This landmark event recreates the first ever Aldeburgh Festival concert – and in true Festival spirit, it also premieres a new commission: Robin Haigh’s trumpet concerto for Matilda Lloyd and Britten Sinfonia.

Chaconny in G minor (5’)
Organ Concerto in D minor, Op.7 No.4 (15’)
Robin Haigh:
LUCK (Britten Pears Arts co-commission / first performance) (20’)
Saint Nicolas, Op.42 (50’)

Nick Pritchard tenor
Matilda Lloyd trumpet
Katherine Dienes–Williams organ
Britten Sinfonia
Choristers of St Edmundsbury Cathedral
Britten Pears Chorus
Dominic Ellis–Peckham
Chorus master
Jessica Cottis conductor

The first Festival concert took place in Aldeburgh Church on 5 June 1948. The Chaconny in G minor by Purcell, one of Britten’s major musical influences, and Handel’s Organ Concerto in D minor were paired with two new works: God’s Grandeur by Martin Shaw and Britten’s cantata Saint Nicolas.

For this significant 75th Festival recreation, we replace the Shaw with the first performance of Robin Haigh’s LUCK, a trumpet concerto for Matilda Lloyd. Now established internationally, both Haigh and Lloyd are former Britten Pears Young Artists, and work on the piece began in earnest on a residency in Aldeburgh in summer 2023. Haigh's The Dreamers provided a standout moment from the 2022 Festival, and Lloyd is a familiar and much-loved presence here in East Suffolk.

Saint Nicolas is a splendidly dramatic work, a fine example of Britten’s wonderfully characterful writing for voices. It tells the story of the eponymous saint, glowing with legend and mystery. The lead role is sung by Nick Pritchard, another alumnus of the Young Artist Programme, and along with the acclaimed Britten Sinfonia’s second visit to this Festival, the performance features musicians from across East Anglia in what Britten created as a piece which professionals and non-professionals alike could enjoy.

The programme is completed by Purcell’s haunting Chaconny in its version for chamber orchestra and Handel’s Organ Concerto in D minor, described in the 1948 Festival Book as being “distinguished by its noble grandeur”.

Come to a pre-performance talk before the performance to learn more about the creative process.

General booking opens Saturday 27 January at 10am.

Advance booking for members begins on Tuesday 9 January. Find out how becoming a member both supports our work and enables you to enjoy priority booking.

Dates & times

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