The Bury St Edmunds Festival celebrates its 20th year in May 2005 and has grown to become one of East Anglia's best-loved arts events with a varied mix of contemporary and classical music, outdoor concerts, jazz, dance, theatre, film, poetry, talks, walks, workshops, street theatre and much more.
Festival highlights include:
On 13th May: Opening Night celebrations - The Minden Band will beat the retreat on Angel Hill before the carnival begins with giant puppets, salsa rhythms, BurySound (band competition winners), the Secret Hairdresser and street performers in the Abbey Gardens.
Other events include the Russian State Symphony Orchestra (25 May) and Britten Sinfonia teaming up with the Henri Oguike Dance Company (19 & 20 May); Emma Johnson, Julian Lloyd Webber and John Lill (17 May); and harpist Catrin Finch (29 May); jazz piano player, Julian Joseph (18 May) with his trio; a recital by organist, Stephen Cleobury (22 May); Prime Brass (14 May) bringing a touch of Venice; the Royal Academy of Music String Orchestra (17 May); and Respectable Groove (16 May) mixing baroque, jazz, folk and latin styles.
There's also saxophonist Alan Barnes (16 May); up-and-coming jazz singers, Kathleen Willison (26 May) and Laura Zakian (27 May); the all-female, Vertavo Quartet, (23 May) from Norway; Budapest band, Szapora and South African big band, Mbawula,(14 May) featuring Prudence Mampe and The Township Sisters.
Watch out too for The Full Monteverdi (24 May) as musical theatre; Nigella Lawson's recipes set to music in Soundbites (26 May) and a new Joby Talbot soundtrack for Hitchcock's 1927 film The Lodger, performed by The Matrix Ensemble. There's also poetry and music from Louis de Bernières and the Antonius Players (25 May), Sophie Hannah's poems set to Schumann (22 May) and other literary events pertinent to Bury St Edmunds (see 22nd May).
The Greene King Festival in the Gardens: two tribute nights to the Beach Boys and the Beatles (27 May), the Rolling Stones and Blues Brothers (28 May) and The Dubliners, back by demand, for the Festival Firework Finale (29 May).
There are also weekday lunchtime concerts, pre-event suppers, art exhibitions, a kite-flying festival, a flower and continental market, video window displays and much more.
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