It’s Day 4 of Bath International Music Festival which continues until Sunday 29 May. The festival began with Bath’s Biggest Free night of music Party in the City. 40 venues, 2 new outdoor festival stages in Parade Gardens and Queen Square and schools, bands, choirs all performing and some CROWDSURFING at Komedia.
Take a look at the 2016 Festival so far in our Festival Gallery view gallery
FRIDAY 20 MAY 2016: 5.30PM UNTIL LATE! PARTY IN THE CITY IS BATH’S BIGGEST, FREE NIGHT OF MUSIC AND PERFORMANCEYour Guide to Bath’s Biggest FREE Party is here – click on the link below for the online version, or pick up a copy from Bath Box Office or any of the venues. Date for your diary: Friday 20 May!
Celebrating the opening night of the 10 day The Bath International Music Festival, featuring hundreds of performances for one night only — it’s Bath’s biggest FREE party! Friday May 20th from 5.30pm until late, the city will buzz with folk, rock, classical, jazz, acoustic, swing, and soul — all concerts and gigs are free! Last year, the biggest in the history of Party in The City, 48 venues opened their doors to over 2000 performers and 20,000 audience members.The whole evening lifts off with a parade through the streets by local children joined by members of Action on Hearing Loss — they will lead off from Southgate, arriving at the Abbey at 6pm for a special performance by over 100 school children directed by renowned beatboxer Shlomo.
New this year will be two live open-air stages with festival bars supplied by Honey’s Midford Cider, Electric Bear and The Nest, bringing both Queen Square and Parade Gardens to life with local food and drink stalls — forming our official ‘hubs’. Your favourite bars, clubs and venues across town will showcase performances until late; with everything from rock to opera, jazz to hip-hopera and remember to keep eyes open for the official Sofarsounds secret gig…
I’m a cellist, composer and mum from London. I’ve got quite an unusual musical career as I write and perform my own music largely, and travel the world to play my concerts. I also do session performances or recordings for a diverse artist base from opera to hip hop and I love it.
I never wanted to play the cello! But luckily for me, my career wasn’t dictated by a choice I made aged four and a half. I was very fortunate to be in a primary school in inner London that participated in a scheme run by the Centre for Young Musicians, whereby cello and violin lessons were offered to primary aged children, and when the initial letter came home in my bag outlining these lessons I said a resounding no. One term later a gap appeared in the cello group, and I went along with my friend in order to escape some other activity in the school day, and here I am now! Without doubt it was the brilliant, enlightened and what I now recognise as freeing approach of the teachers, especially my teacher Vicky Miller that inspired me continuously and enabled me to sculpt my own career as a solo cellist and composer.
When I first started playing my solo concerts I used to feel fraudulent standing on stage saying I was a cellist, as I’d never played a big concerto with an orchestra, in fact I’d never really played professionally at all prior to this point. Even though I was in the grimy dives of North London I still felt this inadequacy, I’d get terribly nervous and shaky-bowed, and even now contemplating my forth solo album, many EU dates and sixth tour of Australia I still have a sense of this now and then. I think it keeps things real for me though, I am more confident now in my abilities and more importantly I’ve reached this glorious understanding that there is more than one way to be a professional cellist!
What or who have been your biggest influences?
The inspiration for my writing is pretty much un-boundaried, it’s whatever moves me, with music obviously being the main point I’d say. I’m a huge fan of Bach, Debussy, Pärt, Kodály, Tavener and Bartók, and these sit happily alongside my outright love of Whitesnake, Jane’s Addiction and Nine Inch Nails to name but a few. I find poetry inspirational, certain concepts in psychology too (mainly Jung!) and art as well – especially Mucha. Another massive influence is the landscape around me. My latest album ‘Five Incantations’ (some of which I’ll play for you) is a prime example of this. ‘Five Incantations’ firmly began life in Australia, during my tour in 2015. When I am in Australia I somehow feel able to connect to a more vital or spiritual source.
Beyond Australia, back home in the UK my friends are a constant source of inspiration to me. I have many great colleagues and friends in both musical and non-musical careers, all of whom are constantly supportive, offering words of wisdom, unbiased opinions and direction, thoughtful comment and at times wine! All of this is part and parcel of what I do, I feel my friends make my music with me, and I feel very lucky to have their support, their energy and their time.
Have you spent much time in the city of Bath?
Not much time, but I’ve absolutely loved each visit! I have a very good friend and collaborator who lives in Bath, poet Mohan Rana. We perform spoken word and improvised music concerts together, it’s something very special indeed. I’ve actually been to St Michael’s on my last visit to Mohan, though I didn’t realise at the time I’d be playing here so now I’m really excited!
What are you currently listening to?
Right now I’m listening to music by Rose McDowall as I have two session performances coming up for her and I need to learn it all again! I’m also preparing for a classical recital in Leipzig so I’m also listening to awful practice recordings I’ve made of the Kodaly sonata and two of the Bachs. But as far as what’s in my car, ‘Warrior’ by Anilah, absolutely beautiful, breathtaking and powerful, and a relatively obscure (these days) band Saraya (‘Saraya’ 1989), great female fronted rock group. That, and a daily dose of ‘Let It Go’ (my daughter is four!).
See Jo perform at St Michael’s Church Friday 20th May 9.30pm. Plan your night at Bath’s biggest FREE party here.
Party in the City is Bath’s biggest, free night of music and performance.
Every May, to mark the opening night of the 10 day The Bath International Music Festival, Party in the City celebrates the panoramic local music scene and vibrant cultural life that Bath and its surrounding areas have to offer.
Last year, the biggest in the history of Party in The City, 48 venues opened their doors to over 2000 performers and 20,000 audience members.
This year on 20th May 2016, we are coordinating an exciting programme of free events across the city of Bath, including fantastic street theatre, processions and dance that will bring the city centre alive with music and dancing and we are now taking performer applications.
We consider all applications that encompass performing and visual arts; from bands to bhangra and DJs to opera, if you have an innovative performance, spectacular collaboration or something completely different that you think could be in Party in the City, we would love to hear from you!
If you would like to submit a performer application form, please read the PitC information sheet and send a completed application form to email@example.com by 31st December.
Set in some of Bath’s most iconic buildings (theAbbey, the Forum, the Guildhall) and its hidden gems (Cleveland Pools, the Masonic Hall) the 2015 Festival celebrates the incredible talents of the musicians and the atmosphere of the extraordinary venues for which Bath is famed. Bath International Music Festival Friday 15 – Tuesday 26 May
The Abbey: 20 May expect spiritual grandeur and an evening to treasure with Thomas Trotter, one of the world’s leading organists. A rare treat. 22 May Stile Antico present a truly irresistible programme of Renassiance choral masterpieces.
Old Theatre Royal at Bath Masonic Hall: The Late Night Series
12 Orchard Street is an anonymous building on a quiet cobbled backstreet in this city of architectural gems but behind the door is a unique 265 year history during which it became the first Theatre Royal outside London. A glorious, intimate “must see” space. 16 May BBC Folk Musician of the YearSam Sweeneypremieres a new collaboration with Emily Portman 23 May jazz singer/songwriter Gwyneth Herbert 24 May daring free-jazz experiments with Orphy Robinson’s Black Top
St Mary’s Bathwick: 23 May. A rare chance to see what has been described as perhaps the greatest work in all British jazz. Mike Westbrook – The Westbrook Blake combining thrilling jazz & William Blake’s mighty poetry with Glad Day & Bath Camerata. * Festival Artist in Residence Steven Osborne’s 2015 highlight. 24 May An extraordinary musical journey, as one of Messiaen‘s greatest living interpreters, Steven Osborne performs Messiaen Vingt Regards, virtuosic, extrovert, grand, intimate and heartbreakingly tender in this church with an exceptional heritage in music, lit for this special evening by candlelight.
Cleveland Pools: The UK’s only surviving Georgian Lido
24 May Red Note Ensemble, Scotland’s leading contemporary music ensemble return to Bath for this special concert at Bath’s much loved atmospheric disused lido, situated between the River Avon and Kennet & Avon Canal; the perfect chance to see the pools before its transformation begins.
St Swithin’s Church
Two fabulous opportunities to hear John Butt, one of the world’s leading authorities play Bach in Bath’s only surviving Georgian Church. Goldberg Variations on the 24 & Violin Concertos with the Dunedin Consort on 25 May
Film lovers 21 May Game of Thrones and Harry Potter actress Natalia Tena’s band Molotov Jukebox storm Komedia with a set guaranteed to make you dance. On 23 May as befits this Grade II listed art-deco cinema Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory will perform live musical accompaniment to a screening of a neglected MGM Lon Chaney masterpiece of the silent screen (if you liked Joan of Arc at Bath Abbey you’ll love this) and House anthems are given a gospel twist by House Gospel Choir on 25 May (House Gospel Choir FREE to under 18s) * see conditions below
*FREE to under 18 events. 1 paying adult is eligible for up to 2 free tickets for under 18s. These tickets are not available online. Please call the Bath Box Office on 01225 463 362 or in person and quote FAMILY FORUM
Glorious Classical Music in Iconic Bath Surroundings
Bath is lucky enough to welcome a host of newly emerging and well established musicians in May as part of the Bath International Music Festival. Come and be inspired for 12 glorious, music-soaked days by the very best musicians as they perform in venues across Bath.
Steven Osborne Festival Artist in Residence: 16, 17 & 24 May
Steven Osborne’s standing as one of the great pianists of his generation was publically affirmed in 2013 with two major awards: The Royal Philharmonic Society Instrumentalist of the Year and his second Gramophone Award, this time in the Instrumental category for his recording of Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition and solo works by Prokofiev.
Sat 16 May 11am-1pm, Guildhall sees Steven launch the classical programme with a performance of Russian virtuoso fireworks including Mussorgsky.Book Now
Sunday 17 May 11am-1pm Guildhall. Steven is joined by two fabulous chamber music partners, Jean Johnson on clarinet and Philip Higham on cello for a wonderful Brahms programme Book Now
Sunday 24 May 7-9.15pm St Mary’s Bathwick An extraordinary musical journey, Messiaen’s great piano meditation on the baby Jesus is by turns virtuosic, extrovert, grand, intimate and heartbreakingly tender. Any performance of this emotionally overwhelming work is a special occasion, and Steven Osborne is famed world-wide as one of Messiaen’s greatest living interpreters. Book Now
Wednesday 20 May, 7-9pm, Bath Abbey
Thomas Trotter: What better place to enjoy world famous organistThomas Trotter’s programme of Bach, Dupre, Messiaen and Saint-Saens than the beautiful Bath Abbey.
As a soloist, he has performed with, amongst many others, conductors Sir Simon Rattle, Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Chailly and Sir Charles Mackerras. He is regularly asked to perform on major historical instruments such as those at St Ouen in Rouen, St Bavo’s in Haarlem (Netherlands), Weingarten Abbey in Germany and Woolsey Hall of Yale University. He regularly appears in the festivals at Salzburg, Berlin, Vienna, Edinburgh and in London’s BBC Proms and performs with leading orchestras such as the Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, London Philharmonic and Royal Philharmonic, and in the USA with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. In 2001, he was the recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s prestigious award for Best Instrumentalist, the first organist to receive this accolade.
Laura van der Heijden and the European Union Chamber Orchestra
Cellist Laura van der Heijden made headlines when she won BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2012, aged just 15.
Highlights of the 2014/15 season include her debut with the Philharmonia Orchestra in Beethoven’s Triple Concerto and with Sinfonia Cymru in Shostakvich’s Cello Concerto, performances of the Elgar concerto with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra as part of World War I anniversary concerts, as well as concerts with the London Mozart Players and the European Union Chamber Orchestra and a recent TV appearance at the BAFTAS.
Still only 17 and studying for her A levels, for her Bath International Music Festival performance she will perform Hayden’s wonderful C major cello concerto as well as much loved works by Mozart and Elgar together with Respighi’s wonderfully evocative Ancient Airs and Dancesbe accompanied by the wonderful European Union Chamber Orchestra. Formed in 1981, the EUCO draws its members from Europe’s best young professionals. The Orchestra regularly plays alongside professional symphony orchestras in music festivals including the Salzburg Festival, the Edinburgh Festival, the BBC Proms and the Concertgebouw’s Robeco Summer Concert Series. In addition to performing in major cities, concert halls and festivals in Europe, the EUYO’s concert schedule has taken them to China, Hong Kong, Japan, India, North and South America, Russia, Kazakhstan and Korea as Ambassadors of Goodwill.
Sir Willard White and Bath Philharmonia: Tuesday 26th May, 7.30-9.30pm The Forum
Providing a truly rousing and memorable close to the Festival this year sees Sir Willard White return to Bath with Bath Philharmonia showcasing Gershwin’s Porgy & Bessand Dvorak’s New World Symphonyalongside Gweneth Ann Jeffers and Bath Camerata. One of the best-loved and most versatile opera stars of the last 40 years, Sir Willard White’s illustrious career has taken him to the most prestigious opera houses and concert halls throughout the world, collaborating with conductors, directors and orchestras of the highest calibre.
Bath Philharmonia is one of the leading professional orchestras in the South West. Its players are some of the finest and most experienced orchestral musicians in Britain and led by Music Director Jason Thornton. The orchestra is renowned for its musical virtuosity as well as versatile and creative approach to programming.
To see the full 2015 classical Festival programme including John Butt, the lunchtime classical concerts, Peter Manning and Renato Balsadonna, Cremona Quartet, Stile Antico and a wide reaching jazz, world, folk and popular programme click here
Bath International Music Festival kicks off this year’s festival on Friday 15 May with the city wide celebration, Party in the City, spreading over 43 venues, with more than 150 exciting bands, singers and performers. We’ve also joined up again with the national initiative Museums at Night, with museums here in Bath and across the country flinging open their doors for late night explorations.
This year Party in the City continues throughout the Festival, with free music on the bandstand in Parade Gardens on the first weekend, 16/17 May, and again on Sunday 24 May, with a free Family Music Day including more free music from local bands, plus more delights during the week. The fun does not stop, with the 12 day Bath International Music Festivalrunning from 15 – 26 May.
PARTY IN THE CITY HIGHLIGHTS (OR VIEW THE FULL EVENTS LISTINGS HERE)
Street Performance: as well as everything going on at Party in the City venues don’t miss all the spectacular street performances. Samba bands, DJ Disco Turtles and more.
Highlight Tours: (Free) The ‘delightfully absurd’ Natural Theatre Company guide you through the musical streets of Bath.
*Headline Act* Bite The Buffalo: B.T.B have played the UK’s best venues, supported Robert Plant and bring you their version of Stomp, Rock Blues. 9.15-10pm Parade Gardens
Bath Community Gospel Choir: Young Carers South West and Bath Philharmonia 9.15-10pm Bath Abbey
Sing & Samba: A world premiere collaboration of choirs – come along and join the biggest sing-a-long of the night. 6.45-7.15pm The Circus
Bristol A Cappella: Vocal harmonies re-creating well-known pop songs. 9.30-10.15pm Colonna & Hunter
Kilter’s Unsung Choir: Young people’s lyrics about unsung aspects of their lives. Performed by professional choirs. 7-7.30pm Holburne Museum
The Gas Giants: A rare appearance by Will Gregory & Tony Orrell to launch ART & WORK 8-9pm Museum of Bath at Work
Bohemian Embassy: They’ve played some of the UK and Europe’s best venues – with a great live set! 10-11pm The Pig and Fiddle
Maria Muller: International Mezzo-Soprano accompanied by Russian pianist Sergey Rybin 8.50-9.30pm Ralph Allen Cornerstone
Turbo Disco Turtle: An 8 metre long, 3 metre wide, glow-in-the-dark disco Turtle! Bring bubbles to blow 9pm Stall Street Finale
Noctis: Award winning chamber choir performing traditional choral music, contemporary, film scores and jazz standards. 9.30-10pm St Michael’s Church
The Bath Welcome Choir: Popular harmonies and chart songs. 7.30-7.50pm St. Swithins Church
The Full 2015 Party in the City line-up will be available soon in the P.I.T.C brochure look out for announcements!