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Published: 27 January 2015

World’s best musicians brought together in Guildford for international festival

Local residents will have the rare opportunity of seeing some of the world’s best musicians from all areas of the globe, including from Japan and South America, when the Guildford International Music Festival starts in March.

Now in its 13th year, the Festival, presented by the University of Surrey, will take place over 10 days with each performance taking place in different venues across Guildford.

Catering for all tastes and ages, the highlights of the Festival include internationally renowned choir Tenebrae, who have received rave reviews from the New York Times and the Evening Standard, performing at Holy Trinity Church to open the Festival on Friday 13 March, the Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers performing the Japanese art of thundering rhythms on huge taiko drums at the Electric Theatre on Thursday 19 March, and an evening celebrating the Great American Songbook at Loseley Park on Friday 20 March with critically acclaimed singer Claire Martin, awarded an OBE for her service to jazz, and one of the world’s finest pianists, Joe Stilgoe.

In addition, to celebrate Guildford Guitar Day on Saturday 14 March, events will be taking place on the University’s campus, including a number of concerts and talks. The Boileroom will also host an event looking at the physics of rock, featuring Famelab winner Mark Lewney, ideal for anyone studying GCSE physics and above. There will also be some busking in the town centre to entertain shoppers!

The 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland falls on the final weekend of the Festival and will be marked through a number of events including a storytelling workshop, a Lewis Carroll walk celebrating the life and times of the Rev. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson - better known as Lewis Carroll - and his connections with Guildford and the surrounding area. There will also be a special ‘Wonderland’ family concert on Saturday 21 March, featuring music written by 12 leading composers, including Elvis Costello and Mark Anthony Turnage, which has been inspired by chapters of the book. The pieces will be performed in order, telling the narrative through music, and will be interspersed with readings. The performance will take place in St Mary’s Church, where Lewis Carroll actually preached.

Pippa Cleary, Director of the Festival from the University of Surrey said: “This year’s Festival promises something for everyone, to inspire, entertain and challenge audiences.  We are delighted to be working with partners across Guildford to put together a programme to suit all tastes and are hugely grateful to our sponsors and supporters for making this event possible.”