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Budapest Festival Orchestra – Usher Hall, Edinburgh

nicola benedetti with violin

Violin: Nicola Benedetti Composer: Franz Schubert, Johannes Brahms and Antonín Dvořák Conductor: Iván Fischer Reviewer: S.E. Webster As 2017 marks the pivotal 70th anniversary of the Edinburgh International Festival, it seems more than fitting that Nicola Benedetti, a home-grown talent from West Kilbride in Scotland, should be performing on the Usher Hall stage alongside the Budapest Festival Orchestra. For the ...

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Ladysmith Black Mambazo – Howard Assembly Room, Leeds

Reviewer: Ron Simpson Ladysmith Black Mambazo seems to have solved the problem all successful groups have of renewing themselves over a period of time. The 2017 version manages to be full of youthful energy while remaining true to the dream Joseph Shabalala had well over 50 years ago when founding the group. Now Joseph no longer tours, but the tradition ...

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Back to the Future in Concert – Millennium Square, Leeds

Conductor: Jessica Cottis Reviewer: Mark Clegg Well done to Leeds City Council for organising their Summer Series: a programme of live events and film screenings held in the beautiful open air surroundings of Millennium Square. This summer-long programme kicked off with a weekend of Opera North in the City which itself climaxed on Sunday with the Orchestra of Opera North ...

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A Night at the Opera – Millennium Square, Leeds

Orchestra: Orchestra of Opera North Conductors: Jessica Cottis/James Holmes Soloists: Jeni Bern (soprano)/Quirijn de Lang (baritone) Reviewer: Ron Simpson A Night at the Opera, the second event of the three-night Opera North in the City Festival, showed once again the canniness of the company’s programming. The evening was not perfect: the orchestral sound conjured up for the outdoor performance was ...

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Keith Emerson A Musical Celebration of His Life – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Headshot of Keith Emerson

Reviewer: John Kennedy Surely there must be a few 'Heads' here tonight who saw The Nice at Mothers, Erdington,1968 - for those brief few years the utterly coolest and most ludicrously sweaty venue in the UK? Maybe even more who witnessed ELP's second (but really their debut launch) gig at the IOW Festival 1970. Emerson's defiant struggle to escape from ...

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Sounds of Palestine – Howard Assembly Room, Leeds

Performers: Mohamed Najem & Friends Performers: Nai Barghouti and band Reviewer: Ron Simpson The Howard Assembly Room continues to punch above its size in its programming, with this inspiring concert, billed rather less accurately as Palestine Jazz in the printed programme, the latest to impress. Sounds of Palestine proved inspiring for two reasons: the quality of the music, of course, ...

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The Blues Brothers Summer Special – Hippodrome Casino, London

Director: Joshua Mumby Choreographer: Lily Howkins Musical Director: James Robert Ball Reviewer: Deborah Parry You may not have seen it, but chances are you've heard of a rather iconic cult 1980s film called The Blues Brothers - you'll certainly recognise the outfits, the sunglasses and the deadpan faces of the two stars (the late) John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd. Well, ...

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Latitude Festival 2017 – Sinners Club

Writer & Composer: Lucy Rivers Director: Titus Halder Reviewer: Kris Hallett  It was a sparsely attended cabaret tent on the last evening of the festival where most exhausted revellers were pushing through for one last rave with Fatboy Slim on the BBC Music Stage. Yet performer, writer and composer Lucy Rivers doesn’t let this stop her, for an audience of 50 ...

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