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Leeds Lieder Festival (2023)


Music Festival


June 2023





Leeds Lieder celebrates the performance and composition of song and of poetry in many languages. Between their annual festivals, they hold a lively programme of concerts, talks and educational activities in co-promotions with the Howard Assembly Room at Opera North, Leeds College of Music, the University of Leeds and Leeds International Concert Series.

The Guardian: "Finally, what do you get if you speed-date composers from northern colleges (UK-colleges, red.) with local poets? The answer is A Leeds Songbook, an inspiring portrait of the city and its inhabitants across the centuries. The atmosphere was relaxed but the buzz was electric as Leeds Lieder’s young artists put these often-fiendish songs across with considerable pluck. Contrived pairings have the potential to result in “carnage”, as Middleton reflected after the event, yet it was remarkable how robust the showing was on this occasion.

Musical styles ranged from spiky atonality and pentatonic impressionism to borrowings from jazz and cabaret, while the poetry applauded everyone from friends and life partners to the political chutzpah of a local suffragette. Tomos Jones and Emma Storr’s tribute to keep-fit trainer Michelle, who helped people through lockdown, was exacting, while Obe Vermeulen and John Streatfield’s rap-infused salute to Leeds-born Man City midfielder Kalvin Phillips was an anarchic delight. Middleton was in tears at the end; frankly, so was half the audience..."

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