Thrilling classical music programme at this year's Brighton Festival

Brighton Festival is promising a particularly-strong classical music programme this year, with many free and low-cost events to encourage participation (May 4-26).

Sir Andrs Schiff
Sir Andrs Schiff

Spokeswoman Jessica Weiss said: “This year’s festival promises to be diverse and international with a varied repertoire of classical music.

“Highlights include Sir Andras Schiff, one of the great musical thinkers of our time, the Brighton debut of Ensemble Correspondances, who bring the music of the court of Louis XIII to Glynebourne, Chineke!, Europe’s only Black and Minority Ethnicity orchestra, and the British Paraorchestra, who return to Brighton Dome with a show inspired by theoretical physics.”

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Events include:

Pitch Perfect, Saturday, May 4, 1pm Starts Bartholomew Square, Brighton. Free. Brighton & Hove Music & Arts presents an afternoon of the city’s best young musical talent performing in a range of unexpected but ‘perfect pitches’. Featuring the Brighton & Hove Youth Big Band, unplugged pop and folk-inspired acts, string quartets and chamber wind ensembles, the trail starts at Moshimo/Bartholomew Square. Follow it down to Brighton Dome’s Foyer where you can pick up more information about the other pitches located across the Royal Pavilion Estates and around the city centre.

Ensemble Correspondances (France). Sunday, May 5, 3pm Glyndebourne. Founded a decade ago in Lyon by the organist and harpsichordist Sébastien Daucé, this ensemble of specialist vocalists and instrumentalists is passionate about rediscovering musical forms and composers now almost forgotten. This concert recreates life in the salons of Louis XIII’s court with vocal music reflecting themes of night, love and poetry alongside some of the ballet music featured in the court carnivals which were a mixture of art, socialising and politics and which marked the end of winter at the Louvre court.

British Paraorchestra: The Nature of Why, Monday, May 6, 6pm and 8.30pm Brighton Dome Concert Hall Stage, £20 (standing). Inspired by the wildly creative and iconoclastic theoretical physicist, Richard Feynman, this boundary-breaking, immersive experience rejects the formal conventions of orchestral performance, defying expectation. A cinematic live score, composed by Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory, is performed by the British Paraorchestra and Army of Generals, alongside four extraordinary dancers, blurring boundaries between music and dance, performer and audience. The Nature of Why is composed by Will Gregory, choreographed by Caroline Bowditch, conducted by Charles Hazlewood, and directed by Caroline Bowditch and Charles Hazlewood. Touch tours at 5pm and 7.30pm

Song Recital Music Room. Wednesday, May 8, 8pm, Royal Pavilion Music Room. Miah Persson soprano Jeremy Ovenden tenor Malcolm Martineau piano In the splendour of the Royal Pavilion’s Music Room. Malcolm Martineau is considered one of the finest accompanists of his generation. He is in recital with two internationally-acclaimed soloists. Swedish soprano Miah Persson and English tenor Jeremy Ovenden will be performing a sparkling programme that includes songs by Purcell, Britten, Quilter, Sjögren, Sibelius and Schumann.

Sir András Schiff (Hungary), Sunday, May 12, 3pm Glyndebourne. Bach’s Partitas are among the most demanding keyboard pieces devised by Johann Sebastian Bach, and multi-award winning pianist and conductor Sir András Schiff is one of the most sublime performers in the world today. In recent years Schiff’s Bach recitals have become an annual feature of the BBC Proms.