Wirral Chamber Music Festival returns this summer

Wirral Chamber Music Festival has announced the programme for its third festival weekend, featuring world-class musicians from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra alongside some of Wirral’s finest musicians and special guests.

The festival will feature a thrilling variety of programmes in venues across Wirral from Friday 30 June – Sunday 2 July.

Founded in 2021 by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s leader Thelma Handy and Orchestra cellist Alex Holladay, the festival, which sold out all concerts and venues in its inaugural year, showcases young local talent, world-class musicians living locally, and visiting international artists.

In a first this year, the Festival will donate £1 for every ticket sold to Claire House Children’s Hospice.

Festival Artistic Director Thelma Handy said, “The power of live music as a shared experience is unbeatable, and our resounding aim is that there will be something here for everyone. We are delighted to support Claire House as an important part of the Wirral community and share the charity’s appreciation of the therapeutic value of music.”

Claire House spokesperson Cora Shafto said, “We are very grateful to the Wirral Chamber Music Festival for choosing to support Claire House. Music is very important to many of the seriously ill children who come to the hospice, giving them joy and improving their well-being. It therefore seems fitting that money from the tickets of this Festival will make it possible for us to provide music therapy to more local children.”

The festival weekend opens with a burst of exuberant energy with the exciting young choral group from Manchester, Kantos, in an upbeat programme celebrating the world of dance: ‘Let’s Move It!’ Friday 30 June in St. Andrew’s Church, West Kirby.

Local superstars, the Katona Twins (pictured below), take centre-stage on Saturday 1 July at St. Mary’s Church, Eastham, in an evening which effortlessly glides through the musical genres with their programme, From Handel to Hollywood.

The Katona Twins

The final evening event is given by the Festival Players, led by Thelma Handy in a programme including two timeless masterpieces, inspired by the joys of nature: the light, carefree Trout Quintet by Schubert, and Vaughan William’s beautiful The Lark Ascending: Sunday, 1 July at Christ Church, Port Sunlight.

The 2023 festival showcases young local talent, starting with the Youth String Quartet Academy, as they display the skill and passion they have developed for making music together: Saturday, 1 July, 11.30am at the Williamson Art Gallery.

The ever-growing Wirral Youth Brass Ensemble (pictured) offers the chance to hear some of Wirral’s most talented brass players performing a programme on a nautical theme, featuring pirates, sailors and other watery shenanigans! Saturday 2 July, 2.30pm on the Terrace at the Woodside Ferry Village, overlooking the Mersey.

The Family Concert is an interactive event, exploring the colour of music and the powerful effect it can have on our emotions. Led by Sally-Anne Anderson, lead musician for the Liverpool Philharmonic’s In Harmony project, this will involve participation and live music performed by the Festival Players: Sunday 2 July, 11.30am at the Gladstone Theatre, Burton.

The Festival would not be complete without a pop-up event, and this year there will be the fiesta of the Eastham Carnival in Torr Park. A selection of baroque to tango for 30 minutes only! Saturday 1 July, 2pm.

Image: Wirral Youth Brass Ensemble

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