Whats on | York Festival of Ideas

Whats on | York Festival of Ideas

Published: 6th June 2018, 1:00pm

Coming up over the next few weeks is the York Festival of Ideas 2018! Running from 5 to 17 June, the Festival includes more than 200 mostly FREE events to educate, entertain and inspire. A selection of events is listed below and the full programme can be viewed at yorkfestivalofideas.com.

Singing for Health, Thursday 7 June 

Join us for a stimulating and active day, learning about the health and wellbeing benefits of singing, and exploring the insights and ideas of Elizabethan composer William Byrd. Through performances and participation, demonstrations and discussions, find out how contemporary research supports views expressed by Byrd over 400 years ago.

From Iowa, USA to York: Choral concert, Friday 8 June

American choristers from Iowa City West High School present a varied programme of music constructed around our Festival theme ‘imagining the impossible’. The event is part of the school’s summer tour of historically significant sites in the UK and Ireland, and features 40 students from a variety of ensembles – Treble Choir, Virtuosa, Bass Choir, West Singers and Concert Choir.

You Are Wolf: Keld, Friday 8 June

Alt-folk band You Are Wolf explores traditional songs and stories through bold arrangements influenced by leftfield pop, new classical music and electronica. Award-winning composer and singer Kerry Andrew, multi-instrumentalist Sam Hall and percussionist Peter Ashwell combine field recorded water, tuned wine glasses and Central African inspired pipes with traditional British folksong in an exciting new sound.

The Chimera Ensemble, Friday 8 June

Chimera, the University of York’s new music group, presents an eclectic mix of contemporary works. These include Romitelli’s Francis Bacon-inspired Blood on the Floor, Painting; Mobile, by Michelle Agnes, describing an imaginary mechanical sculpture; Roger Marsh’s expressive and gestural work, Running, Jumping and Standing Still; Louis Andriessen’s energetic Workers Union, and new works by student composers.

We Are the Dreamers of Dreams, Monday 11 June

‘We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams …’ York Musical Society sings Elgar’s setting of O’Shaughnessy’s poem The Music Makers, together with Brahms’ Schicksalslied (Song of Destiny) at this open rehearsal. Hear the choir rehearse with conductor David Pipe for a Jubilee Concert in York’s twin city, Münster. The concert will mark the German choir’s 50th birthday and 25 years of choir partnership. 

Sherlock Holmes Investigates the Impossible, Tuesday 12 June

Sherlock Holmes once famously remarked to Watson: “How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?”. For us, Holmes represents the rational in a chaotic world. Ben Poore of the University of York introduces scenes from Sherlock Holmes plays where the great detective encounters the supernatural and unexplained.

In/Hospitable, Wednesday 13 June

At Carrel Psychiatric Hospital the impossible has happened and keeps happening. Every hour the facility completely changes; only the patients remain the same. Combining hope, horror, health and hilarity this debut performance of In/Hospitable, a science fiction play by Out of Character Theatre Company, explores the tensions and challenges of mental health provision in 2018.

Space. Planets. Stars. Wednesday 13 to Saturday 16 June

Brought to you by irlYork, the new production Space. Planets. Stars. will take you on a journey of discovery, as it tests the strength and potential of humankind. While the USA and Russia were head to head in a race to reach space, Britain was on the brink of its own discoveries. A group of scientists, from Britain and India, put their heads together in what becomes a race for the creation of new life. But how far would you go to reach your full potential? 

Beer and Beowulf: Fantastic poetry, Wednesday 13 June

Welcome back to the Duke of York pub for our annual ‘Beer and Beowulf’ event. A retinue of reciters, led by Matthew Townend of the University of York, perform a selection of Anglo-Saxon and Norse poetry, both in translation and in the original, this year on the theme of the strange and fantastic. Join us and try some Eoforwic Ale – a beer brewed specially for the Festival from an old Anglo-Saxon recipe.

Life, Death and Transcendence: Schubert’s string quintet, Thursday 14 June

Only weeks before he died of syphilis in 1828, Schubert composed an achingly beautiful string quintet. How did Schubert, aged 31, commit to paper a piece of such transcendental beauty? Why, 200 years on, does this music still move us to the core? Rev Canon Chris Collingwood reflects on these questions, followed by a performance of the quintet by the artists of York Chamber Music Festival.

Chamber Music Masterpieces: String quartets, Thursday 14 June

The internationally renowned artists of York Chamber Music Festival present two chamber music masterpieces – Mozart’s String Quartet in G Major and Brahms’ String Quartet in C Minor. Mozart’s quartet was written in Vienna in honour of the composer Joseph Haydn. Brahms reputedly sketched and destroyed 20 quartets before he created one he felt was worthy of publication.

Galina Vale: Guitar virtuoso. Friday 15 June

Flamboyant international guitar diva Galina Vale plays a programme of flamenco and classical pieces. A child prodigy raised in a family of musicians, Galina’s performing career began at the age of eight with an appearance on Ukrainian State Television. Since then she has performed over 2,000 concerts around the world. Join us and enjoy spectacular music in a fantastic setting.

Dogmatic, Friday 15 June

Jamal used to be dogmatic. Well, he still slightly is. But now he is more open to hearing different opinions. Presented by SLAP and exploring free speech, Facebook debates, police brutality, privilege and self-reflection, Dogmatic focuses on what happened when Jamal became more aware of racial inequality. Join us for a combination of storytelling, performance lecture, audience discussion and protest.

Interactive Media Showcase, Friday 15, Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 June

Join us for the Interactive Media Showcase, a brand new event organised by the University of York’s Interactive Media BSc students to share their work created over the past year. The Showcase will feature a wide array of projects from virtual reality installations to video games to mobile apps to interactive cinema, cards, posters, art installations and many more – even an interactive racing car! 

LUMA Film Festival, Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 June

Now in its seventh year, the LUMA Film Festival was created by University of York students to champion the work of the Department of Theatre, Film and Television. As well as screenings of student work, the event includes talks and workshops from leading professionals in the UK film and television industry. Past student work screened at LUMA has gone on to receive national and international awards and recognition.

Broadcasters of the Future: New Generation Thinkers, Sunday 17 June

Meet five New Generation Thinkers and hear their ideas on topics ranging from Sarah Scott and the dream of a female utopia to John Gower, the forgotten medieval poet. New Generation Thinkers is a nationwide scheme run by BBC Radio 3 and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to find the brightest minds at the start of their careers with the potential to share their cutting-edge research through broadcasting. Accessible to all, our Festival finale will be recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s The Essay in late June. It features five inspiring speakers, choral music by The 24 and a drinks reception. The 24 is conducted by Robert Hollingworth, founder and director of I Fagiolini, one of the UK’s top professional vocal groups.

Britten: War Requiem, Wednesday 20 June (Post festival event)

 The University Choir and Symphony Orchestra present Britten’s searing War Requiem. The Latin mass text and poems by Wilfred Owen are sung by tenor James Gilchrist, baritone Stephan Loges and soprano Catrin Woodruff with chorus, boys’ choir, organ, and full and chamber orchestras. All forces come together for the devastating finale.


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