THE 14th Ulverston International Music Festival takes place this summer, once again welcoming a varied array of musicians and performances from around the world.

Classical concerts take place across a number of venues in the town, with some special new additions to the programme.

This year’s debut feature is the chance to revisit the silver screen in a showing of Brief Encounter at the Roxy Cinema, with its soundtrack that famously uses Rachmaninoff’s 2nd Piano Concerto.

The rich kaleidoscope of his life and works is also told through the sounds and words of Lucy Parham and renowned TV impressionist Alistair McGowan.

Journeying through the tragedy of Tosca, Passacaglia’s buoyant baroque, the poignant poetry of the song-cycle, and clarinettist Michael Collins’ sublime sounds, this year’s Festival encompasses the exciting guitar of Remi Harris, hometown saxophone star Jess Gillam, and the subtlety of the string quartet.

Cutting-edge contemporary music, a touch of folk music, and all-time masterpieces such as Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony make for an extremely diverse programme for 2017.

Festival founder and highly-regarded Cumbrian pianist Anthony Hewitt says: "I'm really excited about this year’s festival, which is set to be one of the most fascinating and all-encompassing celebrations of music in the town's history.

"The inspiration for the programme lies in a visit I paid to the Edinburgh International Festival last summer, where I was amazed by the sheer number of events and carnival atmosphere throughout the city.

"Whilst we certainly can’t match that in quantity, we aim to come close in quality, diversity and intensity.

"We also share the mantra of giving a platform to some fantastic artists whose names may be less familiar to you, including young talent at the start of their performing careers.

"Jess Gillam has made a meteoric rise to stardom - we are lucky to have such a wonderful performer in Ulverston who is central to the festival’s message of joy in music making."

Ulverston International Music Festival runs from Wednesday June 7 to Saturday 17. Programmes are available from the Coronation Hall, or can be viewed online at

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<b>Selected highlights</b>

English Touring Opera: Tosca - Wednesday 7, Coronation Hall

Alongside conductor Michael Rosewell and the ETO orchestra, soprano Paula Sides, tenor Alexander Edwards, and baritone Craig Smith enhance the dramaturgy with Puccini’s lyrical lines, bringing the score to life.

Passacaglia - Friday 9, Ulverston Parish Church

In Telemann’s 250th anniversary year, Passacaglia celebrate this charismatic and well-travelled composer who made a life’s work from publishing and transmitting music for the ‘pleasure of the people’.

Celebrity recital: Michael Collins - Friday 9, Coronation Hall

Clarinettist Michael Collins is joined by pianist Anthony Hewitt for this Celebrity evening recital, performing a varied programme that encompasses many facets of the clarinet repertoire.

Remi Harris Trio - Saturday 10, Coronation Hall

The gypsy swing trio play an eclectic mix of original compositions, jazz standards and new arrangements of music from Django Reinhardt, Jimi Hendrix, Wes Montgomery, Charlie Parker, Peter Green, The Beatles and more.

Jess Gillam - Sunday 11, Coronation Hall

The highly-rated local saxophonist presents a programme of varied repertoire ranging from classical arrangements to jazz-favourites, alongside Anthony Hewitt and a string quartet from the Royal Northern College of Music.

Elégie: Rachmaninoff - A Heart In Exile - Tuesday 13, Coronation Hall

Elégie is the fifth Composer Portrait concert to be compiled and scripted by pianist Lucy Parham, recalling the life of composer and pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff. Actor Alistair McGowan - reading from letters and diaries - chronicles the composer’s youth in Russia, subsequent self-imposed exile, and final emigration to the USA.

Rising Star Piano Recital - Wednesday June 14, Ulverston Parish Church

Dominic Degavino, an accomplished young pianist, presents an eclectic mix of different 20th century works preceded by Bach’s solemn and expressive C Sharp Minor Prelude and Fugue.

O Duo - Thursday June 15, Coronation Hall

O Duo will be playing their mixture of popular classics arranged for tuned percussion, vibrant drumming from across the globe, and accessible contemporary works, all presented with a relaxed and informative chat.

Royal Northern Sinfonia - Friday June 16, Coronation Hall

Anthony Hewitt joins the Royal Northern Sinfonia as soloist for Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A Minor, as part of a programme that includes Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony, also known as the Pastoral Symphony.

Paprika - Saturday 17, Coronation Hall

Combining violin, accordion, guitar, bass, and percussion, Paprika offer an energetic evening of toe-tapping music exploring a variety of performance traditions.