REVIEW: Martin Dreyer’s verdict on Mishka Rushdie Momen at Ryedale Festival, St Peter & St Paul’s Church, Pickering, July 24

Mishka Rushdie Momen: “Is there no end to this young lady’s versatility?

ON her first visit to Ryedale two years ago, Mishka Rushdie Momen delivered a knockout piano recital.

No-one present will have dared miss this return – part of her contribution as an artist in residence at this year’s festival – which included an early Beethoven sonata and a late Schubert one, not to mention some important Mendelssohn with a little Byrd and Prokofiev thrown in. Pretty good value for an afternoon recital without an interval.

The way her career is soaring, we can safely dispense with her surnames and simply call her Mishka. Everyone will know exactly who is meant. She announced herself – especially her wit and intelligence – with Beethoven’s Op 10 No 2 in F major, the “sunny” key of his Pastoral symphony.

After a bold opening, strongly accented, she brought humour into her left-hand figures in the scherzo’s trio, before a crisp, staccato finale with virtually no use of the pedal in its pseudo-fugue.

Thirty years after the Beethoven, Schubert wrote his miraculous last three sonatas, two months before his death in 1828. The first of these, D.958 in C minor, is the least played of the three, so it was especially satisfying to hear it here.

There were no pastel shades in Mishka’s opening, as she established the whole work’s sombre atmosphere. But she was alive to the rapidly shifting moods of the development section and once her again her left hand figured prominently, this time as a trombone.

She brought an intimate, pianissimo opening to the slow movement, so heightening the contrast with the agitated mystery of remote minor keys further down the line. The minuet flowed gently and its Ländler-style trio was particularly mellow, both a nice contrast with the drama elsewhere.

The key-changes, especially major versus minor, in the finale were magical and after the various caesuras – complete breaks in the action – she resumed with the utmost delicacy. It was utterly spellbinding, as if she were sharing secrets.  Mishka has a profound knack for Schubert, as we heard last time.

Mendelssohn’s Variations Sérieuses in D minor, one of the fruits of his love-affair with Bach’s music, revealed her contrapuntal dexterity, not least in the virtuoso later variations which move away from Baroque influence. There were moments that suggested a slightly steadier tempo would have lent clarity. But the solemn tone of the work led naturally – with no applause between – into a moving account of Byrd’s pavane on Flow My Tears, Dowland’s famous tune.

Earlier we had heard Byrd’s The Bells, one of his over 150 keyboard works, which deserve wider currency. Its nine variations over a two-note, tolling bass easily conjured the sound-world of the bell tower. She left us in no doubt that this is one work that sounds much better on the piano than the harpsichord. There had even been fleeting glimpses of five of Prokofiev’s Vision Fugitives.

Is there no end to this young lady’s versatility? Mishka is already a star, and on this showing destined to remain so for a long time. May she return to us soon and often.

Review by Martin Dreyer

REVIEW: Steve Crowther’s verdict on Mishka Rushdie Momen and Friends at Ryedale Festival

Mishka Rushdie Momen: “Clearly one of the most thoughtful, gifted and sensitive British pianists”

Ryedale Festival: Mishka Rushdie Momen and Friends, National Centre for Early Music, York, July 25

IT’S an odd thing about the NCEM acoustic at St Margaret’s Church: the spoken voice is difficult to hear clearly, unless of course you use a microphone, as in the preconcert introduction.

This was true of both spoken contributions from violinist Tim Crawford and Ms Momen, and yet I could hear the pizzicato playing by cellist Tim Posner resonating beautifully throughout the performance. Mind you, he is a very fine player.

Anyhow, to the concert itself. Mishka Rushdie Momen and Friends suggested an intimate gathering of people who are on close terms with each other, and this is exactly what we got. The performers were at ease with each other.

They happily shared the dialogue, listening carefully to each instrumental utterance before replying. They even (musically) flirted with each other; the second canonic study by Schumann was a veritable love duet between violin and cello.

So, let’s start with the Schumann Six Etudes in Canonic Form Op. 56. Evidently, he wrote these pieces in 1845 as an attempt to overcome his “writer’s block”. They were originally written for organ or pedal piano, but it was Schumann’s friend, Theodor Kirchner, who later arranged these for piano trio. The canonic form is one of discipline, of formal conversation; we don’t usually tend to hear it sing, but it does here.

Following the tender second study touched on earlier, any whiff of the academic template is dispelled by the lovely Schumanesque melodic sound world. The music is joyous and so was the playing.

The fourth was conveyed as the charming romantic song it is, with lovely shaping of the musical phrases and rippling decoration. The performers clearly had fun with the very rhythmic, dance-like fifth and in the sixth they delivered a heartfelt, yearning finale. Moving too.

This brings us to the opening work, Smetana’s Trio in G minor, Op. 15. The Trio was written in response to the death of the composer’s four-year-old daughter, Bedriska, of scarlet fever in 1855. The players really captured the quite violent contrasts of the opening allegro moderato. Tender cello and violin solos crescendoed into full-throttle drive. These melted into both delicate and impassioned outpourings of nostalgic memory and grief.

There were echoes of Brahms in the work, but the overall impression conveyed was distinctly Czech; particularly in the thrilling second movement with its musical windows of reflection and the nervous energy of the brilliantly performed allegro finale.

Ms Momen’s performance of the wonderfully descriptive Smetana work, Memories Of Bohemia in the form of Polkas, was a real treat. Lovely touch, phrasing, expressive rubato and executed with real panache.

Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio in D minor Op.49 is a terrific work, and the trio delivered a terrific performance. Tim Posner’s opening cello theme was delivered with purpose and nobility. Ms Momen’s agitated accompaniment, at first chordal, then transformed into flights of bristling arpeggios as the theme is repeated.

The contrapuntal reworkings of the second, song-like melody were beautifully judged, as was the opening cello’s melody, now joined by a haunting descending line in the violin. The assai animato signing-off seemed to set the instruments on fire.

There was a quite intimate call and response about the Songs Without Words second movement. For example, in the opening musical piano invitation to the violin and cello to join the dance. The piano writing in the exuberant Scherzo is a virtuosic tour de force. And yet, captured in this performance, there is also magic in the air.

I loved the way the passages were thrown to each of the performers in turn, as in some musical game. The way the music effortlessly dissolved into the ether was delightful.

Apart from Tim Posner’s rather unexpected sweeping Mendelssohnian cello melody, this finale was very much hang-on-to-your-hats time. The driver is very much the piano, the writing is seriously demanding, and Ms Momen’s technique and musicality delivered. The final climax integrates the virtuosic and the song, with a crowd-pleasing signing off.

Mishka Rushdie Momen is clearly one of the most thoughtful, gifted and sensitive British pianists and consequently well equipped to embrace both solo and chamber music performance. Mishka Rushdie Momen and Friends – here the excellent Tim Crawford (violin) and Tim Posner (cello) – gave us a concert of equality of engagement, insight and enrichment.

Review by Steve Crowther

Ten Things To See at Ryedale Festival

The Consone Quartet: Playing at Castle Howard on July 26

Triple Concert, Castle Howard, July 26, 7pm.

IN the festival centrepiece, separate concerts are held in the stately home’s Long Gallery, Chapel and Great Hall, featuring the Consone Quartet, Historical Fiction and Guildhall Gold Medal winner Oliver Wass.

Venus And Adonis, All Saints’ Church, Kirkbymoorside, July 21, 11am; All Saints’ Church, Helmsley, July 22, 4pm; St. Michael’s Church, Malton, July 23, 4pm.

THE first great English opera, composed by John Blow, comes to life in a Ryedale Festival Opera pop-up production in three historic churches. Experience everything from tragedy to comedy, cynicism to flirtations in a tale of love and lust.

Myrtles, All Saints’ Church, Kirkbymoorside, July 16, 7pm; Kate Wakeling, All Saints’ Church, Kirkbymoorside, July 16, 9.30pm.

ROBERT Schumann’s love for his talented pianist wife Clara Wieck finds new form almost 200 years later in the world premiere of Myrtles, translated into English from the original Myrthen by Jeremy Sams with added poems from Kate Wakeling. Wakeling performs her own poetry collection, Her Stride Says Comet, in a separate concert afterwards.

Anna Lapwood: Organ, Ampleforth Abbey, July 15, 7pm to 8pm; Come And Sing, St Peter’s Church, Norton, July 16, 3pm to 5.30pm; Double Concert, Sledmere House and Church, July 17, 7pm; The Echo Of Angels, St Mary’s Church, Lastingham, July 18, 3pm; Discover The Organ, St Mary’s Church, Lastingham, July 19, 3pm to 5pm (free tickets).

ANNA Lapwood is among several young artists-in-residence that form the backbone of the 2023 programme. Noted forher impromptu organ performance with Bonobo at the Royal Albert Hall, she will perform, conduct, lead masterclasses and talk attendees through her instrument throughout the festival.

Tenor Nicky Spence

Nicky Spence: The Food Of Love, Duncombe Park, July 18, 8pm; Vocal Masterclass, Helmsley Arts Centre, July 20, 3pm to 5pm (free tickets); A Most Marvellous Party, Helmsley Arts Centre, July 21, 7pm.

TENOR Nicky Spence, the BBC Music Magazine Personality of the Year 2022, brings his singing and acting skills to Ryedale to mark the 400th anniversary of composer William Byrd’s death and 50th anniversary of Noël Coward’s passing, with a masterclass for budding singers squeezed in.

Dudok Quartet and Philip Ross Bullock: Pre-concert talk – From The Depths Of My Soul I, All Saints’ Church, Hovingham, July 19, 6pm; Dudok Quartet, All Saints’ Church, Hovingham, July 19, 7pm.

Pre-concert talk – From The Depths Of My Soul II, Birdsall House, July 20, 10am; Dudok Quartet, Birdsall House, July 20, 11am.

Pre-concert talk – From The Depths Of My Soul III, All Saints’ Church, Slingsby, July 22, 10am; Dudok Quartet, All Saints’ Church, Slingsby, 11am.

Late Night Candlelit Concert – What Remains, St Gregory’s Minster, Kirkdale, July 22, 9.30pm.

IN addition to a beautiful candlelit concert, the Dutch quartet take festival attendees on a journey through Tchaikovsky’s compositions for the ensemble, with time to take in quartets from Glinka, Shostakovich, and Mozart, and songs from Boulanger performed with soprano Siân Dicker. Professor of Russian Literature and Music Philip Ross Bullock delivers talks on the Tchaikovsky pieces before each performance.

Bomsori Kim and Mishka Rushdie Momen, Church of St Peter and St Paul, Pickering, July 22, 7pm.

Mishka Rushdie Momen: Church of St Peter and St Paul, Pickering, July 24, 4pm.

Orchestra of Opera North and Bomsori Kim, Church of St Martin- on-the-Hill, Scarborough, July 24, 8pm.

Mishka Rushdie Momen and Friends, National Centre for Early Music, York, July 25, 8pm.

THE final two artists-in-residence join forces for a vivacious night of Beethoven violin sonatas. Classical Breakthrough Artist in The Times Arts Awards 2021 Mishka Rushdie Momen also performs both a varied solo programme ranging from Byrd to Prokofiev and as part of a piano trio for a Romantic period-fest.

Korean violinist Bomsori Kim plays with the Orchestra of Opera North, performing Brahms’s stirring Violin Concerto between orchestral masterpieces from Mozart and Tchaikovsky.

Saxophonist Jess Gillam

Jess Gillam Ensemble, St Peter’s Church, Norton, July 27, 8pm.

CUMBRIAN saxophonist Jess Gillam will pique interest and begin journeys of musical discovery with her ensemble.

The Clare Teal Seven, Milton Rooms, Malton, July 23, 7.30pm

YORKSHIRE jazz vocal legend, four-time winner of BBC Jazz Singer of the Year and performer of popular songs Clare Teal leads seven-piece troupe through a night of storytelling and euphoric music

Concerteenies and baby-friendly concerts: A Musical Story I, Milton Rooms, Malton, July 23, 11am; Baby-friendly Concert I, Milton Rooms, Malton, July 23, 1pm (free for babies).

Concerteenies – A Musical Story II, Scarborough Library, July 24, 11am; Baby-friendly Concert II: Scarborough Library, July 24, 1pm (free for babies).

Concerteenies – A Musical Story III, National Centre for Early Music, York, July 25, 11am; Baby-friendly Concert III, NCEM, York, July 25, 1pm (free for babies).

POLLY Ives and Louise Thomson narrate and play a reimagining of Arre Chung’s Mixed for children aged three to seven in Concerteenies, as well as performing concerts from all genres for pre-crawling babies where parents can learn baby massage techniques and enjoy their own dose of relaxation.

Ryedale Festival runs from today to July 30. For full festival details and tickets, go to:

RYEDALE Festival artistic director Christopher Glynn’s eye for spotting and supporting early-career artists runs through his 2023 programming.

 Among the artists in residence is organist Anna Lapwood, who gives two recitals, conducts her choir and invites all to join her in open-access Come and Sing and Discover the Organ events.

Also in residence is BBC Music Magazine’s 2022 Personality of the Year, Scottish tenor Nicky Spence, Korean violinist Bomsori Kim and pianist Mishka Rushdie Momen, won The Times Classical Breakthrough Artist Award.

The King’s Singers and assorted actors lead celebrations of the 400th anniversaries of William Byrd and the First Folio of Shakespeare, while Boris Giltburg is among performers marking Rachmaninov’s 150th birthday. The Dudok Quartet presents a complete cycle of Tchaikovsky’s string quartets, as well as bringing audiences their arrangements of jazz and folk legends.

Groundbreaking musicians such as Cumbrian saxophonist Jess Gillam and the joyful Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective mingle with young artists, among them guitarist Plínio Fernandes, showcasing his debut album Saudade, trumpeter Aaron Akugbo, innovative pianist George Xiaoyuan Fu and the vibrant voices of the National Youth Choir of Scotland.

Yorkshire jazz singer Clare Teal performs with an all-star band; The Young’uns, from the north east, present a folk night; A Light Music Afternoon celebrates Max Jaffa, remembered fondly in North Yorkshire for his many seasons performing in Scarborough, and a concert at Birdsall House revels in the music of Noel Coward, with Mary Bevan among the singers.

Further highlights will be the Orchestra of Opera North with Jonathan Bloxham; Royal Northern Sinfonia with violinist Maria Włoszczowska; a Triple Concert at Castle Howard; a pop-up production of John Blow’s magical mini-opera Venus and Adonis that tours to ancient and atmospheric churches across the region, and four world premieres, including an innovative new take on Schumann’s song cycle Myrthen, sung in English and interwoven with poems by Kate Wakeling.  

Young audiences can enjoy Arree Chung’s Mixed, as presented by Polly Ives and harpist Rosanna Rolton in Concerteenies, while babies and their grown-ups are invited to a magical musical experience across classical, folk, world and popular music.

The festival takes place in more than 30 venues, ranging from Castle Howard to a remote moorland chapel, taking in York and Scarborough too. The event was runner-up in the Best UK Concert Series category at the Royal Philharmonic Society Awards 2023 with the citation: “Yorkshire’s Ryedale Festival always wraps its arms around its community. Local people don’t just watch the star visitors; they come in droves to get equally involved.”

A new initiative this year is the Ryedale Primary Choir for children aged seven to 11, run by Caius Lee,  launched in collaboration with the Richard Shephard Music Foundation.

Children are having fun attending free music sessions in school holidays, where they meet and sing with professional musicians, especially Ryedale Festival Young Artists. The choir will make its festival debut by appearing on stage with The King’s Singers at the opening concert, having worked with them in a masterclass.

Christopher Glynn says: “This year’s programme brings together great performer-communicators like Anna Lapwood and Nicky Spence, with exciting talents such as superstar violinist Bomsori Kim and pianist Mishka Rushdie Momen.

“Trailblazers like Jess Gillam and the Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective mingle with world-famous artists like the King’s Singers and stars of the new generation. We celebrate the anniversaries of composers William Byrd and Sergei Rachmaninov but also break new ground with five world premieres, including a co-created Community Song Cycle.

“The festival is all about quality, innovation and enjoyability, sharing great music with more people every year. I look forward to welcoming audiences to be part of this year’s adventure.”

Artist in residence Bomsori Kim says: “I am absolutely thrilled to be chosen. This is an incredible opportunity for me to connect with audiences in the UK and share my love and passion for music. I am particularly excited to perform Brahms’ Violin Concerto and Beethoven’s Violin Sonatas, as these are true masterpieces that have always inspired me.

“I cannot wait to communicate with the festival audiences through the universal language of music, and I hope to create a truly meaningful and unforgettable experience for everyone who joins me on this wonderful journey of discovery.” 

Fellow artist in residence Anna Lapwood says: “My first performance after lockdown was filming a performance for Ryedale Festival after the in-person festival had to be cancelled. It feels really special to be returning to the festival now and to have the chance to perform to a real audience, both on some of the amazing organs in the area and conducting the Pembroke College Chapel Choir.”

Mishka Rushie Momen says: “I’m delighted to be returning to the Ryedale Festival this summer for a residency at the end of July. The three concerts encompass wonderful works by Byrd, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn and Smetana, in solo, duo, and trio programmes. I’m really looking forward to reconnecting with the fantastic festival audience and sharing this great music together.”

Nicky Spence says: “It’s a privilege to bring such a varied offering to the Ryedale Festival this year. What could be better than making music with longtime collaborators in the beautiful surroundings of North Yorkshire?

“Having so enjoyed the audience’s response when I featured in the festival in Wagner’s Parsifal a few years ago, I look forward to buttering many a crumpet with new friends and music lovers alike.”

REVIEW: Martin Dreyer’s verdict on Mishka Rushdie Momen, Ryedale Festival, 30/7/21

Mishka Rushdie Momen: “Thirty years old next year, but showing the wisdom and musicality of one twice her age”

Ryedale Festival: Young Artist Day, Mishka Rushdie Momen, All Saints, Hovingham, July 30

SUPERLATIVES are always dangerous, but this morning event was one of the most satisfying piano recitals I have ever had the privilege of attending.

Partly it was the range of repertory covered in not much more than one hour: Bach, Mozart, Schumann, Ligeti and Schubert. But most of all it was the sheer brilliance of this young pianist, 30 years old next year, but showing the wisdom and musicality of one twice her age.

Mishka – she too, like others at this festival, will surely forever be recognisable by her first name alone – hinged her programme on fantasias by Mozart and Schubert, the one in C minor, the other in C major.

But she began with Bach’s C major Prelude and Fugue from Book I of The Well-tempered Clavier, a piece beloved of almost every would-be pianist. The prelude was impeccably smooth, whereas the fugue was notable for its unexpected drama.

In Mozart’s Fantasia, it was if there were an ogre prowling in the bass. Its first appearance was aggressive, but its anger gradually softened until it was tamed into a mere growl. Metaphors aside, Mishka drew marked but subtle contrasts between the work’s intense and melodic poles.

Schumann’s Impromptus On A Romance Of Clara Wieck takes a theme she had sent him and develops it into nine variations (in the revised version of 1850, ten years after they were married). Mishka did much more than merely highlight the two facets of Schumann’s character, poetic and impulsive, and she delivered an exceptionally tender postlude. It all made a pleasing interlude.

The fleeting magic of Ligeti’s Tenth Étude, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, was used as introduction to an unforgettable account of Schubert’s Wanderer Fantasy. John Warrack’s typically urbane programme-note referred to this as “a seminal masterpiece”. It is indeed an Everest of the repertoire, not lightly undertaken. That the whole piece, over an unbroken 20 minutes, is built around a dactylic rhythm makes it all the more remarkable, on a par with Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and equally symphonic.

Mishka’s vision encompassed the whole work. She opened boldly, holding nothing back. So the second theme sounded all the more tender by contrast, a haven of peace before it was interrupted. She even made something of Schubert’s bridge – little more than a doodle, in truth – leading into the Adagio, which at first had the solemnity of a funeral march. As the bass became much more active, she still sustained a beautifully controlled line in the right hand.

The sheer theatre of the Scherzo was enhanced by the rapid downward ripples of her left hand, which were frankly breath-taking. The final fugue was sternly enunciated but still unfolded with incredible clarity.

By now hearts were in mouths at her Olympian virtuosity. With eyes closed, I would have sworn I was listening to Alfred Brendel with a feminine touch. And she still had enough left in the tank for an eloquent encore, which I took to be Schubert’s Hungarian melody in B minor. This young lady is thrillingly talented. Ryedale must have her back – soon.

Review by Martin Dreyer

‘We don’t make music for an audience; we make music with the audience,” says Ryedale Festival director Christopher Glynn

South African cellist Abel Selaocoe: Playing Ryedale Festival on two days

HOW does a festival reinvent itself for the Covid-confused summer of 2021? 

At Ryedale, celebrating its 40th year, although not in the way it had planned, the answer is a one-off, late-announced, open-ended, can-do-spirited programme of summer events that brings inspiring performers to play together in beautiful Ryedale places from this weekend to July 31 .

Presenting 40 live concerts to celebrate its 40 years, Ryedale Festival welcomes performers such as Jess Gillam, Abel Selaocoe, Carolyn Sampson, Isata Kanneh-Mason, Lara Melda, Milos, the Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment, BBC Big Band, Kathryn Tickell and Tenebrae, as well as Poet Laureate Simon Armitage – and many more besides.

The Festival will be popping up in Pickering Parish Church; All Saints’, Kirkbymoorside; Hovingham Hall; St Olave’s Church, York; Birdsall House and Church; St Peter’s Church, Norton; Duncombe Park; the Milton Rooms, Malton, and Ampleforth Abbey.

Events will be around one hour long, with no intervals and reduced capacity to prioritise audience safety, but multiple performances to enable as many people as possible to attend.

Ryedale Festival artistic director Christopher Glynn. Picture: Gerard Collett

Artistic director Christopher Glynn says: “We’ve brought together a wonderful programme of British-based artists that is both vibrant and diverse. The formats of our concerts have changed but the core elements are what they have always been: great music, beautiful Ryedale locations, and audiences.

“Because, for performers like me, after the experience of the past year, one thing seems clearer than ever before: we don’t make music for an audience; we make music with the audience.” 

The festival’s two weeks of summer music opened last night (17/7/2021) with the Albion String Quartet’s programme of Haydn and Shostakovich at St Mary’s Priory Church, Old Malton, and soprano Carolyn Sampson and pianist Joseph Middleton’s all-Schubert recital, themed around Elysium, the ancient Greek concept of afterlife, in St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Pickering.

Today, cellist Hannah Roberts joined the Albion String Quartet for Schubert’s String Quintet at All Saints’ Church, Kirkbymoorside, at 5pm and St Michael’s Church, Malton, at 9pm, followed by a third performance tomorrow at 11am at St Olave’s Church, York.

Birdsall House and Church is the scene for a double concert tomorrow from 5pm. Fresh from her Proms debut, British/Turkish pianist Lara Melda plays Rachmaninov and Chopin’s epic third sonata in the house, while classical guitarist Miloš plays Villa Lobos, Bach and Albeniz, among others, at the church.

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage: Marsden poems

The format of the double concert encompasses a two-hour interval, when the audience is invited to picnic in the grounds of Birdsall House between the two performances.

Poet Simon Armitage grew up among the hills of West Yorkshire and always associated his early poetic experiences with the night-time view from his bedroom window. Now Poet Laureate, he visits the Milton Rooms, Malton, on Tuesday to read from Magnetic Field: The Marsden Poems, his compendium of poems about the village where he grew up. The 40-minute 11am and 3pm readings and question-and-answer sessions each will be followed by a book signing.

On Wednesday, in Cubaroque at 11am and 9pm at All Saints’ Church, Hovingham, tenor Nicolas Mulroy and guitarist and theorbo player Toby Carr perform a rare combination of music from two golden ages, as songs of love, sorrow and faith by baroque composers Purcell, Monteverdi and Strozzi speak across the oceans and centuries to modern Latin-American standards by Silvio Rodríguez, Caetano Veloso, Pablo Milanés and Victor Jara, who gave voice to a continent emerging from years of suppression.

At the Palladian-style Hovingham Hall on Wednesday at 3pm and 6pm, Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment violin soloists present music written for violins alone, highlighting the contrasts, textures and colours of an instrument that is usually on top of the sound-world of string instruments.

The programme takes in solos by master composer-performers, programmatic duets, profoundly beautiful trios, concertos for four violins and new arrangements.

Tina May: Singing with the BBC Big Band

On Thursday at 3pm and 6pm, trailblazing Jess Gillam leads her ensemble in an electrifying programme at St Peter’s Church, Norton, designed to inspire you to reflect, dance and smile with the aid of compositions by Meredith Monk, Philip Glass, Björk, Thom Yorke, Will Gregory, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Piazzolla.

South African cellist Abel Selaocoe is joined by pianist Benjamin Powell on Thursday at 11am and 9pm at Birdsall House, Birdsall, as he highlights the links between Western and non-Western musical traditions in a programme that complements his own work Nagula with compositions by Debussy, James Macmillan, Ravel and Schedrin.  

Selaocoe returns on Friday at 3pm and 6pm with Sirocco, his energetic, joyful collaboration with Manchester Collective and Chesaba, at the Milton Rooms, Malton. Their great storm of music celebrates the warmth and diversity of folk traditions from across the globe, from Purcell to Stravinsky, original African folk to Danish folk songs.

The BBC Big Band and jazz chanteuse Tina May perform timeless feel-good numbers from the classic era of swing, all arranged and curated by leader Barry Forgie, on Saturday at 5pm and 8pm at the Scarborough Spa Grand Hall. Expect Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Benny Goodman works, plus a few surprises along the way.

On Sunday, July 25, pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason performs a wide-ranging programme of contrasting sonatas by Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin and Gubaidulina at Duncombe Park at 3pm and 5.30pm.

Amy Thatcher and Kathryn Tickell: Playing the Milton Rooms, Malton

The festival’s second week opens with speaker Lucy Beckett discussing Rievaulx and Mount Grace: Contrasting Histories on July 27 at 11am and 3pm at St Michael’s Church, Malton. Twelve miles apart, both mediaeval monasteries were abolished by Henry VIII, but their glory days were nearly four centuries apart, and the difference in their histories makes for a gripping tale.

Fresh sounds merge with ancient influences when Kathryn Tickell, British folk scene luminary and Northumbrian piper, and her close collaborator, accordionist and clog dancer Amy Thatcher, of The Monster Ceilidh Band, perform at the Milton Rooms, Malton, on July 27 at 5pm and 8pm.

Coco Tomita, winner of the strings category in this year’s BBC Young Musician competition, joins pianist Simon Callaghan to play Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Poulenc’s Violin Sonata at Duncombe Park on July 28 at 11am and 3pm.

Directed by Nigel Short, Tenebrae sing Renaissance Glories, music from the Golden Age of Spanish art, on July 29 at the Benedictine monastery of Ampleforth Abbey at 7.30pm. The closing piece will be Tomás Luis de Victoria’s luminous Requiem Mass of 1605, full of humanity and beauty.

All Saints’ Church, in Hovingham, plays host to two Young Artist Day concerts on July 30.  The first, at 11am and 6pm, promises a wide-ranging programme from pianist Mishka Rushdie Momen, who journeys from Bach to Ligeti to Schubert’s most virtuosic work for solo piano, Wanderer-Fantasy.

York artist Jake Attree: Ryedale Festival exhibition at Helmsley Arts Centre

In the second, two fast-rising artists, violinist Charlotte Saluste-Bridoux and pianist Ljubica Stojanovic, present works by Biber, Schubert and Brahms (“Rain” Sonata) at 3pm and 9pm.

The final concert, by Solem Quartet and Friends at Hovingham Hall on July 31 at 3pm and 6pm, is filled with music of optimism and friendship, led off by Florence Price’s tribute to her extraordinary friend, the jazz musician and singer Memry Midgett, Summer Moon, and her arrangement of the folk song Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes. Schubert’s Octet, a work of dazzling invention and uplifting lyricism, is the finale.

Throughout July and August at Helmsley Arts Centre, York-born artist Jake Attree presents The Spirit Of The North, an exhibition inspired by time spent in and around Ryedale, dedicated to the memory of Dr Richard Shephard, York composer and headmaster.

“I want the paintings, oil pastels and drawings to have a sense of the places that inspired them, whether York, the landscape around Welburn, the River Derwent at Malton, or a view across the Howardian Hills from Pickering Castle,” says Jake, whose studio is at Dean Clough, Halifax.

“Completely dependent on the subject while simultaneously independent of it, these works are a celebration of Paul Cézanne’s idea that art is ‘a harmony that runs parallel to nature’ and full of a sense of what it feels like to spend time in North Yorkshire.” 

The full programme and ticket details can be found at