Update, 12 April 2021:
All our shops, the Maltings Gallery and our outdoor covered café are now open. You can also book River Trips along the River Alde and Pizza in the Tipi. Concerts will restart in late May. Read our re-opening plans here.

Aldeburgh Festival 2019

7 – 23 June

New music, old music, reeds, marshes, vast skies and the waves of the North Sea… Aldeburgh in June offers much more than you’d expect from a classical music festival.

Opening Weekend

The Hunting Gun

Friday 7 & Sunday 9 June

The UK premiere of Thomas Larcher’s highly-acclaimed first opera, based on the best-selling post-war Japanese Novella by Yasushi Inoue.

More info & images

BBC Radio 3: The Verb Live

Friday 7 June

Poet Ian McMillan brought his Radio 3 ‘cabaret of the word’ The Verb for a special evening exploring the relationship between music and language, with guests Mark Padmore, Lavinia Greenlaw, Fiona Sampson and Bastard Assignments.

Castalian Quartet

Saturday 8 June

Sini Simonen violin
Daniel Roberts violin
Charlotte Bonneton viola
Christopher Graves cello

Joseph Haydn String Quartet Op.76 No.2 in D minor
Edmund Finnis String Quartet No.1 ‘Aloysius’ (Co-commission for the Aldeburgh Festival, UK premiere)
Benjamin Britten String Quartet No.2 in C, Op.36

Poetry and Music: The Holy Sonnets of John Donne

Saturday 8 June

Writer and broadcaster Kate Kennedy, poet Lavinia Greenlaw and singer Mark Padmore explore Donne’s poetry alongside Britten’s music, before a performance of Britten’s setting by Mark Padmore and Andrew West.

Paul Lewis

Saturday 8 June

Paul Lewis piano

Joseph Haydn Piano Sonata in E minor, Hob.XVI:34
Thomas Larcher Movement for Piano (Commission for the Aldeburgh Festival, world premiere)
Ludwig van Beethoven 33 Variations on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli, Op.120

Thomas Larcher and Friends

Sunday 9 June

Mark Padmore tenor
Thomas Larcher piano
Paul Lewis piano
Andrew West piano

Johann Sebastian Bach transcr. György Kurtág Chorales: four transcriptions for piano duet
Thomas Larcher Poems for solo piano
Franz Schubert Im Freien, D.880 (1826)
Larcher A Padmore Cycle for tenor and piano
Schubert Die Taubenpost, D.965a; Allegretto in C minor, D.915


Sunday 9 June

Nigel Short director

Philippe de Monte Super flumina Babylonis
William Byrd Mass for Four Voices
James MacMillan Tenebrae factae sunt
Byrd Ne irascaris Domine
MacMillan Tradiderunt me
Thomas Tallis Lamentations of Jeremiah I
MacMillan Jesum tradidit impius
Tallis Lamentations of Jeremiah II
MacMillan Miserere

Drive by Shooting

8, 10, 11, 12 & 15 June

Opera meets street art and animation

Brian Irvine music
John McIlduff writer, director

Recording by Doreen Curran, Sylvia O’Brien and Dan Reardon
RTÉ Concert Orchestra
Fergus Sheil conductor
Clodagh Deegan costume designer

Listening Walks

A chance to explore Snape Maltings’ stunning landscape and wildlife – a meeting point for all the site’s visitors.

First Week


Festival Masterclass: Opera Arias with Antonio Pappano

Monday 10 - Saturday 15 June

Antonio Pappano course director
Pamela Bullock course director
Julia Faulkner voice teacher
Singers and pianists from the Britten–Pears Young Artist Programme

in partnership with 

Pierre-Laurent Aimard

Monday 10 June

Claude Debussy Élégie; Les soirs illuminés par l’ardeur du charbon
Anton Webern Variations, Op.27
Luigi Dallapiccola Quaderno musicale di Annalibera
Oliver Knussen Variations, Op.24
Charlotte Bray Bring Me All Your Dreams (Commission for the Aldeburgh Festival, world premiere)
Elliott Carter 90+; Two Diversions
George Benjamin Shadowlines
Maurice Ravel From Miroirs

Film: Charlie Chaplin shorts

Monday 10 June

Neil Brand piano

Easy Street
The Immigrant
The Adventurer


Film: Woman of the Dunes

Tuesday 11 June

(Japanese title: Suna No Onna) 1964
Directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara
Cast: Eiji Okada, Kyoko Kishida

Albion Quartet

Tuesday 11 June

Tamsin Waley-Cohen violin
Emma Parker violin
Ann Beilby viola
Nathaniel Boyd cello

Joseph Haydn String Quartet in C, Op.20 No.2
Freya Waley-Cohen Dust (Co-commission for the Aldeburgh Festival, world premiere)
Thomas Larcher Cold Farmer
Franz Schubert String Quartet in D minor, D.810 ‘Death and the Maiden’

Knussen Chamber Orchestra

Tuesday 11 June

Knussen Chamber Orchestra
Claire Booth soprano
Mark Padmore tenor
Ryan Wigglesworth conductor

Oliver Knussen Gong, from Four Late Poems and an Epigram of Rainer Maria Rilke, Op.23
Igor Stravinsky Septet
Knussen Scriabin Settings
Toru Takemitsu How Slow the Wind
Knussen O Hototogisu!
Benjamin Britten Nocturne, Op.60
Franz Schubert Symphony No.5

i c o n

Wednesday 12 June

UK Premiere

Frederik Neyrinck music
Sabryna Pierre libretto

Atelier Bildraum (Charlotte Bouckaert and Steve Salembier) direction, scenography
Lieselot De Wilde soprano (icon)
Tibo Vandenborre Mister Death
Orchestra Asko | Schönberg
Joey Marijs conductor

Stephen Hough

Wednesday 12 June

Stephen Hough piano

Johann Sebastian Bach arr. Ferruccio Busoni Chaconne, BWV 1004
Oliver Knussen Prayer Bell Sketch
Frédéric Chopin Sonata No.2 in B flat minor
Stephen Hough Sonata No.4 ‘Vida Breve’
Franz Liszt Funerailles

Hesse Lecture: Lavinia Greenlaw

Thursday 13 June

Into a stranger cavern: repetition, memory and image

Including a screening of the film The Sea is an Edge and an Ending written and directed by Lavinia Greenlaw

The Sea, The Sea

Thursday 13 June

An evening of music and words inspired by the sea

Mark Padmore tenor
Roderick Williams baritone
Julius Drake piano
Rory Kinnear narrator


BPYAP Alumni I

Friday 14 June

Danny Koo violin
Daniel Lebhardt piano

Benjamin Britten Suite, Op.6 for violin and piano
Britten Night-Piece, or Notturno for solo piano
Oliver Knussen Autumnal
Knussen Ophelia’s Last Dance
Ludwig van Beethoven Violin Sonata No.9 in A, ‘Kreutzer’, Op.47

Film: Oliver Knussen – Sounds from the Big White House

Friday 14 June

Introduced by director Barrie Gavin

Secret Theatre

Friday 14 June

Ulysses Ensemble
Geoffrey Paterson conductor

Oliver Knussen Coursing, Op.17
Benjamin Britten Sinfonietta, Op.1
Caterina di Cecca Ad sidera vultus (Commission for the Aldeburgh Festival, world premiere)
Colin Matthews Suns Dance
Tansy Davies inside out 2
Harrison Birtwistle Secret Theatre

Vox Luminis I

Friday 14 June

Vox Luminis
Lionel Meunier director

Johann Bach Unser Leben ist ein Schatten; Sei nun wieder zufrieden meine Seele
Johann Michael Bach Herr, ich warte auf dein Heil; Sei Lieber Tag Wilkommen; Nun Treten wir ins neue Jahr; Halt was du hast
Johann Christoph Bach Der Mensch vom Weibe geboren; Fürchte dich nicht; Lieber Herr Gott, wecke uns auf
Johann Ludwig Bach Das Blut Jesu Christi
Johann Ludwig Bach Das ist meine Freude
Johann Sebastian Bach Jesu, meine Freude


Friday 14 June

House of Bedlam
Larry Goves
Kathryn Williams
Stephanie Tress
Carl Raven

BPYAA composers
Aaron Parker
Bnaya Halperin-Kaddari
Mayah Kadish
Zakia Fawcett
Michael Brailey

Poetry and Music: Who Are These Children?

Friday 14 June

Mark Padmore tenor
Andrew West piano
Don Paterson poet
Introduced by Kate Kennedy

Benjamin Britten Who are these children?, Op.84 (1969)