In September 2009, the Windsor Festival will be celebrating its Fortieth Anniversary as one of the countries’ leading arts, music and literary festivals. Running from 19th September – 4th October, this autumn’s Festival will play host to some of the world’s most gifted musicians and writers.
Along with events featuring John Lill, Michael Parkinson, and Roy Hudd, the main 2009 programme highlights include:
The 40th Anniversary Gala Concert – Welcoming back the Philharmonic Orchestra, this concert will be held in Windsor Castle’s Waterloo Chamber on the 21st of September and will feature world renowned conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy. Brian O’Kane, the winner of last year’s International String Competition, will also be on hand to wow audiences as the solo cellist.
The 2nd annual International String Competition – In the spirit of Lord Menhuin, a festival founder whose desire to provide more opportunity to young musicians remains core to its ethos today, this competition will seek out the next budding young string talent from a pool of 50 entrants worldwide, 8 of whom will battle it out to be crowned the winner of this unique prize. The final will take place on the 4th of October at the Theatre Royal, Windsor.
Henry VIII 500th Anniversary – Events will take place through the Festival to will mark the King’s 500th accession to the throne. Activities will include exploring Windsor Town in Tudor times focussing on the pageantry and religious turmoil which characterised his reign. Quintessential Voices will present Pass Time With Good Company, a programme of words and music on both evenings in the unique setting around the King’s tomb in St George’s Chapel, and the Castle Dungeon to celebrate his love of music and the arts, and David Starkey will give a special talk there to conclude the Festival.
“Back in 1969, Robin Woods, the then Dean of Windsor, proclaimed at the very first Windsor Festival that there was a need for more artistry in this town,” says Martin Denny, Windsor Festival Director. “He went on to declare that the Festival would provide the perfect opportunity to bring a new depth of music and culture to Windsor. These same sentiments ring as true today as they did four decades ago.”
“Steeped in history, Windsor continues to provide the perfect backdrop for this cultural event, with top-quality concerts within Windsor Castle offering the rare opportunity to spend an evening in the stunning surrounds of the Waterloo Chamber and St George’s Chapel,” continues Denny. “Now in its fortieth year, there is just as much to celebrate as in previous years. It is our sincere desire that the local community and those from further a field will find pleasure in partaking in the Festival’s wide variety of events celebrating the arts.”
By Saskia Meyer, Front Office Shift Leader at The Bull