A four-day festival of classical music is set for record audiences for its 25th anniversary.
The International Music Festival is usually held at New Walk Museum's art gallery but, with the gallery closed for restoration, the festival of chamber music has taken up temporary residence in Holy Trinity Church, on the corner of Regent Road and King Street.
The new venue can squeeze in a few more people and organiser Peter Baker hopes even more music lovers will be enjoying the programme, which includes many works by Benjamin Britten, who was born 100 years ago this November. Peter said: The festival's theme this year is A Voyage Around Britten, as it is Benjamin Britten's centenary this year.
It will feature music by Britten, as well as music that inspired him and the music he inspired.
We'll have music from our two resident composers, Huw Watkins and Helen Grime, and this year the Britten Symphonia will be coming to the festival for our final concert, which will be held at Leicester Cathedral. We normally have about 200 people to the performances because that's the capacity of the gallery at the New Walk Museum, but there's the opportunity to have more than that this year and we expect that, as usual, there will be visitors from all over the country.
We always have people coming from elsewhere who stay in Leicester for the whole of the festival and come back each year to enjoy it.
The festival kicked off last night with a concert of Bach, Schumann and Britten, as well as music by Watkins and Grime and a pre-concert talk with David Matthews, Britten's biographer.
Most of the performances involve small chamber groups and soloists, but there will also be a cor anglais workshop and Sunday's finale at the cathedral will include an appearance by actor Diana Quick, who will be reading from Ovid's Metamorphoses.
Ahead of the festival, a film about Britten's life was showed at the Phoenix cinema.
Peter said: We had a very good audience for the film biography of Britten.
The film was directed by Tony Palmer, who came along and gave a talk before it was shown.
The festival is set to return to the New Walk Museum next year after the renovation work is complete.
The project had originally been scheduled for completion in June but was delayed following the discovery of asbestos in the ceiling. Tickets for the festival are available from New Walk Museum or from Visit Leicester in Gallowtree Gate, Leicester, or by calling 0844 888 5181.
For the full programme and to book online, visit: www.goleicestershire.com
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