Leeds Festival

views updated

Leeds Festival. Mus festival, principally choral, held in Yorkshire city of Leeds since 1858 when it marked opening of town hall. Second festival, cond. by Costa, was in 1874, third in 1880 (Sullivan), after which it was held triennially until 1970. Under Sullivan festival acquired international status, with choral works commissioned from Dvořák, Massenet, Sullivan, Parry, and Stanford. When Sullivan retired, Stanford took over until 1910. Among works first perf. at Leeds festivals were Elgar's Caractacus (1898) and Falstaff (1913), Vaughan Williams's A Sea Symphony (1910), Holst's Choral Symphony (1925), Walton's Belshazzar's Feast (1931), Britten's Nocturne (1958), and Blake's Lumina (1970). Directors in recent years have included Earl of Harewood and John Warrack.