|It is with enormous pleasure that I present the programme for 2014; the result of countless hours liaising with musicians and their agents across the globe, and hearing as many prospective artists in live performances as possible. Once again, we have some of the world¹s finest musicians joining us for a fortnight of great music making.
As always, we welcome back many old friends alongside artists new to the festival. Making their debuts here are pianist Katya
|Apekisheva, joining Jack Liebeck in recital; Harpsichordist Richard Egarr, directing the AAM, and also in recital with the cellist Steven Isserlis. Steven performs a second time with the Academy orchestra in the Schumann concerto. Two fine pianists: the young American, Jonathan Biss, and one of the UKs foremost teachers, Ronan OHora. In a first for the festival Ronan will conduct a morning of master classes with exceptional young players and give a recital himself. He returns in week two to play the Grieg concerto. We welcome tenor Allan Clayton and, from America, the Fine Arts Quartet. Add to that list returnees such as, Angela Hewitt, Tallis Scholars, Imogen Cooper, Nash Ensemble, Lucy Parham, Christopher Maltman, and Julius Drake; and you will see why we are set for a fortnight of outstanding concerts.
Despite ever-increasing costs we are holding nearly all ticket prices for the fourth year running and student tickets remain a nominal £1. We can offer this because of the tremendous support we receive from our Sponsors, Patrons and Friends. Sponsors & Patrons enjoy a twoweek priority booking period & Friends a oneweek period. Increasingly this is the only sure
|way of obtaining reserved seating for many concerts.
Our Academy Orchestra now in its seventh year, and such a vital part for the festival, will, as always, be run by the dedicated husband and wife team of Thomas Hull & Ruth Rogers.
One important change is the provision of a limited on-line booking facility. Conscious that it is vital that we do not upset Patrons, Friends, and those who send their General booking forms in early, we are dipping an extremely tentative toe in the water as far as online booking is concerned. So, we will continue to operate the system where we ask you to send in your forms ASAP and after the priority bookings and early General bookings have been processed we will then activate the online & telephone booking system. If this trial goes well and we get the feed back that you would like a full online facility, we will endeavour to set that up for the 2015 festival.
I hope you will agree that the 2014 programme is an exciting one and I look forward to seeing many of you next May
Charlie Bennett November 2013