A festival organiser is aiming to hit all the right notes when he brings a never-before-seen Piano Music Festival to the borough of Kirklees.
Experienced piano accompanist, Christopher Pulleyn, and a team of hard-working volunteers are well underway with their preparations to host the inaugural ‘&Piano Music Festival’ at The Civic in Slaithwaite next month.
The three-day event will bring together an array of concerts focusing on collaborative piano music, musical theatre, instrumental and vocal performances from young and established artists with a connection to the area.
Speaking about the impending Kirklees festival, which kicks-off on September 9th, Christopher – whom will be performing in all three events – said: “It’s incredibly exciting and nerve-racking to host such an event.
“The feedback I’ve received since telling people about this project, has been great and, as a passionate advocate for classical music and whom is very proud of my hometown and its musical heritage, I’m hoping events like the &Piano Music Festival can continue to develop the thriving, diverse arts scene in the area.”
Netherton-based Christopher started playing the piano aged six, and has just finished working with the BBC Proms Youth Choir – which performed at the Royal Albert Hall in July.
Following the debut of the Piano Music Festival, Christopher will be back on the road to work with the Youth Choirs of Opera North on a world premiere being performed in November on a piece which marks the centenary of World War One.
“Music has given me so much, I’m so lucky to be in the position I am in. I’m forever humming, whistling and thinking of music – from classical to hip-hop,” said the 32-year-old assistant musical director of Bradford Festival Choral Society.
“I’d always recommend that young people interested in music, explore their curiosity and give any genre of music a try. If they’re learning an instrument or they sing, it’s a great way to become a better musician, watching and listening to others. But, events can’t just happen in the bigger cities likes Leeds or Manchester – they need to happen closer to home too.
“When it comes to the &Piano Music Festival, people don’t have to be a fan of classical music, but what they can expect is great music performed by great musicians in a relaxed and casual environment.”
The &Piano Music Festival begins with an afternoon event on Sunday, September 9th, from 3.30pm, the musical theatre concert will bring together a brief history through the genre with Huddersfield-based musical theatre actress Rhianydd Beaumont and London-based Anthony Harris performing family-friendly songs from well-known classics from the likes of award-winning composers Andrew Lloyd Webber and Stephen Sondheim.
The next concert will take place on Friday, September 14th, from 7,30pm and invites leader of Slaithwaite Philharmonic Orchestra, Michele Northam, on the violin, as well as pianist Jenny Martins to perform French Romantic music.
To finish, from 7.30pm on Saturday, September 22nd will showcase poems from famous American poet Emily Dickinson set to music by ‘Fanfare for the Common Man’ composer Aaron Copland performed by Huddersfield’s Soprano specialist, Sarah Ogden, and Dichterliebe, a story of love and rejection sung by Kirklees’ ‘Mr Music’, Thom Meredith.