Bath’s new flagship festival will bring together some of the world’s leading writers, musicians and cultural figures into some of the city’s most iconic buildings and onto the streets of Bath.
Classical, jazz and folk music will be heard alongside contemporary music, intelligent debate, science, history, politics and poetry, with concerts, discussions and collaborations and many free events across the city.
May 20 – Bath Forum
Mary Berry might have waved farewell to The Great British Bake Off, but she’s the only one we’ll turn to when we want to talk lemon drizzle. First 300 bookers will receive pre-signed copies of her new book.
May 27 – Bath Forum
Following on the success of her sold out appearance at The London Jazz Festival, American jazz singer Madeleine Peyroux (as seen on Jools Holland’s Later…) plays the Bath Forum.
STORMY: THE LIFE OF LENA HORNE *A Bath Festival Premiere
May 24 – Komedia
Camilla Beeput celebrates dancer, movie star, activist and singer Lena Horne in her centenary year. A thrilling musical evocation of one of the great African-American figures in 20th century entertainment.
SIR SALMAN RUSHDIE
May 25 – Bath Forum
Sir Salman Rushdie is a giant of modern literature, the author of such ground-breaking novels as Midnight’s Children and The Satanic Verses, and the remarkable memoir Joseph Anton. This is his only event outside of Paris and London.
HITCHCOCK’S PSYCHO SCREENING WITH BATH PHILHARMONIA
May 22 – Bath Forum
A thrilling opportunity to experience Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece with a live orchestra in Bath Forum (originally built as a cinema).
GEORGIE FAME AND THE GUY BARKER BIG BAND
May 23 – Bath Forum
Georgie Fame has played blues and soul with everyone from Count Basie to Van Morrison, and calls the Guy Barker Big Band ‘the Rolls-Royce version of my music’.
NEW MEETINGS: MARTIN CARTHY & SAM SWEENEY
May 23 – Masonic Hall at Old Theatre Royal
Sam Sweeney was at the heart of the legendary Bellowhead. We asked Sam in turn to choose a guest, he went for folk giant Martin Carthy – they’ll be playing together tonight for the very first time.
May 26 – Bath Forum
Conductor Herbert Blomstedt is one of the truly great musicians of our age. This concert will feature two timeless masterpieces: Brahms’ Piano Concerto no 1 in D Minor, and Beethoven’s Symphony No 7 in A, perhaps the best loved symphony of all.
JOSIENNE CLARKE & BEN WALKER
May 26 – Assembly Rooms
The glorious voice of Sandy Denny first inspired their mix of exquisite vocals and virtuosic guitar. After they won the BBC Folk Awards, Cerys Matthews invited them to sing at the National Theatre, and they’ve just released Overnight, their first album on Rough Trade.
MARTIN HAYES & DENNIS CAHILL
May 22 – Assembly Rooms
Violinist Martin Hayes is one of the major talents of the Irish tradition, and the musical centre of The Gloaming, who explore new ways of expressing that heritage. His partnership with guitarist Dennis Cahill has lasted more than 20 years.
STEVEN ISSERLIS & SIMON CALLOW
May 25 – Assembly Rooms
Internationally celebrated cellist Steven Isserlis discusses his new, extensive commentary on Robert Schumann’s Advice to Young Musicians alongside actor, national treasure and Schumann super-fan Simon Callow. Join them as they bring the visionary composer’s words of wisdom to life and explore why his writing is still so relevant today.
THE GOOD IMMIGRANT
May 26 – Komedia
Who are we? It’s a simple question with infinite answers. In this extraordinary anthology (crowned Britain’s Favourite Book of 2016 and hailed as important and timely by JK Rowling), 21 writers of colour explore life in today’s Britain.
The Bath Festival, Friday May 19 – Sunday May 28. Tickets are on sale now at www.thebathfestival.org.uk, or from Bath Box Office in person or by phone on 01225 463362.