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Leeds Festival (classical music)

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The Leeds Festival, officially known as the Leeds Triennial Musical Festival, was a classical music festival which took place between 1858 and 1985 in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England.

The first festival celebrated the opening of Leeds Town Hall by Queen Victoria on 7 September 1858. A second festival was held in 1874, then it was held every three years from 1880 to 1970. King George V was the festival's patron in 1922. In 1950, his daughter, The Princess Royal, sister of King George VI, was patron. From the 1940s, Princess Mary attended the opening nights and many of the festival's performances with her son, George Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood, and his wife, the Countess of Harewood, née Marion Stein, a former concert pianist. Lascelles was a noted music critic whose career included the role of artistic director of the Leeds Triennial Musical Festival (1958–74).

In April 1953, members of the public were for the first time told by the festival's chairman, Sir George Martin, that they may not be permitted to attend the rehearsals of some of the performances. In 1949, Sir George, an ex-Lord Mayor of Leeds (1947), had been president of the Leeds Chamber of Commerce. Leeds woollen manufacturer and solicitor, Mr R. Noel Middleton, was a member of the Executive Committee of the Festival and, in 1937, 1947 and 1950, he was chairman of the Programme Committee.

The last Leeds Triennial Musical Festival was in 1985. The Leeds Festival Chorus, which was founded for the first festival, became independent in 1976, and continues to perform, broadcast and make recordings.


Leeds Festival (classical music) Wikipedia