City of London Festival 2012 celebrates 50 years with a wealth of world premières: programme highlights announced.
City of London Festival, 24 June – 27 July 2012, is celebrating 50 years in dramatic fashion with over 100 performances over 34 days in over 55 spectacular London venues.
The Festival's theme, City of London – Trading Places with the World will be brought to life at performances from internationally acclaimed stars in the City’s most iconic and historical spaces, world première performances of new music and dance including works by composer Tansy Davies and Place Prize winner Nina Rajarani, and family events across the Square Mile and beyond.
Each event and performance acts as a new instalment in the story of the City taking the audience on an international journey that connects back to London’s heart.
City of London Festival is delighted to continue its partnership with BNY Mellon, as the Festival’s principal sponsor for a third year.
Festival launch and full programme announced in February. 2012 highlights include:
- World-class performances in iconic spaces: such as the internationally renowned London Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Sir Colin Davis who will perform Berlioz’s colossal work Le Grande Mess des Morts in St Paul’s Cathedral. Internationally acclaimed guitarist John Williams will commemorate the Festival’s jubilee year by giving a recital echoing the performance this world-famous artist gave at the first City of London Festival in 1962.
- World première music and dance: the Festival continues its commitment to championing new music with performances of new works, including pieces by composers Tansy Davies and Judith Bingham. Also, a landmark new piece by Nigel Osborne for tetraplegic former trumpeter, Clarence Adoo and his specially designed new instrument which has enabled him to perform once again – part of the Festival’s music and disability project, Level Playing Field. Among the specially commissioned works being showcased during the Festival will be Four Corners, a contemporary dance work exploring the City as an exciting open-air stage. Devised by a team of exceptional choreographers - Place Prize winner Nina Rajarani, Bawren Tavaziva and Ponciano Almeida - working with four major dance schools and presented in four outdoor City locations during the Festival, the piece is inspired by the City’s historic place at the centre of the four corners of the world.
- Groundbreaking collaborations in surprising spaces: examples include English National Ballet, Scottish Ballet and National Dance Company of Wales who will join forces to transform St Paul’s Cathedral into London’s biggest pop-up dance theatre.
- 50 golden street pianos: to mark the Festival’s Golden Jubilee 50 golden pianos will be popping up across the Square Mile and beyond, inviting members of the public to tinkle their ivories! Whether your party piece is Chopin or Chopsticks, music lessons will be provided. Full details will be available from the City of London Festival website: colf.org
- Golden honey feast: a grand celebration of City honey, ceremonially celebrated with music, poetry and tastings. Local honey from Festival beehives located on buildings around the Square Mile will be offered alongside honeys of the world, reflecting upon international trading in the City.
2012 Festival website launches on 20 December 2011: colf.org
Tickets for the St Paul’s Cathedral music concerts go on sale on 23 January.
City of London Festival Director Ian Ritchie said: “The Festival was first created to revitalise the cultural life of the City, and in 2012, as we celebrate our Golden Jubilee,it is ranked among the finest cultural celebrations in the world. Words about the Festival from Sir Frederick Hoare, the Lord Mayor of London in 1961, have a powerful resonance today as to the Festival’s purpose:
“Amidst a period of the worship of Mammon, this Festival is trying to show many things that are beautiful and inspired in the arts, in the setting of this our most historic capital, and perhaps by doing so release man for a while and remind him that there are other things than those entirely material.”
The insight of these words still ring true for the Festival today – 50 years later – and it is in this spirit that our programme for 2012 not only looks back with pride over the achievements of the past half century but also look forward to the next 50 years.”
Michael Cole-Fontayn, Chairman of Europe, Middle East & Africa at BNY Mellon, said: "We are delighted to be supporting the City of London Festival for a third consecutive year. The diversity, entrepreneurship, and internationalism embodied in the Festival mirrors the core values of the City. The theme of this year’s Festival, focusing on international trade, is an apt reminder of London’s central place on the global stage.”
- END -
Maxim Bendall e: email@example.com t: 0207 221 7883
William Kallaway e: firstname.lastname@example.org t: 0207 221 7883
Notes to Editors
About City of London Festival
24 June – 27 July 2012, www.colf.org
Since its inauguration in 1962 the Festival has been animating the City, bringing the Square Mile’s monumental architecture, wealth of buildings, outdoor spaces, and ancient streets to life with a rich and extraordinary programme of music, performance, events and installations. Ranked among the world’s leading cultural celebrations, City of London Festival is one of the UK’s most significant and highly regarded artistic platforms featuring a dazzling array of luminaries from across the worlds of music, dance, visual art and street performance. Inspired by the history of the City and its communities it has built a reputation for innovative programming, showcasing newly discovered and world-class artists, championing new work and presenting contemporary collaborations in beautiful surroundings.
For half a century the Festival has connected the communities of the City with the world’s most acclaimed musicians and performers, enlivening the City, its inhabitants and visitors through culture. The alumni of contributing artists over the Festival’s lifetime reads like a Who’s Who of the world’s most accomplished artists, featuring the likes of Jacqueline Du Pré, Sir Willard White, Yehudi Menuhin and Elizabeth Schwarzkopf to name only a few. In its 50th year the Festival will continue to add to this outstanding pedigree of performance, as well as building upon its commitment to searching out exceptional emerging talent.
Sponsor: BNY Mellon
BNY Mellon is a global financial services company focused on helping clients manage and service their financial assets, operating in 36 countries and serving more than 100 markets. BNY Mellon is a leading provider of financial services for institutions, corporations and high-net-worth individuals, offering superior investment management and investment services through a worldwide client-focused team. It has $25.5 trillion in assets under custody and administration and $1.2 trillion in assets under management, services $11.9 trillion in outstanding debt and processes global payments averaging $1.7 trillion per day. BNY Mellon is the corporate brand of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation. Additional information is available at www.bnymellon.com
Artistic Director Ian Richie
Ian Ritchie was born in London in 1953. Music was very much in his blood – by the age of 18 he was studying at the Royal College of Music and was already a seasoned 'semi-professional' singer. Ian took up a choral scholarship at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he read Law and Music, as well as post-graduate studies at the Guildhall School.
In 1976, Ian decided to redirect his energies to arts management, working as Promotion Manager at Universal Edition. Thus began a new career and a lifelong involvement with composers and artists.
In 1979, Ian was invited to run the Richard Hickox Singers & Orchestra, which soon became the City of London Sinfonia. In 1983 he was appointed Artistic Director of the City of London Festival, a job he undertook part-time while still managing the CLS in the mornings! In 1984, he was lured to Scotland to run the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and immediately set about reinventing the role of an orchestra as musicians for the community as well as a community of musicians.
Since leaving Scottish Chamber Orchestra in 1993, Ian has led numerous arts organisations including Opera North and the St Magnus Festival, Orkney. He has been chairman of the Association of British Orchestras (ABO) and the Society for the Promotion of New Music (spnm) and is currently a board member of several organisations.
In 2005, Ian found himself coming full circle and once again taking up the directorship of the City of London Festival after a gap of more than 20 years.
- END TO ALL -