Climbing the Walls

Derry hosts new festival

From 8pm on October 5 to 11pm on October 8 the City of Derry in Northern Ireland will be alive with music as the inaugural Wall2Wall Festival takes place.

Packed between this historic city's famous walls for a few short days are many of the best solo and chamber performers in the world today, combining with well established regional and national ensembles, and with each other, for an intense period of music-making.

Artists such as the Ulster Orchestra, Dame Gillian Weir, Brodsky Quartet, Marianna Tarasova, the Opera Theatre Company and many more will be in town. As well as including some familiar favourites, the repertoire explores a particular theme, one that has always been close to the hearts of composers: freedom.

Join BBC Radio 3 as they celebrate the centenary of the birth of Shostakovich, who struggled all his life with the repressive regime of Soviet Russia.

Hear Beethoven's passionate appeals for liberty in some of his grandest and most epic works: the 'Eroica' symphony and his opera, Fidelio.

Trace Derry's momentous past in the form of three of its great historic organs, situated in different parts of the city and in different kinds of building, each with a story to tell.

The programme is complemented by a number of special events designed to provide background to, or reflections on, the music: there are screenings of rare films and education sessions in conjunction with the University of Ulster and the Ulster Orchestra, and a brand new experimental multimedia dimension supplied by the collaboration of Opera Theatre Company and the city's Nerve Centre.

With these and no fewer than nine concerts over just four days, all in the vibrant atmosphere of one of the island's emerging heritage and tourist destinations, the Wall2Wall Festival makes for a concentrated, uniquely exciting cultural occasion.

The Wall2Wall Festival is brought together by Music55-7 in partnership with BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio Ulster, the University of Ulster and Opera Theatre Company and funded by Derry City Council, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Lottery Department and the D'Addario Foundation for the Performing Arts.