THE Orchestra of Opera North gives the opening concert next weekend at Ripon International Festival.

Janusz Piotrowicz will conduct the orchestra at Ripon Cathedral on Saturday, September 6, in Beethoven’s Symphony No 8, a masterpiece of invention with its furiously creative drive, teasing scherzo and whirlwind finale.

Mozart’s dazzling Flute Concerto No 2 with soloist Samuel Coles, one of Europe’s most brilliant and imaginative musicians — and Mendelssohn’s dramatic Scottish Symphony complete the feast for the senses.

The festival runs until September 24 and includes an appearance on September 18 by literary celebrity Sir Andrew Motion presenting his collection of war poems, Laurels and Donkeys.

He will also read from his book The Cinder Path and plans to answer questions about his writing — along with his role as Poet Laureate.

A passionate and outspoken president of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, he has won major awards such as the Dylan Thomas Prize, Somerset Maugham Award and Whitbread Biography Award.

On September 14, the Hallé makes a rare appearance in the region with an exciting and riveting programme consisting of Verdi’s overture to La Forza del Destino, Grieg’s Peer Gynt and the hauntingly beautiful Second Symphony of Rachmaninov.

The Jazz Repertory Company, which plays to sell-out audiences at London’s Cadogan Hall, presents a tribute to the music of the Benny Goodman Quartet featuring the dazzling clarinet playing of Pete Long, one of Ronnie Scott’s All Stars, who has played with Jools Holland, the Blind Boys of Alabama and Sting, Bunny Thompson, pianist (Glenn Miller Orchestra), the exotic skill of Richard Pite on percussion, and top vibes player Tony Kerr (Wednesday, September 17).

One of the world’s top ten brass bands, Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band, plays a selection of Sullivan, Lennon and McCartney, Queen, Great War songs and marches, Eric Ball’s famous Journey into Freedom and other favourites, with talented young soloists on Saturday, September 20.

  • For full details and to book tickets, call 01765 603994 or 605508 or go to