Week with piano music for everyone

Friday, April 17, sees the start of the 2015 Hebden Bridge Piano Festival heralding a weekend of fantastic music and something for just about everyone.

As well as the top-notch concerts and masterclasses given by performers of national and international repute, the festival programme at Hebden Bridge Town Hall features inexpensive concerts for children and families, recitals by local piano students, and free events featuring non-classical piano music. As usual the piano in the café or, weather permitting, on the riverside terrace, will be available to absolutely anyone who wants to play it.

The festival opens with two of its headlining performers: Clare Hammond giving a delightful concert for children at 5pm on the Friday, followed by a superb recital of Debussy, Brahms, Chopin, Schumann and Liszt given by the outstanding international concert pianist Gordon Fergus-Thompson.

The festival closes on the Sunday with another big name: the celebrated virtuoso Ashley Wass, who is firmly established as one of the leading performers of his generation, the only British winner of the London International Piano Competition.

In between these concerts there are other unmissable classical recitals, and there’s great jazz, blues and boogie-woogie to be heard for free in the café. Then there are Sunday lunchtime piano duets to be enjoyed plus an extraordinary journey at breakneck speed through the history of piano music with over 50 music examples played live!

You can experience up-to-the-minute contemporary piano music inspired by activism around climate change, performed by Lola Perrin, complete with abstract film. And, of course, you can also watch some very gifted local pianists being put through their paces in a masterclass given by Gordon Fergus-Thompson, or head off to one of the “Brilliance in our own Backyard” concerts featuring Calderdale piano students of all ages and a vast range of experience.

All tickets have been sold for the Zoe Rahman concert and several others are close behind. Tickets are available on line, and in person from the Town Hall reception desk weekdays between 10am and 4.30pm right up to the Festival weekend. There is a quick link for on line booking, a downloadable programme and booking form, plus much more information about the recitals and performers at www.hebdenbridgepianofestival.com