A week-long feast of classical music


A feast of classical concerts is lined up for music lovers next month, with a packed programme of morning, lunchtime and evening performances.

The Buckingham Summer festival begins its 26th season on Saturday, July 5, with a concert performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates Of Penzance by the Buckingham Choral Society at Buckingham Parish Church, with guest narrator John Bercow MP.

Haruko Seki

Haruko Seki

And the week-long programme of events concludes back at the parish church with a Gala Concert by the Orchestra of Stowe Opera, conducted by Buckingham resident and the festival’s artistic director, Robert Secret.

The Buckingham Summer Festival was founded in 1989 by Mr Secret and Prof Alan Brook MBE, who died last year.

Prof Brook’s widow, Pat, has generously donated the proceeds from the auction of his violin to support the festival and this year’s Gala Concert is being held in his honour.

Over the years, the Summer Festival has brought top-quality musicians to the town.

A registered charity, it relies entirely on volunteer effort, local sponsorship, individual donations and grants to keep ticket prices down to affordable levels, with daytime concerts costing just £5 and most evening concerts £13 (under-18s £5).

On Sunday, July 6, talented past and present students of the Royal Latin School will celebrate Music Through The Ages in a concert at the school at 5pm. Price 10, under-18s £5.

Each weekday offers 11am and 1pm concerts at the Radcliffe Centre, followed by an 8pm performance.

On Monday, July 7, you can enjoy piano music by Bach from Craig Green, Rachmaninov’s cello sonata by Julian Metzger or flute and harp music by The Aquilae Duo.

On Tuesday, July 8, popular pianist Haruko Seki plays Chopin at 11am, while the 1pm concert features viola duo Peter Mallinson and Matthias Wiesner.

The 8pm concert, which is in Stowe School’s new Ugland Auditorium, features The Maurizi Ensemble playing pieces by Mozart and Dvorak.

Other highlights include the sought-after chamber music group The Ellis Ensemble at 8pm on Wednesday, July 9, and Japanese pianist Mami Shikimori at 11am on Thursday, July 10.

At 8pm on Friday, July 11, The Old Gaolers and instrumental ensemble present The Summer That Never Ended – Europe On The Brink Of War,

Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, the lively evening of music and theatre depicts the transition from the long Edwardian summer to the bitter winter of war as seen through the eyes of two Buckingham couples.

The full programme of concerts, and tickets for all events, are available from the Old Gaol Tourist Information Centre, or visit www.buckinghamsummerfestival.org