Two weeks of world-class events at Rye Arts Festival

The National Youth Jazz Orchestra
The National Youth Jazz Orchestra

The 48th annual Rye Arts Festival kicks off this Friday with a world-class mix of contemporary and classical music, authors, talkers, film, theatre and more.

Running from September 13-29, there will be a packed programme of events to enjoy.

Here are some highlights from the first week:

Saturday, September 14 marks an inaugural cRYmE Day, a festival within a festival where people can meet, listen to and eat with four crime writers – Simon Brett, Martin Edwards, William Shaw and Lynne Truss – and find out their tricks of the trade.

Adam Nicolson returns to Rye Methodist Church on September 17 to talk about his new book The Making of Poetry. He took a year out to go to the Quantocks to research the year 1797-98 when the poets Coleridge and Wordsworth went to stay in the same Somerset landscape.

Sophie Hannah is a bestselling writer of her own fiction, but in 2014 her career took a new turn when she got the blessing of Agatha Christie’s estate to write a new Poirot novel – The Monogram Murders. Find out how Sophie got inside the mind of the sleuth on Thursday, September 19 (7pm).

Moving on to contemporary music, Saturday, September 14 (8pm), serves up a real treat. Nancy Kerr (vocals, fiddle, viola, autoharp and guitar) and James Fagan (vocals, bouzouki, guitar, mandolin and piano) have been showered with awards.

The National Youth Jazz Orchestra makes a welcome return to Rye on Sunday, September 15 (7pm), at the Milligan Theatre, Rye College, with a 24-piece orchestra.

On Friday evening (Sept. 20) Rye Community Centre will host The Wave Pictures, a three-piece indie band who are very well-established on the music scene.

The classical programme starts on September 14 with a concert by the leading British violinist Tasmin Little accompanied by Martin Roscoe on piano. Both artistes have played at Rye before but this may be the last chance for Rye to hear Tasmin live, as she has announced that she will no longer perform on the concert stage from summer 2020.

The festival also welcomes back Laura Snowden, a young guitarist who was the first graduate of the instrument from the Yehudi Menuhin School with funding courtesy of the Rolling Stones. Laura is playing at Winchelsea Church on September 16 (7.30pm).

On September 18 St Mary’s Church will host Trio Opal, a young group of musicians who have won a host of prizes.

And on September 20 (7.30pm) a real treat is in store for lovers of organ music as Dr David Flood, the Organist and Master of Choristers at Canterbury Cathedral, gives a recital on the organ at St Mary’s Church at Rye.

On September 15 Follow the Lieder offers classical music without a live concert. Alisdair Kitchen, who has previously brought opera and symphony concerts to the festival, has turned his attention to songs in German written for a voice and piano. He has recorded eight different songs by Schubert, using young professional singers, and has directed a short film to go with each one. These videos will all be screened at the Kino on September 15 with Alisdair taking questions.

Tickets for all the events are on sale at www.ryeartsfestival.org.uk or via the box office on 01797 224442. Some tickets are also at Grammar School Records in the High Street in Rye.

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