Right note hit as trade’s brisk

Paul Roberts will headline Hebden Bridge Piano Festival 2014. Picture by Peter Schutte
Paul Roberts will headline Hebden Bridge Piano Festival 2014. Picture by Peter Schutte

Hebden Bridge Piano Festival’s 2014 programme launch party last Saturday turned out to be a memorable and successful evening.

The Town Hall’s café was filled to capacity with well-wishers, sponsors, funders and prospective audience members getting a first glimpse of the finalised programme, and then queuing up for the earliest opportunity to buy tickets for the festival weekend which kicks off on April 11.

Nearly £1200 worth of tickets were sold in the hour or so after Festival Director Dave Nelson had entertained the crowds with his unique style of piano jazz and then taken to the microphone to make a short welcoming speech.

After this, further pianistic delight came from Henry Botham who delivered a highly upbeat set of blues and stride tunes which got most of the audience on their feet jiving and lindy-hopping for the rest of the evening!

Headlining the 2014 Festival are Kathryn Stott, Noriko Ogawa, Paul Roberts and Charles Owen, considered by many to be some of the most distinguished classical performers in the UK, as indeed are veteran piano duettists Allen Schiller and John Humphreys. Jazz piano is also featured in the shape of the masterful and inventive Gwilym Simcock.

Alongside these top-notch concerts, lecture-recitals and masterclasses, the festival programme also features subsidised concerts for children and families, “drop-in” recitals by local pianists, free concerts featuring non-classical piano music, the rather wacky Pianotronic project, and on the riverside terrace, a piano available to absolutely anyone who wants to play it.

Fliers for the Festival which contain the full programme and a booking form have been distributed to the Tourist Information Office, library, post office and various cafes and shops around the town.

Tickets are now available on line, by post (via the booking form) and in person at 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, and much more information about the recitals and performers at www.hebdenbridgepianofestival.com