News, events and schools' information for families across Bath and West Wiltshire

Wiltshire Music Centre in Bradford on Avon, the world class concert hall in the midst of rural Wiltshire, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year with an ambitious programme of  concerts, gigs and special events for all the family.

Eliza Carthy

Among the star names appearing are world renowned flamenco guitarist Juan Martín, queen of folk Eliza Carthy, the violin pyrotechnics of Blazin’ Fiddles, keyboard legend Jason Rebello and the internationally regarded The Clare Teal Four.

The 2023 Spring and Summer international music season opens on 3 February with flamenco guitarist Juan Martín, who original writing and tremendous technique and flair had him voted into the top three guitarist by Guitar Player USA. This is a gig not to be missed by guitarists of all styles. 

Blazin’ Fiddles

Folk star Eliza Carthy and  her band The Restitution then launch a star-studded folk season touring with her new album Queen of the World as part of her 30th anniversary (12 Feb). Other Folk bands include Blazin’ Fiddles (3 Mar) return for a lively and hair-raising hootenanny of violin pyrotechnics, ÍMAR, (22 Apr) the Glasgow based Irish roots band, Simply Dylan (13 May) – a tribute to the legendary songwriter Bob Dylan, and  from Ireland veterans Dervish (26 May).   

Big Family Music Day

Family events at the WMC, over and above the regular music lessons, choirs, youth orchestra, Jazz orchestra include My Science Fair (12 Mar), Hairy Maclary’s Adventures (14 Apr) and Noisy Nature (30 April). These shows are highly popular be sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment

For classical enthusiasts the season opens with a tremendous series of recitals  including Polish cellist Maciej Kulakowski (8 Feb), Nigerian-Scottish trumpeter Aaron Azunda Akugbo (10 Feb),  pianist Clare Hammond (18 Feb) playing Beethoven and Clara Schumann  and singer Harriet Burns (1 Mar), including contemporary women composers  Judith Weir in a Ballads, Bards and Minstrels song recital. 

Many of these recitals offer free tickets to audience members under 26 through the Cavatina Trust support, please book in  advance.

The Wiltshire Music Centre’s orchestra in residence, the very popular The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, will be presenting the Rising Stars of the Enlightenment programme devoted to masterpieces of English composer Henry Purcell  (12 May). 

A more experimental and cutting edge series of music this season includes Riot Ensemble (24 Feb) who give a World Premier of a new work by  young British female composer and electronic performer Jasmine Morris.  This concert will also feature music composed by young people around Bradford on Avon during Riot Ensemble’s residency. 

The newly formed  superstar group AKA  TRIO (24 March), which includes kora player Seckou Keita, guitarist Antonio Forcione  and percussion virtuoso Adriano Adewale, gives it WMC debut which will take you on a fabulous acoustic music journey through Africa, Europe and South America. 

Classical music from the Indian subcontinent Creative Unity (18 Mar) will also enthral with the master vocalist Pooja Angra exploring the music and poetry  of 8th to 16th century Indian culture with her band. Finallly, the cool end our of programming will feature ground-breaking music by vocal collective Sansara (1 Apr)  with a choral electronic programme entitled Vox Machina .

Tim Garland and Jason Rebello

Jazz will have a special place in the anniversary year as WMC launches the BIG JAZZ weekend (4-5 Mar) with headliners saxophonist Tim Garland and keyboard legend Jason Rebello, who perform their new Life to Life show and then join Wiltshire Youth Jazz Orchestra for a Sunday  afternoon concert of swing.  

As part of Women’s History Month in Women’s Words, Sisters’ Stories (17 Mar), WMC celebrates the great female jazz singers and composers Peggy Lee and Billie Holiday with Ineza, and then The Clare Teal Four (15 Apr) and LP Swing Band (date) round off a jazz season that has something for everyone.

For anyone unable to make it to the Centre then a Livestream programme is available to view online and can be enjoyed live or on catch up for three days following the event. For further information, please visit the website, drop in to pick up the season brochure or call the box office 01225 860100.