Hull’s Music, Films And Festivals

Music For Your Ears
A £36 million music and events centre is due to open in 2018. In the meantime, make the most of the University of Hull’s Middleton Hall, which has undergone a £9.5 million redevelopment. Its 400-seat concert hall has planned a lively programme of events for 2017, starting with classical guitarist Xuefei Yang (9 Feb); baritone Roderick Williams and pianist Christopher Glynn (16 Feb) and London Sinfonietta (16 Feb) performing the score from the 2013 film Under The Skin, which starred Scarlett Johansson. Actor Simon Callow hosts Telling Tales: Musical Stories with Narration (24 Feb) with family-friendly classical music by the New London Chamber Ensemble.

Proving that music is not just for concert halls, during April the iconic Humber Bridge hosts a musical installation. Opera North orchestra and chorus join forces with the Norwegian composer Arve Henrikson and Hull-based sound recordist Jez Riley French to create a soundscape determined by your route. At Hull City Hall the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra perform John Williams’ film scores (2 Feb). Williams has written the score for 75 films, from Star Wars to Indiana Jones, and has more Oscar nominations than any living person. Later in the year John Grant’s North Atlantic Flux: Sounds From Smoky Bay (28 Apr-1 May) takes place to honour contemporary Nordic culture and Hull’s northern Europe links.

Lights, Camera, Action! 
Anthony Minghella, the Oscar-winning director of The Talented Mr Ripley and The English Patient, attended the University of Hull. Anthony Minghella: A Retrospective at Middleton Hall (24-26 Jan) charts the director’s career from his days as a lecturer to his TV and theatre work through discussions, script readings and screenings. Starting with Alex Garland’s Ex Machina, the hall will also screen a film a night over five nights during Digital Dystopias: A Cyber Film Festival, which will explore themes of privacy and communication (10-14 Feb). The following month film buffs can attend Hull: City of Cinema, a conference at Middleton Hall (24-26 Mar) that explores the contribution of Hull and East Yorkshire to British TV and cinema history. Contributors include Jeremy Thomas, the nephew of Carry On director Gerald Thomas and a producer in his own right.

Hull Pride 2016Festival Fever
As much as Hull looks to the future, it also gives the UK a chance to celebrate its achievements. It makes sense, then, for the city to mark 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality with the Festival LGBT 50. The festival incorporates Hull’s Pride festivities (22 Jul). WOW (Women of the World) HULL (10-12 Mar) includes debates, comedy and theatre in order to inspire change ahead of International Women’s Day. Later in the year you can join Contains Strong Language, a new four-day festival (Oct) that celebrates spoken word and poetry works. Hull 2017 will also be working with creatives on Assemble Fest (3 Jun) to bring pop-up shows to Newland Avenue; spoken word, street theatre and circus acts to various locations during Freedom Festival (1-3 Sep); music to Hull Marina for The Humber Street Sesh (5 Aug) and family fun in the Heads Up Festival (6-15 Oct).

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