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Musicians at the height of their careers will share the bill with new talent for the 40th anniversary of an international music festival this summer.

York Early Music Festival

Various venues

Fri Jul 7-Sat Jul 15

From free

Box office 01904 658338

Full programme

Celebrating the 40-year milestone in 2017, the York Early Music Festival will run from Friday July 7 to Saturday July 15.

Acclaimed throughout Europe, the event has lined up an exciting anniversary programme of much-loved performers, together with new talent, young musicians and participatory events.Europe, and

The festival, presented in association with Hiscox Insurance, is known for delivering musical excellence to engaged audiences in historic venues across the city.

Changing times, changing places

Here with the Olive Branch Tour, The Sixteen. Photograph: Simon Jay Price

The 40th anniversary theme is Changing Times Changing Places, a notion that is just as relevant today as it was 500 years ago during the great social and political shift of the Reformation.

Key highlights include:

Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers, brought to life by I Fagiolini (Fri 7 July, York Minster) in a unique promenade performance

the award-winning vocal ensemble and the sparkling B’Rock Orchestra (Sun 9 July, Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall) performing Haydn, Mozart and Boccherini

The Sixteen (Sat 11 July, York Minster), directed by Harry Christophers here with The Olive Branch tour

a semi-staged production of the St Matthew Passion led by Peter Seymour (Wed 12 July, Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall).

Join in

Come and Sing, you know you want to…

A mention must be made for the ‘Come and Sing’ performance of Tallis’ 40-part motel, Spem in alium (Fri 14 July, Chapter House, York Minister), which is open to everyone, and a regular high profile feature of the festival.

The much-loved International Young Artists Competition (13-15 July), returns. In association with BBC Radio 3 this event draws emerging talent from across the globe – and this year features young musicians from Russia, Japan, Israel, the UK and across continental Europe.

Big year all round

The National Centre For Early Music on Walmgate, York. Photograph: visityork.org

York Early Music Festival director Delma Tomlin called 2017 “an exceptional year of anniversaries” – not only the festival’s 40th year, but those of two giants of the early music world, Monteverdi (b.1567) and Telemann (d.1767).

“Both feature strongly in our programme, from the exciting Vespers promenade performance by the very established I Fagiolini in York Minster, to the youthful University of York Baroque Ensemble and their Telemann adventure,” she said.

Delma added:

We are graced with the presence of some exceptional musicians, and their commitment and verve to entertain and open the eyes and ears of early music lovers continues to inspire both those who have been involved in the festival for many years, and those who are new to our ever-expanding family.

We are certain that one way or another, there’s every reason to think that the fifth decade of YEMF will be every bit as exciting as the first four!

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