Festival of the week: Aldeburgh Festival, various venues, Aldeburgh


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The Independent Culture

Launched by Benjamin Britten in 1948, the Aldeburgh Festival opens its 65th season this Friday with a 60th birthday tribute to former artistic director and current artist in residence, Oliver Knussen, whose marvellous Maurice Sendak-inspired operas, Where the Wild Things Are and Higglety Pigglety Pop!, are given two performances in a new multimedia staging by Netia Jones.

Other highlights include a focus on the music of German avant-gardist Helmut Lachenmann; the complete Bartók string quartets; Britten's film scores played live to accompany screenings of the government information films for which they were written; and tenor James Gilchrist in a dramatised version of Britten's Winter Words.

Also, there's the debut of the Aldeburgh World Orchestra, uniting young professional players from over 30 countries to perform Britten, Shostakovich and Stravinsky, plus a new Charlotte Bray work inspired by Sizewell A/B, all conducted by Sir Mark Elder.

(01728 687110; aldeburgh.co.uk) Fri to 24 Jun