13 -22 JULY2023
Welcome to the 2023 edition!
This year we’ve taken inspiration from Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night over the Rhône” and used this beautiful painting as a starting point for a journey through some night-themed music such as Schönberg’s Verklärte Nacht in the Opening concert, the Complete Chopin Nocturnes during our second week, as well as Mozart’s masterful Grand Partita for 13 instruments (our biggest group so far!). We didn’t forget about the “Rhône” part of the painting and therefore there will also be a lot of French music (and wine!) involved, including a big celebration of Bastille Day during the second day of the festival – you will be able to hear some of the most exciting French women composers of the 19th century, some beautiful French songs and the acclaimed Poulenc sonata with a distinguished new guest – Simon Channing – new at the festival but an old friend: it turns out that Simon and Martin first played this sonata together more than 40 years ago! Simon is also very much the driving force behind getting the stellar group Kensington Winds together for the Gounod and Mozart. This will do a nice segue into the second week, where you can hear 3 Mozart Piano Concertos together with a couple of real rare gems – Zemlinsky First String Quartet and Kahn Second Piano Quartet – as well as the monumental Schubert G Major Quartet that closes the festival in our Grand Finale.
We are delighted to introduce a new venue – Yoga at the Arc – for a Yoga session with live music by Harpist Catrina Meek and also look forward to a photography workshop with our official photographer Marc Gascoigne and street photography expert Cyrus Katrak. You will also be able to spot our wonderful artist Alison doing some live sketching during many of the concerts.
We so look forward to welcoming back some of our much-loved returning guests and also present you with some fantastic new ones, so take a look at our programme now and make sure to take advantage of the generous Early Bird tickets and bundles.
As always, we offer FREE concert entry for children, (just bring them along with you!) AND also FREE entry if you are under 26 years old (just show your ID).
There will be an exciting new photography exhibition coming up in partnership with Islington Story teller/@Islington_London, where you can see how Islington has changed throughout the years. We will release the details about this very soon, so keep an eye out for it!
We look forward to seeing you in July for a big celebration of music and art in our borough,
Joana and Martin
Born out of the local garden concerts we organised after lockdown in the summer of 2020, the Islington Festival aims to recreate the community spirit that inspired us during that time and bring people together to experience high-quality live music and art, in different venues throughout the Borough of Islington.