Ripon Cathedral show is a taste of Festival riches to come

If Ripon International Festival has always been a triumph of quality over publicity, it’s a trend it may be about to buck this year by having a Spring Concert Celebration of Mozart highlighting just what a jewel the festival proper is.

Wednesday, 18th March 2015, 8:10 am
l'Orchestre du Monde conducted by Ripon International Festivals artistic director, Janusz Piotrowic.
l'Orchestre du Monde conducted by Ripon International Festivals artistic director, Janusz Piotrowic.

Festival organisers will be presenting Royal Northern Sinfonia at Ripon Cathedral on Saturday, May 2 in a performance of Mozart’s Overture Cosi fan tutte, Clarinet Concerto and Symphony no 38 (Prague).

Powerful, intensely moving, with elaborate scoring and delectable writing for winds, the “Prague” is renowned for being a masterpiece of invention and beauty.

This top of the range event will feature as soloist in the sublime Clarinet Concerto Michael Whight, one of the world’s finest musicians, who has performed with the Philharmonia, the Royal Philharmonic, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and more.

It’s the sort of concert director Susan Goldsborough has been keen to promote ever since she lauched the festival with artistic director Janusz Piotrowicz 18 years ago.

The Spring Concert will be conducted by Piotrowicz, whose performances are renowned for clarity and intensity, unique depth of sound and melting tenderness.

He has conducted Michael Whight and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall in their Great Classics series.

Last year Michael gave a breathtaking performance of the Mozart with l’Orchestre du Monde, the orchestra Janusz created from leading international soloists and chamber music players, at Cadogan Hall London.

Piotrowicz’s expertise is something which the Ripon International Festival director considers vital to its success.

Susan said; “Without doubt the festival’s greatest asset is Janusz Piotrowicz. He’s enabled top orchestras to take part in epic programmes. He pioneered the two-symphony idea, such as Beethoven 5 and Tchaikovsky 5, in Ripon long before anyone else outside of London.”

It’s an opinion shared by reviewers and regular festival-goers.

John Leeman, Music Web International, Seen & Heard wrote: “Piotrowicz sounded to me as if he was getting close to the composer’s apparent wishes, and this, combined with a sense of steady cumulative build-up and the rare interpolations of magical repose, resulted in a particularly powerful listening experience. . .a searing excitement.”

Although Ripon Cathedral remains the festival’s focal point, it takes performances out to ancient historic village churches and other buildings, adding another dimension to the audience’s experience.

This year’s will run from September 5-19 and audiences are being promised another broad-ranging series of cultural events including classical music and beyond.

It’s a feel for variety which has ensured the crowds have continued to return to this festival and its loyal bands of local sponsors.

Among its fans is Victoria Sauron of Dig Yorkshire who said “ I think the festival is an absolutely wonderful cultural event and I’m very proud that Ripon hosts it.”

Highlights of this year’s festival will be posted on its website shortly.

Tickets for the Spring Concert are available from the festival box office on 01765 605508/603994 or online at