Durham Festival of the Arts 2015

DurhamFestivaloftheArtsExams are nearly finished, and students are faced with two weeks or so of hanging around waiting for results and graduation. I remember spending a lot of time playing backgammon on the lawn at the back of Hatfield during that time many years ago, but for those who are more motivated and talented than I ever was, it’s also a time for the university’s creative talents to shine. This year the year-end flurry of concerts and theatre have been brought together to create the first Durham Festival of the Arts, and there’s loads going on.

All the big music events are now listed on here, with everything from one of the the very earliest operas through to cutting edge contemporary music at KLANG 15. The festival opens and closes with gala orchestral concerts in the cathedral, with the closing concert on 15 June also celebrating Durham University Orchestral Society’s 50th anniversary. This last concert should be something very special, as it includes the Chancellor of Durham University Sir Thomas Allen giving the first performance of a new song cycle composed by John Casken for the occasion.

It’s not listed on here as an event, because if I started listing church services as well I’d never get anything else done – but I do recommend the College Choirs Joint Evensong at the cathedral at 5.15 on 1 June. The service will be sung by the combined choirs of Grey, Hatfield, St Chad’s, St Hild and St Bede, St John’s, St Mary’s and University Colleges and St Cuthbert’s Society, and conducted by James Lancelot.

There’s open air music too  – live music on Palace Green from 12-5pm on the 4th and 5th of June, and the annual treat of the University Chamber Choir’s Music on the River, where the choir sing from boats near Prebends Bridge – that’s at 6.30pm on 10 June.

Follow the link at the top of the page to see all the concerts, or look out for the brochures around town with the full festival listings.