UK: Pianist's pick of the top 10 best music festivals and workshops to attend this summer

20 June 2018
By Ellie Palmer
4x3-finchcocks-47183.jpg Finchcocks jazz and improvisation weekend
We've picked out the top 10 festivals and workshops for you to attend around the UK over the next 3 months.

With many around the world well into the summer season already, a lot of us will be attending festivals, events, concerts, and workshops. For those of you based in and around the UK, we've compiled a list of 10 music festivals and workshops for you to attend over this summer! With locations ranging from Scotland to London, you're sure to find an event near you. Check out this list below.


1. Finchcocks Jazz and Improvisation Weekend

Goudhurst, Kent
July 6 - 8

The newly opened Finchcocks is holding a jazz improvisation course from 6 - 8th July. Run by internationally accredited jazz pianist, Dr Mark Polishook, this course is suitable for all abilities, with luxury accommodation and food provided. 


2. Music at Paxton

Berwickshire, Scotland
July 13 - 22
Debussy and other World War One composers form the backbone of this festival on the Scottish borders. Trio Apaches performs both Ireland's Piano Trio No 2 (said to represent 'the boys going over the top') and Sally Beamish's arrangement of La mer. Pascal and Ami Rogé give a French recital, and Alasdair Beatson and friends play Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time.

3. BBC Proms

Royal Albert Hall, London
July 13 - September 8
It doesn't get any better than the BBC Proms. The world's largest music festival, centred at the Royal Albert Hall, will this year feature the likes of Benjamin Grosvenor, Sir András Schiff, Tamara Stefanovich, Seong-Jin Cho, Yuja Wang, and Lauren Zhang.

4. King's Lynn Festival

King's Lynn, Norfolk
July 15 - 28
Rhapsody in Blue from Joseph Moog gets Norfolk's music fortnight off to a swing, followed by Brahms and Chopin from Llyr Williams and more Chopin with the Romanian pianist George Todica. Alistair McGowan's Introduction to Classical Piano promises stories, music and plenty of laughter.

5. Ribble Valley International Piano Week

Blackburn, Lancashire
July 18 - 21
Artistic director Martin Roscoe brings illustrious colleagues to his Blackburn-based long weekend, such as Katya Apekisheva and Pavel Kolesnikov, and the Moricosta Trio return by popular request. Roscoe himself closes the weekend with the late Schubert.
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6. Oxenfoord International Summer School

Edinburgh, Scotland
July 28 - August 5
If you want to master the art of accompanying, this is the course for you! Based in the outskirts of Edinburgh, Malcolm Martineau heads a team of tutors: it's a rare opportunity for singers and accompanists to learn together at this all-Steinway summer school. Open to amateurs as well as professionals and students. Accommodation provided.

7. Oxford Philharmonic International Piano Festival and Summer Academy


July 28 - August 5

Celebrating its 20th anniversary year, this is a brilliant residential course offering just 13 places for tuition, including masterclasses from Anne Queffélec, Yoheved Kaplinsky, Alfred Brendel, Sir András Schiff, Menahem Pressler and Richard Goode. Want to win an overnight stay in Oxford + tickets to the festival itself? Enter our competition here!



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8. Lake District Summer Music International Festival

Lake District, Cumbria
July 28 - August 10
Over 40 events in 11 venues spread across the South Lakes focus on 1918: the end of the First World War and the deaths of Debussy and Parry, in recitals given by Patrick Hemmerlé and Cristian Sandrin and two concerts with the Mithras Piano Trio.

9. Holiday Music Courses

Purcell School, Hertfordshire
August 16 - 19
All ages are welcome on these residential courses at the Purcell School, Hertfordshire, catering for all pianists (solo and ensemble) and other musicians, making music in any combination. Workshops focus on ensemble playing, technique and interpretation. Piano tutors include Danielle Salamon, Muriel Levin, Miriam Lowbry and Robin Koh. Meals, accommodation, tuition and use of the swimming pool included!



10. Machynlleth Festival

Machynlleth, Wales
August 19 - 26
Artistic Director Julius Drake has programmed recitals by Alexander Madzar and the young Belarussian talent Maja Irgalina. As ever, jazz is a feature, with appearances from Evelyn Glennie and the HLK Trio, and a cabaret evening with Jessica Walker.