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Oundle International Festival

Starts: 7th Jul 2017

Now in its 33rd year, the Festival provides a fantastic opportunity to see internationally recognised performers on a local stage – tickets are on sale now, so book in and make the most of it!


Start Date

7th Jul 2017

End Date

15th Jul 2017




Absolute Bowie, European Union Chamber Orchestra, Ruisi Quartet and many many more!


The Ronnie Scott’s All Stars
Uplifting jazz, amusing tales and rare archive images straight from London’s world famous club kick off the festival on Friday 7th July. Led by the Musical Director James Pearson, the evening features the vocal talents of Natalie Williams and is sponsored by the Oundle-based company Schoolblazer. Tickets for this event have sold out but there is a waiting list.

European Union Chamber Orchestra
This prestigious orchestra will perform in the Oundle School Chapel on Saturday 8th July, with horn soloist and BBC Young Musician of the Year 2016 finalist, Benjamin Goldscheider. The programme will include Mozart’s 4th Horn Concerto, Elgar’s Serenade for Strings as well as the premier of a piece for horn and orchestra written by British composer, Diana Burrell.

Oundle On Show
Over the weekend of the 8th & 9th July, many of the town’s venues will present a showcase of the area’s local artistic, musical and horticultural talents. Recitals and recitations by local amateur performance groups, including Oundle’s Gilbert & Sullivan Players, Corby arts organisation Deep Roots Tall Trees, the Northampton Male Voice Choir, poetry group Anthology and the area’s Primary Schools Cluster Orchestra will take place throughout the weekend. Also, the Nene Valley Artists will be exhibiting in the Yarrow Gallery as part of the Peterborough Open Art Studios. The weekend will be rounded off by a proms-like concert by the town’s fast becoming infamous orchestra, the Rusty Players of Oundle, which will be followed by a tea worth waiting for! Supported by the Northamptonshire Community Foundation’s First for Well Being fund, Oundle On Show aims not only to generate entertainment, but also to promote involvement in the groups involved.

Transition Oundle Open Gardens
On Sunday 9th July, visitors are invited to admire many of the town’s lovingly tendered green spaces, organised by Transition Oundle and part of Oundle On Show.

Outdoor Cinema: Beauty and the Beast
After its successful first outing last year, the Outdoor Cinema returns to Oundle Wharf on Saturday 8th July with a screening of Disney’s latest hit under the stars! With a highly regarded cast and a brilliant soundtrack, the retelling of this popular fairytale includes love, drama, music and a little bit of cinematographic magic to entertain all ages.

Reverend Richard Coles: “in conversation”
Local vicar, national broadcaster and (ex) international popstar will be ‘in conversation’ with local author Adam Begley in the Stahl Theatre on Monday 10th July, talking about the intriguing twists and turns his life has taken. The Oundle Bookshop will be selling copies of Rev Coles’s latest book, Bringing InThe Sheaves, on the night. This event has proved extremely popular and all tickets have now been sold.

The Bach Walk
The ever popular walk, inspired by JS Bach’s 560 mile journey to hear Buxtehude play the organ, involves a gentler (and shorter!) stroll between Lowick and Sudborough on Tuesday 11th July. Tickets include the chance to visit the stunning gardens of The Old Rectory in Sudborough and to hear recitals by Luba Tunnicliffe on viola and Oliver Wass on harp in the churches of each of the aforementioned villages. Audience members can choose whether to buy tickets which include supper or bring their own picnic. This event is supported by Nene Living magazine.

Encore Screening: Il Trovatore
This year’s encore cinema screening is of Verdi’s riveting masterpiece, starring Plácido Domingo and Anna Netrebko, directed by Daniel Barenboim the Berlin’s Staatsoper Unter den Linden. It will be screened in the Stahl Theatre on Wednesday 12th July.

Illyria: The Emperor’s New Clothes
Festival favourites, Illyria, the Equity compliant Outdoor Theatre company return to Barnwell Country Park on Thursday 13th July – with their sell out production of this Hans Christian Anderson’s much loved tale for all the family to enjoy.

The Budapest Cafe Orchestra
Led by violinist Christian Garrick (whose evocative playing was heard on the soundtrack of Poldark) will raise the roof of the Stahl Theatre audience on Thursday 13th July. Their vibrant and energetic music, inspired by gypsy and folk from across the Balkans and Russia, cannot fail to get hearts racing and toes tapping. Sponsored by local architects, Waterland Associates, this is performance not to be missed.

Ruisi Quartet
Winner of the Royal Philharmonic Society award for Young British String Players in 2015, this musical group is a gem of its generation. On Friday 14th July, their programme, named Haydn’s Legacy, will delight, featuring quartets by Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, on whose music Haydn had an influence, as well as Haydn’s own composition, Op 50 No 1.

Lunchtime Recital Series
Throughout the week, lunchtime recitals will be given by those in the early stages of their professional careers, including saxophonist Robert Burton who was Oundle’s Young Musician of the Year 2016; Guy Cutting, a talented young tenor who will sing songs from the first half of the 20th century; Francisco Vilar, an award winning pianist whose beautiful programme will include pieces by Schumann and Debussy; and the Minerva Piano Trio, who will take a break from being the Young Artists 2016/7 at St John’s Smith Square to perform in Oundle.
Internationally renowned organists, tutors on the course which runs concurrent with the Festival, will also perform delightfully diverse recitals throughout the week.

Party at the Wharf Featuring: Absolute Bowie
The 2017 Festival will go out with a bang on Saturday 15th July with the area’s “party of the year” at the Oundle Wharf. Headlining is the entertaining David Bowie cover band who faithfully recreate the music (and stage presence) of the Starman himself. The evening entertainment also includes the live music of Lincolnshire rockabillys, The Houndogs, with popular Oundle band, Disarray in support. An array of food, drink and entertainments will be on offer for all to enjoy. This jewel in the Festival’s crown is a brilliant way to bring the 9 day celebration of the arts to a close.

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