IN THE arts world it is the event that puts Huddersfield on the international map.
And at home, Huddersfield Contemporary Music festival continues to prove itself a big hitter in economic terms too.
For 10 days every November, the town attracts performers and music fans from around the world.
Dozens of musicians, composers, performers and artists are already heading for Huddersfield for the opening events of this year’s festival, which begins today.
And it is little wonder that the festival – which this year will notch up a staggering 90 world, European and UK premieres – attracts visitors from around the globe keen to hear and see what’s new in the world of contemporary music.
Twenty-five guests from across Europe and South America will arrive as part of a British Council sponsored trip just in time for the festival’s opening weekend, which showcases the best of new British music.
The festival, now in its 32nd year, was founded by Richard Steinitz, Emeritus Professor at the University of Huddersfield, who was HCMF’s artistic director for 23 years.
It has become one of the most important new music festivals in the world.
Since it began, the festival has brought to Huddersfield virtually all major living composers, plus many of the finest international soloists and ensembles performing numerous UK and world premieres.
This year’s festival will feature 50 events, ranging from performances and concerts to workshops, talks and exhibitions using 10 venues across the town.
One of the first events will see a large projection on the outer wall of Huddersfield’s Library and Art gallery, courtesy of artist Tim Head whose exhibition about the nature of the digital medium will run in the gallery until January.
On Monday, don’t be surprised to see 25 pianos being unloaded into Huddersfield Town Hall as part of a concert which will involve 50 pianists.
And talking of pianos, British musician Philip Thomas will be playing a programme of American music by emerging young experimental music specialists.
According to festival director Graham McKenzie, this year’s event focuses on the work of the composer.
British composer Jonathan Harvey is HCMF’s composer in residence and the festival also highlights the work of Emmanuel Nunes who is seen as Portugal’s greatest living composer.
There will be celebrations to mark the 70th birthday earlier this year of Dutch composer and pianist Louis Andriessen.
The festival has invited some of his music friends along to present his work in two concerts – with some birthday presents included.
Check out festival events online at www.hcmf.co.uk or get a brochure from the HCMF office on 01484 425082. Alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org