Proud Partners of visithebdenbridge.com, the first festival took place in April 2013 in the newly built and fully accessible Hebden Bridge Town Hall. It was so well received by both audiences and participants that that we immediately set about planning the 2014 event.
We’re now booking performers for our 2018 Festival, our sixth, which will take place from 22nd-24th April.
Each year, over the three days, we present afternoon and evening concerts, plus lunchtime recitals, given by performers of national and international renown.
It is also important to us to showcase talented local amateur pianists and to put on events aimed at people of all ages, including an annual children’s concert.
The festival also has a firm commitment to promoting new talent whenever possible, and to staging free, accessible events. In 2016 and 2017 20% of our concerts were free.
Although our main focus is on Classical music, we will always present other forms too. In 2015 the first concert to sell out was the fabulous jazz pianist Zoe Rahman’s and in 2014 we were proud to welcome the extraordinary Gwilym Simcock, who added to the magic of his captivating performance by bringing on two of the BBC Young Jazz Musician finalists to join him for his encore.
Early evening, informal performances in the Town Hall’s café have included blues, jazz, and boogie-woogie. When the weather is good enough, we have a piano on the riverside terrace outside the café and anyone who wants to can play. Apparently, delightful piano music can be heard from as far away as the hillsides surrounding our town.
We also put on fundraising events throughout the year, making use of the Town Hall’s own upright piano. There’s an annual Christmas family sing-along and there are occasional pub-style piano evenings, which are proving to be very popular.
In June 2017 we staged a very special and highly successful Gala Piano Recital at Square Chapel Arts Centre in Halifax – Kathryn Stott (our Patron, see below) and Noriko Ogawa performed works for two pianos as well as solo pieces. We were delighted that, in a different venue, we were still able to experience the warm, friendly vibe which our audiences repeatedly comment on after the Festival.