Preview: Hampstead Arts Festival

PUBLISHED: 09:55 23 October 2018 | UPDATED: 09:55 23 October 2018

Evelyn Glennie picture by James Callaghan

Evelyn Glennie picture by James Callaghan


Four beautiful venues and a unique eclectic programme of concerts and talks at this year’s event

Four “beautiful venues and a unique and eclectic programme” of concerts and talks is promised for this year’s Hampstead Arts Festival.

Hampstead-based festival director Eric Usadi has drawn some international stars to the event, which runs over nearly three weeks at Burgh House, Hampstead Parish Church, St John’s Downshire Hill and South Hampstead High School.

Both the end of World War One and a key event in the lead-up to the Second World War are marked with events and Usadi adds: “The concerts and talks cover the range from the serious to the sublime to the comic and most are tailor-made for the festival.”

In addition to Roderick Williams’ curated programme of World War I songs (see left) historian David Reynolds will talk about his latest book The Long Shadow, The Great War and the Twentieth Century.

Also on the bill, the Voices of Kristallnacht marks the 80th anniversary of November 10, 1938, which saw the Nazi’s repressive anti-Semitic laws break out into violence against the Jewish population with synagogues torched and homes and businesses attacked.

A programme of music, testimony and readings features Gemma Rosefield, Danny Driver and Simon Wallfisch, whose grandmother Anita Lasker-Wallfisch was a cellist in the women’s orchestra at Auschwitz.

Dame Evelyn Glennie brings her percussion magic to a concert with innovative jazz ensemble Trio HLK and Hampstead conductor George Vass helms Elgar’s Cello Concerto featuring Gemma Rosefield, in aid of the Marie Curie Hospice.

Kokoschka’s Doll is a short opera by John Casken featuring the voice of John Tomlinson and Hampstead Parish Church director of Music Peter Foggitt features in two events, conducting Verdi’s Requiem and playing a live improvised accompaniment to two classic Buster Keaton Films, Sherlock and The Scarecrow, on the piano and organ.

Other talks at Burgh House feature acclaimed novelist, academic and womens rights activist Elif Shafak and one of Britain’s top actors, the Highgate-based Juliet Stevenson, talking about her life and career.

The festival runs from November 10-29 see for full programme and tickets or buy in person from Village Newsagents, 14 Heath Street, NW3.

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