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Norfolk & Norwich Festival 250th Anniversary

13 May 2022 to 29 May 2022 Norwich

Amjad Ali Khan Sarod-Trio-2 Photo Suvo Das
The Norfolk & Norwich Festival will celebrate its 250th Anniversary. The UK’s oldest single city arts festival has announced the full programme for this milestone occasion, with over 100 events, 18 new commissions and 40 free events on offer over 17 days between 13-29 May 2022.

The festival launches with a giant domino topple across the city and 9 new fanfares commissioned to celebrate the festival’s history from artists including Ayanna Witter-Johnson, Nneka Cummins and Laurence Osborn. Dutch sound artists Strijbos & Van Rijswijk will transform Great Yarmouth beach with sopranos and sound installation Signal on Sea.

Inspired by 250 years of festival tradition, 10 local artists will decorate Norwich shop fronts, and Britten Sinfonia and Norwich Philharmonic Chorus Crown Festival 250 with Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Five Tudor Portraits, which premiered at the festival in 1936.

Festival 250 will also present several premieres including Fire Songs by theatre-makers Frozen Light, an immersive sensory sound experience for audiences with profound and multiple learning disabilities. The interactive giants of Air Giants Unfurl will fill the Festival Gardens with a beautiful dreamscape. Sō Percussion and Pulitzer Prize-winner Caroline Shaw combine forces in a concert that also presents the UK premiere of new work from Angelica Negron. Also, in a fundraiser for the Jenny Lind Children’s Hospital, Fairytales & Nightingales will reimagine Jenny Lind’s career through the music of Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn and Robert and Clara Schumann.

Other highlights of Festival 250 include: new work from Angelica Negron, Arun Ghosh, Exaudi, and Pete Letanka. Music highlights include Grace Petrie, Sean Shibe, Anna Meredith, Arun Ghosh, Heath Quartet, Consone Quartet and Steven Osborne, and Moor Mother and Theatre, Dance, Circus and Cabaret highlights including Peaceophobia and Cirque Alfonse’s Barbu, Figs in Wigs.

A guild of volunteers led by Lone Twin will remember festivals past and open the city’s Mediaeval Guildhall with a tour around the Guildhall in ‘Every Step is a Different Height’.  

Daniel Brine, Festival Director said:

“We’re looking forward to a wonderful Festival. One which will celebrate our history, our

philanthropic origins, our rich music commissioning heritage, but this milestone is also about

looking to the future. Across the programme you will find many elements created by children

and young people. 2022 will be an exhilarating time to be in Norwich and around Norfolk as

we celebrate culture and the creative future of this place we live in.”

Further Information: Norfolk & Norwich Festival (nnfestival.org.uk)

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