Joanna MacGregor announces the new Dartington Summer School and Festival Programme, 29th July – 26th August 2017.

Joanna MacGregor is Artistic Director of Dartington International Summer School and Festival, running this year for 4 weeks, from 29th July – 26th August 2017. Click on the brochure below to find out about courses, or visit

Dartington International Summer School & Festival

A Music School by Day, A Concert Hall by Night

29 July – 26 August 2017

The 2017 programme has been really exciting to put together. Britten’s heart-stopping Peter Grimes is our ambitious opera project this year, and receives an extra public performance at the end of the Summer School; a brand-new Advanced Music Theatre course delivers three performances of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd in the Barn Theatre. Dartington’s very own Piano Concerto Competition will mentor and showcase the best pianistic talent with the Festival Orchestra, while folk is even bigger than before. We have more Latin music and literature courses alongside a rich seam of Renaissance, Baroque, choral, orchestral and chamber music.

Marina Warner and Alice Oswald host Stories in Transit in Week 1, encompassing talks and lectures, Middle Eastern music and poetry, ballet, as well as a commission for Stile Antico, Dowland’s Lachrimae Texted. Revolution and English identity runs through Week 2, with Purcell’s King Arthur and music inspired by Milton and Blake; Schubert and Hungarian music informs Week 3, including Alfred Brendel introducing the intensely iconic song cycle Winterreise. Brass music explodes in Week 4, alongside film, jazz and composition.

Stunningly, they’ll be more than ninety concerts and events taking place over four weeks, with an innovative series of late-nighters presented in a visual and imaginative way. They’ll be a film programme, a chance to focus on the landscape, multimedia installations, and informal concerts popping up all over the place. Many old friends are coming back to teach: Emma Kirkby, Fretwork, The City Musick, Andrew Watts, Adrian Brendel, Thomas Gould, Heath Quartet, Robert Howarth, Steve Devine, Andy Sheppard and many more. And I’m delighted to welcome some newer ones: the brilliant harpsichordist Jane Chapman, poetic pianist Pascal Rogé, singers Paul Nilon and Carolyn Sampson, accordionist Paul Hutchinson and folk royalty Eliza and Martin Carthy, Brazilian guitarist Luiz Morais, composers Michael Finnissy and Howard Skempton, film supremo Neil Brand, jazz sensation Eric Vloeimans, conductors Laurence Cummings and Lee Reynolds, Palestinian poet Tamim al-Barghouti, and the amazing Dead Rat Orchestra – to name a few.

Next summer will be lively, colourful, bold and unique; I really look forward to sharing music-making and and creativity with you, in a special place we all love. See you all soon!