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Theme: A Moment in Music

From classical music to pop, experimental jazz to Jewish cabaret, this year's Festival offers a huge array of musical events for all interests and ages. Join us for performances, masterclasses, interactive installations and more. 

What's on

Sun
19
Jun

Sir Karl Jenkins: Still with the Music

The music of Sir Karl Jenkins transcends boundaries of genre, language and nationality to communicate a profoundly moving message of peace. His works include The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace. Sam Jackson, Classic FM’s Managing Editor and Sir Karl’s biographer, will interview Sir Karl about his life, work and influences. The event includes a performance by The Willow Consort.

Sun
19
Jun

Ian Shaw and Liane Carroll

Join us for the first in a series of Sunday afternoon jazz concerts featuring two stunning voices and magnificent singer-pianists. Ian Shaw and Liane Carroll, who have four BBC jazz awards between them, bring personality, musical class and incorrigible wit to a vast repertoire that covers the jazz songbook, contemporary songs and their own originals.

Sat
18
Jun

Play Me!

Explore music at your own pace and in many different ways with Play me! Suitable for all the family, Play me! is an interactive installation set up similar to an arcade. It allows you to play with sound and make a whole lot of noise by triggering live performance, interactive electronics and playback. Play me! was previously installed at The Space in London and at the Barbican.

Fri
17
Jun

Quercus Feat: June Tabor

June Tabor, Iain Ballamy and Huw Warren create exquisite chamber music that weaves together the essence of folk and jazz. Drawing on their life’s work, the trio Quercus subtly colours each song to create a magical atmosphere. Together they create poignant music that forges June’s passionate voice with Iain’s mellifluous melodies and Huw’s off-kilter musicality, to tell of life’s bitter sweet tales.

Thu
16
Jun

After Dark: A History of Britain’s Music Venues

Cities after dark have a particular character often defined by specific places and a distinctive soundtrack. Writer and DJ Dave Haslam explores cities after dark in a talk based on his recently published book Life After Dark: A History of British Nightclubs and Music Venues, described by The Observer as a ‘rousing tribute to Britain’s club culture and its place within the nation’s psyche’.

Thu
16
Jun

Jewish Cabaret Tradition

The Grammy-nominated New Budapest Orpheum Society, an Ensemble-in-Residence at the University of Chicago, draws upon a wide range of repertoires, many forgotten, others preserved in European archives, all poignantly bearing witness to the great tradition of Jewish cabaret. They will perform works from their repertoire and works recently rediscovered by Performing the Jewish Archive researchers.

Wed
15
Jun

A (Last) Night of the Proms

The University Choir joins forces with the world-famous Grimethorpe Colliery Band for a joyful celebration of favourites for choir and band, including Jerusalem and Land of Hope and Glory. A rousing community event - presented by distinguished radio presenter and choral conductor Brian Kay - to mark the end of the 2015/16 University concert series. Sponsored by Evans Property Group, Schroders and the University Partnership Programme.

Wed
15
Jun

Musical Inventions Showcase

The Musical Inventions Showcase is the culmination of a creative composition project, led by the National Centre for Early Music, working with professional composer Kate Pearson and secondary schools from across York. The event provides a platform for young people to share newly-created musical works, developed in response to existing pieces of classical music, as part of the BBC Ten Pieces initiative.

Wed
15
Jun

Fractured Lives: Music of the Holocaust

Join Noreen and Phillip Silver for a concert of music for piano and cello by composers caught up in the horrors of the Holocaust. The programme includes the European premiere of piano pieces by 12-year-old prodigy Josima Feldschuh who perished in Warsaw.

Tue
14
Jun

Remixing Classic Pop for the Dancefloor

A world-class remixer, DJ and producer Rob Tissera re-edits the majority of tunes he plays, giving the audience a unique musical experience. In this masterclass, Rob will reveal some of the secrets of his trade, taking a pop classic - and not one necessarily best suited to the dancefloor - and translating it into a tune that is. Join Rob for an event that promises to have everyone out of their seats!

Mon
13
Jun

Ibiza After Dark: A Guided Tour of Landmarks and Landscape

An overview by DJ Rob Tissera of Ibiza's cultural credentials, identifying its distinctive landmarks and landscapes and describing what makes it special.

Mon
13
Jun

Ibiza After Dark: A Guided Tour of Landmarks and Landscape

Ibiza is well known to many as a sun-drenched paradise and a magnet for clubbers. Many people from the UK are drawn to the island’s three main clubbing resorts for the ultimate party experience. Join one of the regular DJs to perform in Ibiza, Rob Tissera, who will provide an overview of the island’s cultural credentials, identifying its distinctive landmarks and landscapes and describing what makes it special.

Mon
13
Jun

Motown: The Sound of Young America

Hear the Motown story within the social history of the USA at mid-century, from the boom and bust of the Motor City, to the harsh realities of segregation and the 1967 race riots, as well as the African-American civil rights movement.

Sun
12
Jun

Keeping Time: Music, Metronomes, Machines

Poème Symphonique is an iconic 20th century work by György Ligeti, written for 100 metronomes. Join us for a rare opportunity to hear this unique piece, followed by a talk that uncovers its mysteries. A further performance features works for clarinet and percussion, picking up on the themes of time and speed. An afternoon of enchanting music explored through engaging talks.

Sat
11
Jun

Carmina Burana

The 160-strong choir of York Musical Society perform Orff’s Carmina Burana. It begins and ends with O Fortuna, familiar from adverts, TV clips and sports events, and much more exciting to hear ‘live’. The songs tell of the fickleness of fortune and wealth, and the joys of drinking, greed and lust. To complement this work, the programme also includes two popular pieces by Brahms, Zigeunerlieder and Geistliches Lied.

Sat
11
Jun

The Radio Edit

You can play ‘in time’. You can definitely play ‘out of time’. But is there any space in-between? The Radio Edit presents an experimental jazz trio asking that exact question. A continuous stream of improvised worlds of music, drawing on everything and everyone from Miles Davis to Stephen Sondheim.

Sat
11
Jun

Tlatelolco: Song for Three Voices

Join us for a three-voice poem reading set to music. The poem, Tlatelolco (Song for Three Voices), was written by Mexican poet Marcela Del-Rio in commemoration of the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre in Mexico City. It connects the pre-Conquest period, the Spanish Conquest of Mexico, and the violence of the 1968 massacre, into an emotional mourning song.

Thu
9
Jun

Electric Shock: 125 Years of Pop

Peter Doggett is the author of Electric Shock: 125 Years of Pop, a definitive cultural history of popular music from Ragtime to the X Factor. Find out why pop has always outraged parents and politicians, and how its role in our lives has changed – from the earliest days of the gramophone to today’s download culture.

Thu
9
Jun

Lust, Madness and Melancholy

Join early music band Poeticall Musicke for an exhilarating evening of chamber music. Specialising in early and middle Baroque, Poeticall Musicke presents a solo song and lute repertoire from Henry Purcell, John Blow and John Dowland.

Thu
9
Jun

Amores Pasados

The Amores Pasados quartet, led by the acclaimed tenor John Potter, presents new repertoires for voices, hardanger fiddle and lutes. Featuring texts by Shakespeare and his contemporaries, songs of lost love have been commissioned from John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin), Tony Banks (Genesis), Sting and Gavin Bryars. These contemporary compositions contrast with songs by composers of the ‘lost’ early 20th century English lute song school.

Thu
9
Jun

David Litvinoff and the Rock’n’Roll Underworld

How do you write a full-length biography about a seemingly untraceable life? David Litvinoff (1928-75), flitted between the worlds of music, art and crime, but made a determined effort to leave behind no sign of his existence. Now 40 years after Litvinoff’s death, author and journalist Keiron Pim has told his story. Find out how Keiron tracked him down.

Wed
8
Jun

Organ Vespers

Organ Vespers comes from the German Lutheran tradition. The service comprises three or four selected organ pieces together with a hymn and a reading or poem, all on a common theme. This service will take the Festival theme of ‘Tick Tock’ as its inspiration.

Tue
7
Jun

Tick Tock: Trumpet and Organ Concert

Join Mike O'Farrell on trumpet and John Bradbury on organ for an exhilarating and imaginative programme specially designed to reflect this year’s Festival theme, Tick Tock.

Festival themes