Stars to fly in and tickle ivories again

Charles Owen, who will be performing at the 2014 Hebden Bridge Piano Festival
Charles Owen, who will be performing at the 2014 Hebden Bridge Piano Festival

The upper Calder Valley will be filled with the sound of tickling ivories again as a music festival returns after a successful debut earlier this year.

Hebden Bridge Piano Festival will take place at Hebden Bridge Town Hall in April 2014, and organisers have already confirmed a number of top acts who will be performing at the feast of music.

The festival will once again be co-ordinated by local pianist and composer Dave Nelson, who is hoping to build on the success of the inaugural event.

“This year’s festival was so successful we’ve had the confidence to go for an even more exciting and imaginative programme,” Dave said.

“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 Hall or in London.

“And what’s more, they will never be more than a few rows from the stage.”

The programme will feature a mixture of concerts given by performers of international repute, masterclasses, lecture recitals, family concerts suitable for young children and their parents, and drop-in performances by local pianists.

Dave said: “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 will be top class artists who have performed all over the world - Kathryn Stott, Noriko Ogawa and Charles Owen.

Veteran performers John Humphreys and Allan Schiller will present a lunchtime recital of duets.

Paul Roberts will give a lecture recital on the music of Liszt and young jazz pianist Zoe Rahman will perform tunes inspired by the music of the Middle East.

In line with the festival’s policy of programming new talent, young Polish virtuoso Lukasz Filipczak will give a lunchtime recital.

Three pianos will descend on the town hall, including a 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.

This will result in almost continuous live piano music throughout the weekend.

The festival will run from April 11-13.

Tickets will go on sale early next year.

For more information, including the full programme, visit www.hebdenbridgepianofestival.com.