High calibre acts at Harrogate International Festival

PUBLISHED: 00:04 19 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:54 20 February 2013

Gaelic songstress Julie Fowlis - one of the must-sees of Harrogate International Festival

Gaelic songstress Julie Fowlis - one of the must-sees of Harrogate International Festival

Virtuoso musicians and wickedly talented crime writers from around the world will be descending on Harrogate this summer. Will you be joining them?

The running order for this year's Harrogate International Festival is a veritable Who's Who of the great and the good in the arts world. The 45th annual festival will take over the town from July 10th to 24th and include some of the very best in classical, jazz and world music.

The much-anticipated event will showcase some home-grown Yorkshire talent alongside a host of international stars. Among the many highlights will be a performance from the county's own Lesley Garrett, the Berlin Symphoniker Orchestra playing a Beethoven programme, and a recital by pianist Joanna MacGregor.

The jazz line-up will feature Yorkshire's Clare Teal and her musicians, plus a welcome return for Jacqui Dankworth, the latest in the legendary jazz dynasty. Other notable must-sees include Gaelic songstress Julie Fowlis, the famous Black Dyke Brass Band, an atmospheric concert of Byzantine chanting from the Sofia Orthodox Choir, and a performance by Sophie Cashell, winner of the BBC's Classical Star programme.

Since the festival was launched in 1966, it has grown into one of the region's leading cultural organisations, working year-round to bring the finest in performing arts, literature and community participation to Harrogate and attracting around 90,000 visitors. It was augmented in 2003 by the first Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, which has increased in popularity year-on-year ever since.

Now in its seventh year and running from July 23rd to 26th, the festival has become a firm date (underlined three times in red felt-tip) in the literary calendar, achieving international acclaim for its innovative programming and fun atmosphere.Writers, readers, publishers and agents gather every year in the beautiful but informal setting of the Crown Hotel to talk about what's new in the world of crime writing.

This year's festival has been programmed by award-winning author Laura Wilson, who has created a thrilling four days packed with the very best and brightest names in the genre. Special guests include Man Booker winner John Banville (who writes crime novels as Benjamin Black), Mark Billingham, Lee Child, Reginald Hill, George Pelecanos, Val McDermid, Jasper Fforde and Stuart MacBride. There will also be a guest appearance by screen writer David Simon, creator and head writer of the smash hit US crime series The Wire.

Among the many panels, debates and events taking place over the four days are a celebration of the bicentennial of the birth of Edgar Allen Poe, the father of the modern detective story; a discussion led by film critic Barry Norman on the transition of crime stories from page to screen; and the announcement of the fifth winner of the prestigious Crime Novel of the Year Award, voted for by the public and scooped last year by Stef Penney for The Tenderness of Wolves.

To get the latest news on the Harrogate International Festival line-up, phone 0845 130 8840 (from April 1st) or click on www.harrogate-festival.org.uk. For further details of the Crime Writing Festival, phone 01423 562303 or email crime@harrogatefestival.org.uk.

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