Leeds Lieder Festival presents its most ambitious programme to date. A veritable feast of recitals, masterclasses and related events will take place in and around Leeds.

Starry singers slated for this year’s Festival include Véronique Gens, Mark Padmore, Louise Alder, Christine Rice, Peter Brathwaite, James Newby, Kate Royal, Ailish Tynan, and the long-awaited Leeds Lieder debut of Sir Simon Keenlyside. Pianists Graham Johnson, Julius Drake, Susan Manoff and Leeds Lieder festival director Joseph Middleton will partner the singers in recital.

Festival highlights include a 200th anniversary celebration of Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin; the introduction of a specially commissioned Leeds Songbook; a ‘bring and sing’ performance of Mozart’s Requiem in Leeds Minster, and a late-night electro-acoustic concert from Lotte Betts-Dean.

An insightful conversation with Dame Janet Baker in her 90th birthday year, is followed by a screening of John Bridcut’s acclaimed 2019 BBC2 documentary - Janet Baker In Her Own Words.

This year for the first time, Leeds Lieder incorporates its two award winning Learning and Participation projects - Living Lieder and Discovering Lieder - into the main festival. These culminate in two concerts for up to 1000 school pupils at Pudsey Civic Hall. Song Path, the musical walking trail, returns this year to the atmospheric setting of Kirkstall Abbey, led by singers Jess Dandy and Joanna Harries.

The Festival will collaborate with the Opera North Quartet and tenor Nick Pritchard in a recital of works by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

Talented young singers have been selected to take part in public masterclasses with such distinguished artists as Sir Thomas Allen, Joan Rodgers, Graham Johnson, Joseph Middleton, Julius Drake, Susan Manoff and James Garnon.

Leeds Lieder Young Artists are to perform in a live-streamed showcase recital. They will participate in a Composers and Poets Forum performing brand new songs - the climax to an innovative creative song-writing project.

Tenor Mark Padmore and pianist Ana Manastireanu give the gala opening recital on Friday 9th June. Sir Simon Keenlyside closes the Festival on 17th June. He replaces Dame Sarah Connolly whose scheduled programme is postponed until October. The charismatic British baritone, partnered by Joseph Middleton, will scale the Everest of Lieder - Schubert’s Winterreise.

Recitals take place at Leeds Conservatoire and the Howard Assembly Room, Opera North.

Tickets available at: www.leedslieder.org.uk or phone 0113 222 3434 Mon-Fri 10am - 5pm.