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Commentary

31 Jul 2020

Snape Maltings Concert Hall to reopen for live performances with audience from 7 August

Britten Pears Arts is thrilled to announce that it will host live music-making again in Snape Maltings Concert Hall from Friday 7 August, becoming one of the first venues in the UK to return to regular concerts for a live audience.

Bringing together some of the musicians who would have performed during this year’s Aldeburgh Festival and Snape Proms, in addition to other star performers, Britten Pears Arts will be offering short concerts every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There will be two performances per day (2pm & 7pm), as well as a host of free pop-up outdoor performances throughout the summer.

The first weekend (7 – 9 Aug) will feature pianist Antonio Pappano performing with violinists Vilde Frang and Anthony Marwood, viola player Lawrence Power, cellist Nicolas Alstaedt and tenor Ian Bostridge. This will include the first concert performance of Daylonging, Slacktide for solo viola, by Cassandra Miller, who was due to be a featured composer at this year’s Aldeburgh Festival. The second weekend (14 – 16 Aug) will welcome pianists Christian Blackshaw (14 Aug), Barry Douglas (15 August) and Imogen Cooper (16 Aug). Tickets for the first two weekends go on sale on Saturday 1 August at 10am.

Future performances include the Chineke! Chamber Ensemble (21 Aug); violinist Tasmin Little and pianist Martin Roscoe (22 Aug); a cello and piano recital by Sheku and Isata Kanneh-Mason (23 Aug); singer and entertainer Joe Stilgoe (28 Aug); Toby Spence (tenor) and John Ryan (horn) with the London Philharmonic Orchestra strings conducted by Edward Gardner (29 Aug) and accordionist Samuele Telari (30 Aug). The ticket on sale date will be announced soon.

The programme beyond August will be revealed next month and will feature a broad range of music, with artists including saxophonist Jess Gillam, pianists Clare Hammond and Julian Joseph, folk musicians Kathryn Tickell and Amy Thatcher, and the Elias Quartet. There will also be opportunities for young musicians to perform, as part of Britten Pears Arts year-round programme of support and development.

To give as many people as possible the opportunity to enjoy the return of live music at Snape Maltings, Britten Pears Arts is offering an innovative ticket approach for its afternoon concerts. Every 2pm performance across the weekends will be ‘Pay What You Can’, so that audiences can hear 45 minutes of high-quality live music at a price they feel they can afford. All evening performances will be priced at £15 per ticket.

Roger Wright, Chief Executive, Britten Pears Arts said, ‘The impact of the pandemic continues to be enormously challenging for the performing arts sector. We have all greatly missed the thrill of live music-making and can’t wait to welcome musicians and audiences back to Snape Maltings Concert Hall. With the current guidelines and with safety as our top priority, we are fortunate that you have to drive, cycle or walk to Snape and, once here, that we have a large amount of space and fresh air, making it relatively straightforward to offer the necessary distance for the public. We hope to see old friends and make new ones through our ‘Pay What You Can’ afternoon performance offer. As one of the first music venues and organisations to pilot a return to indoor concerts, we are aiming to help build confidence again in the presentation of live events and will share our learnings with colleagues in the music sector.’

These concerts are part of a pilot scheme to get live music with live audiences happening again. The safety of Britten Pears Arts’ audience, artists and staff is its top priority, and this may mean that line-ups, capacity and pricing may change at short notice.

Full listings and tickets for the first two weekends online at www.snapemaltings.co.uk Tel: 01728 687110

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