Packed line-up of events for Big BIF Weekend

The Big Buxton International Festival (BIF) Weekend takes place later this month with a packed programme of books, classical music and jazz.

Friday, 8th October 2021, 4:16 pm

Being hold on October 15 and 16, the Big BIF weekend is a mini version of the main summer festival with all the events taking place at the Pavilion Arts Centre in Buxton.

Michael Williams, Buxton International Festival’s CEO, said: “The small but perfectly formed Big BIF Weekend offers visitors a snapshot of everything that’s great about BIF – world-class music and challenging, contemporary discussion rolled into one weekend.

"It’s possible to travel from the poorhouses of Nottingham to the Iraq War and from Liszt to Sonny Rollins without leaving your seat.”

The BIF Chamber Ensemble

The programme gets underway at 10am on October 15 at 10am when Rhiannon (Sarah) Ward discusses her latest crime thriller The Quickening, a gothic mystery set in a Nottinghamshire poorhouse.

This is followed by Azeem Azhar at 2pm with a discussion on whether humans can - and will - keep up with the power of technology and then Peter Hain will take the hot seat at 4pm to discuss his biography, A Pretoria Boy: The Story of South Africa’s ‘Public Enemy Number One’ which reflects on his teenage years growing up as the son of anti-apartheid activists in Pretoria to his front row seat as a politician weathering the Iraq War, Brexit and Covid-19.

An evening of opera and operetta follows at 7.30pm starring soprano Soraya Mafi and baritone Alex Otterburn, both members of English National Opera’s Harewood Artists

scheme follows. They are accompanied on the piano by Festival Artistic Director, Adrian Kelly.

Rhiannon (Sarah) Ward. Photo - Richard Frew Photography

Pianist Martin Roscoe, who had to cancel his summer festival concert, will kick things off on the Saturday at 10am with his eagerly-awaited summer programme which includes works by piano greats Liszt, Beethoven and Brahms.

The BIF Chamber Ensemble: Corran Quartet, a young, London-based quartet follows at 12.30pm with two mighty Mendelssohn string quartets.

At 1pm, lawyer-turned-author Meriel Schindler unravels her family history, taking in two centuries, two world wars and a family business as she unravels the mysteries of the famous Café Schindler and its place in Jewish history and at 2.30pm, award-winning journalist Paul Mason looks for answers to the current rise in far-right nationalism – and to explore how the COVID-19 crisis might affect social, economic and geopolitical insecurities that often lead to extremism.

The weekend closes with The XPQ (The Xenopoulos, Price Quartet), when the award winning band pays homage to some of the greatest historical guitar/saxophone collaborations such as Jim Hall/Sonny Rollins, Wes Montgomery/Johnny Griffin, Kenny Burrell/Stanley Turrentine, Stan Getz/Charlie Byrd and from the UK jazz scene Dave Cliff/Geoff Simkins and the legendary Morrissey/Mullen.

For the full programme see

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