Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival
- George Pratt
It was established in 1978 on the initative of Yorkshire Arts Association with Richard Steinitz, lecturer (later professor) in the music department of Huddersfield Polytechnic (later University), as artistic director. The major event of its kind in Britain, it attracts composers, performers and audiences from throughout the world to its annual 12-day programme of concerts, theatre performances, workshops and discussions. Its aims have remained the promotion of new music through a balanced policy of providing a platform for major recent works and commissioning new pieces. Its strong educational programme for students and local school children reflects its close links with the university. The opening of, first, the university’s St Paul’s Hall (1981) and later Huddersfield’s Lawrence Batley Theatre (1994) provided additional venues for festival events.
Performance milestones in the festival’s development have included Birtwistle’s Clarinet Quintet (world première, 1981), Ferneyhough’s Carceri d’Invenzione (UK première, 1987...