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Five Days of Cutting-edge New Music in York

Posted on 7 May 2012

The York Spring Festival of New Music begins on Wednesday 9 May. Headlined by a wide variety of local, UK and international artists across five days, events will be held in venues ranging from the University of York’s concert halls to more informal surroundings within the city walls, featuring styles of music spanning jazz, classical, contemporary, vocal and musical comedy.

The Spring Festival has in previous years established itself as a major student-run event: a testament to the dedication and professionalism that the University and City of York fosters in its young people. This trend continues into 2012 as the student team gear-up for five days of new music in the historic city.

The Festival kicks off on Wednesday (9 May, 19:30) with German ensemble El Perro Andaluz who will perform an exciting and varied range of works by internationally renowned composers.

The Festival continues with a full day of events on Thursday 10 May, beginning with an afternoon of workshops and performances for local secondary school children, before the evening concert at 19:00 featuring York favourites juice in a joint concert with recorder quintet Consortium5. The music continues with a joint-promotion concert with Threads Orchestra later that night.

Friday sees the Festival move to the National Centre for Early Music with a lunchtime concert by violinist Martin Suckling at 13:00. The evening sees music from the Dave Smyth Sextet featuring renowned saxophonist Julian Argüelles in the NCEM at 19:00. The Festival stays in the centre of York with music at City Screen Basement from award-winning comedy musician Jay Foreman and support from local acts Libby Redman and Reason Breeds Monsters.

The Discovering Finnish Music day brings together The Octandre Ensemble, the University of York's Chimera Ensemble, Finnish Music expert Dr Tim Howell, and Guardian writer and BBC Radio 3 broadcaster Tom Service. The day features an exploration of Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho's mesmerising ensemble work Lichtbogen with live examples from the combined forces of Octandre and Chimera. The concert will be preceded by a session with Tom Service in discussion with Octandre's directors Christian Mason and Jonathan Hargreaves.

The festival draws to a close on board York Boat’s River Palace for an evening of music from the up-and-coming Roller Trio. The evening will start with a drinks reception, followed by the two-hour cruise along the Ouse. The ticket price also includes a complimentary cocktail and free raffle.

More information at Tickets available from the University Box Office: Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, Department of Music, University of York, YO10 5DD, Tel: 01904 322439, online at or on the door.