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York Festival of Ideas and Classic FM announce partnership

Posted on 22 May 2015

The York Festival of Ideas - one of the UK’s largest free festivals - has agreed an innovative media partnership with national broadcast radio station, Classic FM.

The York Festival of Ideas will host more than 100 free events between 5 - 21 June. It features an international line-up of speakers and performers and includes the unveiling of a new sculpture commemorating the career of the University’s former Chancellor, Dame Janet Baker on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the University of York’s Department of Music.

Other speakers include former Childrens’ Laureate, Michael Morpurgo performing The Mozart Question at York Minster, Pride and Prejudice and War and Peace screenwriter Andrew Davies in conversation and a range of free concerts given by the University of York’s Department of Music to celebrate its 50th anniversary. There will also be a series of themed focus days exploring the economy, state surveillance (with the Deputy Chief of Staff of NATO), the future of food, art and design, and a range of hands-on children’s events.

An interview with Dame Janet Baker with Charlotte Green will be broadcast on The Culture Club at 3pm on 24 May. Dame Janet will discuss both the Festival and the unveiling of a sculpture that commemorates her career as a singer, her role at the University and the 50th anniversary of York’s Department of Music this year.

The unveiling of The Singing Stone, an original sculpture by artist Gordon Young, will take place on campus on Saturday 13 June. Incorporating words from Dame Janet’s favourite poem, W. B. Yeats’ The Cloths of Heaven, the sculpture is the third in a series of Stone works across the UK, joining Listening Stones at GCHQ in Cheltenham and Cursing Stone at Tullie House in Carlisle.

The distinctive sculpture will be placed close to the Music Department’s main performance auditorium, The Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, and is open to all to view.

Celebrating 50 years of the University’s Department of Music, a weekend of free performances on 13 and 14 June will be a major feature of the Festival. The Sam Johnson Big Band, composer and pianist Jane Gardner and Robert Hollingworth, founder of international group I Fagiolini, will perform at the anniversary celebration. Informal receptions will also give alumni, staff, students and friends of the Department the opportunity to rekindle old friendships.

Joan Concannon, Director of External Relations at the University of York, said: “The University of York is proud of the continued development and growing impact of the York Festival of Ideas – the largest free festival in the UK. We created the festival in 2011, with just three festival partners. We are now working with more than 45 partners across the city and nationally.

“It is an enormous thrill to partner with Classic FM to deliver an engaging and inspiring series of events including a range of musical performances in classical music. With York’s Department of Music celebrating its 50th anniversary, it is a timely testament to our history of supporting the development of the next generation of artists and performers.”

Sam Jackson, Managing Editor of Classic FM, said: “We're delighted to partner with the York Festival of Ideas and we fully support its ethos in enabling audiences to attend so many events for free. It is great to see the city of York take centre stage and we look forward to sharing the journey of this rapidly growing festival with our 5.5 million listeners across the UK.”

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