Hampstead Arts Festival line-up is worth a listen

Clockwise from top left; Stephen Hough, Kizzy Crawford, The Arditti Quartet and Raphael Wallfisch

Clockwise from top left; Stephen Hough, Kizzy Crawford, The Arditti Quartet and Raphael Wallfisch - Credit: Archant

The Hampstead Arts Festival does things with style, and there was a lot of it about recently when HAF announced the programme for its coming season at a private concert for supporters.

The dates will be November 5-20, stretched across two weeks but with the concerts organised in a more concentrated way than during previous years. And because the Festival is now established on a fairly sound financial footing, it will continue last year’s policy of giving a percentage of takings to the Marie Curie hospice in Hampstead Village. Which means that by going to the concerts you’re supporting a good cause as well as having a good time.

The names on this year’s roster include one of the world’s great pianists, Stephen Hough; the dazzlingly brilliant jazz pianist Gwilym Simcock; the Arditti Quartet; the English Chamber Orchestra; the violinist Anthony Marwood; and the cellist Raphael Wallfisch.

Alfred Hitchcock’s silent film “The Lodger” will show in a new BFI restored print, with live musical accompaniment.

Speech events include a talk by Paul MacAlindin, the conductor/protégé of Peter Maxwell Davies who went out to the Middle East and helped set up (against near-impossible odds) the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq.

Knowing MacAlindin, I can testify that his story is extraordinary. But there will be many extraordinary things about this year’s Festival. So check the website, which is www.hampsteadartsfestival.com. And block the dates.

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