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Windsor Festival 2015 - what’s on

PUBLISHED: 12:13 14 September 2015 | UPDATED: 12:13 14 September 2015

The Agincourt anniversary will be marked by Orpheus Sinfonia in St George’s Chapel. Photo by Glenn Michael Harper

The Agincourt anniversary will be marked by Orpheus Sinfonia in St George’s Chapel. Photo by Glenn Michael Harper

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It’s time to make your own dates and book tickets for events marking some very significant milestones from the past, still shaping our lives today

Enjoy the magical voice of soprano Sophie Bevan min Windsor Castle © Sussie AhlburgEnjoy the magical voice of soprano Sophie Bevan min Windsor Castle © Sussie Ahlburg

A vibrant fortnight of celebrations from 20 September will reflect on the signing of the Magna Carta at Runnymede, the anniversaries of the Battles at Agincourt and Waterloo, and Windsor’s place in Royal history.

The highly respected annual arts festival is itself marking 45 years of providing some superb entertainment with numerous events located within and around the grounds of Windsor Castle.

It’s difficult to know where to start with the ‘highlights’ as so many of the concerts, informative walks and talks, plays, open houses and exhibitions are bound to be ‘first choice’ for some fans.

Maxim Vengerov performs in The Waterloo Chamber on 29 September © B EalovegaMaxim Vengerov performs in The Waterloo Chamber on 29 September © B Ealovega

But a very good place to begin is with events commemorating 600 years since the Battle of Agincourt. St George’s Chapel will play host to an evening of rousing masterpieces as we see the return of Orpheus Sinfonia to the Festival stage on Friday, 2 October at 7.30pm. This orchestra of exceptional young professionals, led by the dynamic artistic direction of their principal conductor Thomas Carroll, will bring to life Walton’s score for the 1943 Laurence Olivier film, Henry V.

On Friday, 25 September, the exciting young British soprano Sophie Bevan, recipient of the Young Singer Award at the inaugural 2013 International Opera Awards and The Times Breakthrough Award at the 2012 South Bank Sky Arts Awards, will join Ian Page and Classical Opera for a concert of works by Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven. This concert takes place in The Waterloo Chamber, Windsor Castle.

The Waterloo Chamber also welcomes Grammy award winner Maxim Vengerov, often referred to as the greatest living string player in the world today, on Tuesday, 29 September. He will perform works by Brahms, with Marios Papadopoulos, piano.

Professor David Starkey will take us through the relevance of Magna CartaProfessor David Starkey will take us through the relevance of Magna Carta

And following the 5th Windsor Festival International String Competition earlier this year, winner, South Korean violinist Ji Yoon Lee, will perform the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the competition’s Associate Orchestra and firm Festival favourite the Philharmonia Orchestra on Thursday, 24 September. The evening’s programme will also include Weber’s Overture from Oberon, Elgar Serenade for Strings and Brahms’ 3rd Symphony.

The concert ‘Celebrating Magna Carta’ with the English Chamber Orchestra and Jane Glover can be enjoyed in the fitting surroundings of St George’s Chapel on Wednesday, 30 September at 7.30pm, and forms part of the celebration to mark the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta. The programme for the evening, performed by the illustrious English Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Jane Glover, is inspired by English democracy and the City of London referred to in the Magna Carta’s golden clauses.

As well as the exceptional concerts, there are many fascinating walks and talks and light-hearted events. Bound to be thought-provoking are the views of distinguished constitutional historian and broadcaster Professor David Starkey, whose talk in St George’s Chapel on 28 September will look at Magna Carta and its relevance today.

If you’re looking for laughs, then the return of Wayward Women of Windsor, courtesy of Windsor & Eton Tour Guides Debbie Keenan and Bobbie Latter, at 7pm on Sunday, 20 September, is a very good choice. The event is held in Windsor and Eton Riverside Station and allows you to meet some truly colourful characters during a walk. Be prepared to be accosted by merry wives Mistresses Ford and Page and Royal favourite Nell Gwynn among others, as they ‘dish the dirt’, revealing gossip and scandal while enjoying an assortment of glorious headgear!

This demonstrates the joy of Windsor Festival, there’s something for everyone, from black tie events to unique, fun occasions. As Martin Denny, Windsor Festival Director, says: “We are excited to be presenting you with a particularly thrilling programme of events. We hope this captures your imagination as much as ours, and invite you to join us for a vibrant fortnight of celebrations.”

Tickets and events

See www.windsorfestival.com

Tel: 01753 743585

Call in at Royal Windsor Information Centre, Windsor Royal Shopping, Thames Street, Windsor, SL4 1PJ

Follow @WindsorFestival on Twitter

***

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