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Celebrating The Twentieth Festival

The 1999 Warwick & Leamington Festival is the twentieth July festival event since the creation of Warwick Arts Week in 1980.

Warwick MayFest Celebrations successfully launched the big year and the Leamington Jazz Weekend is a special celebratory extra, which will also mark the long awaited re- opening of the Royal Pump Rooms in Leamington, the principal venue that has been shut for a twenty month, major refurbishment.

The Leamington Jazz Weekend on 26 and 27 June has non stop jazz of all sorts from midday to 6pm on four sites and two evening concerts featuring the Andy Sheppard Band and American stars Stacey Kent and Warren Vaché.

The principal venue for the Warwick & Leamington Festival is St Mary's Church Warwick where evening concerts feature the return of The King's Consort and The Hanover Band, plus a Schools Prom, a daily lunchtime concert series and four late night candle-lit concerts of medieval and baroque music.

Warwick Castle has the annual Fireworks Concerts with Sakari Oramo conducting the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra on 3 and 4 July and then Heartbreak and Oddsocks Productions perform Shakespeare in the open air-Twelfth Night and Henry V.

The medieval great hall of the Lord Leycester Hospital hosts an eclectic and highly entertaining array of artists - Adelaide Baroque, the Prague Guitar Quartet, poet Brian Patten, The Mellstock Band, Kermesse and the Classic Buskers.

The strong chamber music element in the Festival is mostly centred in Leamington, with the Royal Pump Room hosting the Martinu, Vanbrugh and Yggdrasil String Quartets, The Schubert Ensemble of London and David Campbell's recently formed Wind Ensemble. These are joined by pianists Andrew Ball, John McCabe - his sixtieth birthday celebrates him as composer as well - and Sandro Ivo Bartoli, violinist Lucy Gould and baritone Nigel Cliffe.

Commissioned works in the Festival come from Julian Philips, a sextet for piano and winds, Andy Jackson, a Festival Anthem for the Schools Prom, Fanfare for Warwick from Richard Steggall of Karelia Brass which launches the lunchtime series and Sylvie Bodorova, who has written Ama me, four songs for Nigel Cliffe.

The Festival repeats Sylvie Bodorova's Terezin Ghetto Requiem, premiered last July, as it has been taken up by festivals in Harrogate, Norwich and the Prague Spring and was the only Czech work to be chosen for the 1999 ISCM World Music Days.

The 1999 Festival has the vibrant variety expected of it with more jazz, exhibitions, puppet companies, story-tellers.

Warwick Arts Society 01926 410747


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