. The full programme line-up can be seen at www.hebdenbridgepianofestival.com and any queries should be addressed to hbpianofest@gmail.com.