2012 Harrogate International Festival line-up announced

PUBLISHED: 16:54 25 April 2012 | UPDATED: 21:18 20 February 2013

2012 Harrogate International Festival line-up announced

2012 Harrogate International Festival line-up announced

Harrogate International Festival announce Bigger and Bolder line-up for summer 2012

The Harrogate International Festival have announced the acts taking taking part from 5th-28th July 2012

Promised to be the strongest line-up yet in its 47 year history, Festival Chief Executive, Sharon Canavar, said:

2012 is a culturally epic year for Great Britain and the worlds eyes are watching. In that spirit, we have been bigger and bolder in our programming, resulting in a fantastically diverse programme of world-class events. From John Wilson and The Divine Comedy to Bellowhead and Claire Tomalin, this years glittering programme will cement Harrogates reputation as one of the leading cultural centres in the UK.

Taking place across Harrogate and encompassing venues ranging from the legendary Spiegeltent to the beautifully restored Royal Hall, the Festival will offer something for all tastes and ages. The orchestral and classical programme continues to attract leading international performers, with highlights this year including the return of renowned conductor John Wilson and his hand-picked orchestra, as well as Manchesters world class chamber orchestra Manchester Camerata who will be joined by internationally acclaimed Japanese pianist Noriko Ogawa.

Other leading names appearing at the Festival include pianist Melvyn Tan, the Ex Cathedra choir, and the all-female Finzi Quartet. Furthermore, one of the worlds leading brass bands Black Dyke Band will be making a welcome return to Harrogate, following their much-acclaimed appearance last year.

Highlights from the jazz and contemporary programme include a performance from one of the most distinctive voices in music, singer/saxophonist Curtis Stigers, along with Yorkshires best-loved jazz singer Claire Teal and a rare live appearance from legendary trombonist and Festival guest director, Dennis Rollins. There will also be performances from Neil Hannon aka The Divine Comedy, the twice Mercury Prize-nominated Eliza Carthy and Bellowhead, winners of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Best Live Act accolade an astonishing five times.

The Festivals burgeoning literary strand brings together some of the UKs best-loved writers, including Sue Townsend, award-winning playwright and novelist Michael Frayn, and renowned biographer Claire Tomalin, who will be discussing her acclaimed book Charles Dickens: A Life. The curated literary strand will also include appearances from Victoria Hislop, Jon McGregor, Kate Summerscale and John OFarrell.

The whole town will come alive with festival activities throughout July the programme will include a dedicated Childrens and Family Festival, offering a stimulating and engaging programme of fun for children, ranging from author appearances to hands-on science workshops, whilst an outdoor Big Screen will be showcasing the very best of British cinema alongside British sporting highlights. The legendary Spiegeltent, which gives audiences the chance to encounter performances and art in a truly magical setting, will also return to Harrogate, following appearances at the Edinburgh and Melbourne Festivals.

This announcement forms part of a series of line-up announcements for Harrogate International Festival with many more exciting acts and artists to be revealed in the coming weeks and months.

Confirmed acts include:
John Wilson Orchestra, BBC Big Band, The Divine Comedy, Bellowhead, Noriko Ogawa, Curtis Stigers, Manchester Camerata, Clare Teal, Dennis Rollins, Michael Frayn, Sue Townsend and Claire Tomalin

For full programme details visit:

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