Staff Picks – Belinda Kidd
Chief Executive, Belinda Kidd shares her Top Picks for the 65th Bath International Music Festival:
Scottish Chamber Orchestra (Weds 22 and Thurs 23 May)
Why: I wouldn’t miss seeing a top flight chamber orchestra with an international reputation – and it’s a rare opportunity to see them in Bath. The programme is very accessible with more 20th century music on the Wednesday concert in the Abbey including Stravinsky (in his neo classical, less dissonant mode), and Arvo Part (highly spiritual Estonian composer), and core classical repertoire on the Thursday in the Forum with Mendelssohn, Mozart and Stravinsky.
Measha Brueggersgosman and Justus Zeyen (Thurs 23 May)
Why: Measha has a major international reputation and is a favourite artist of Simon Rattle, performing regularly with him and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, and with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. She has a glorious golden resonant voice and the repertoire includes a magical Ravel piece.
Danish String Quartet (Tues 28 & Weds 29 May)
Why: The quartet has a top reputation and is renowned for exciting, energetic performances. Their Tuesday lunchtime concert includes Danish folk plus two lovely late 19th/early 20th century classical quartets (Debussy and Janacek). The Wednesday evening concert with the Sacconi Quartet repertoire is diverse, including Mendelssohn and Strauss.
JS Bach’s 6 Brandenburg Concertos (Sun 2 June)
Why: I’m really looking forward to the Brandenburgs because I love them, when life is difficult you can just sit down and listen to the Brandenburgs and there’s order and resolution. They drive along with this fantastically complex counterpoint going on and they all come together in this wonderful resolution at the end and in a sense they’re almost joyful and very danceable at times. We’re doing them in two halves, with each concert lasting 1 hr. 15 minutes and a lunch offer in between. Either concert would be great, I hope to see both!
Finnish harmonica quartet Svang (Sat 25 & Sun 26 May)
Why: A unique group – fun, energetic, rhythmic, with an almost Balkan sound. I’m looking forward to seeing them at Conygre Hall in Timsbury on the Sunday, a very welcoming community venue.
Gjermund Larsen Trio (Fri 31 May)
Why: I’m really looking forward to the Larsen Trio. I’ve been listening to them a lot on You Tube and I really like the way that, although it’s mostly folk, there’s some jazz inflection there. There’s a really funky base going on underneath with the Norwegian folk going on over the top. I saw Larsen performing in Orkney last summer and he was just fantastic, very tall with a fantastic stage presence and I think that will be wonderful.
Seth Lakeman (Sat 1 June)
Why: The spirit of rock meets folk. Seth is a huge international star and originally from the West Country. Energetic, foot stomping performances – this should be a great, fun night.