Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival Returns for 2021


The Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival returns to the stage this November. And it brings with it a vibrant programme of live concerts, performances, talks, exhibitions and installations. It’ll run from Thursday, November 18th to Monday, November 22nd, 2021.

The festival programme includes a focus on the work of Israeli/American composer Chaya Czernowin. There’s two new works by Scottish composer James Dillon; and also the World Premiere of a large-scale ensemble piece for an international line-up of soloists by composer/improvising saxophonist John Butcher. There’s also a newly-minted work for her own trio by Cath Roberts.

A host of UK Premieres include works by Laurence Osborn and Eva Reiter. And many of the new works have been created through Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival’s commissioning activity. This, since 2020, also includes 30 original compositions. These range from large-scale pieces to miniatures, providing immediate and direct support for artists.

Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival 1Featured ensembles include Explore Ensemble, Riot Ensemble, and Red Note Ensemble. The Arditti Quartet and GBSR Duo also perform in the programme. European visitors range from Germany’s Ensemble Musikfabrik to Ensemble Klang (Netherlands).

“Changes are merited”

Despite its shorter duration, this year’s Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival comprises all the elements that its audiences have come to expect. That includes shorts, and a wide-ranging programme of free concerts and events.

BBC Radio 3 is again a valued partner for the 2021 live festival. The station will be providing comprehensive coverage of Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival via the New Music Show.

Graham McKenzie is Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival Artistic Director. He said: “Whilst some things will necessarily be different this year, with the number of events and capacity more limited, we believe that the changes are merited in order to enable artists and composers to once again share their music in a live setting.”

The five-day programme is concentrated across three larger spaces. St Paul’s Hall (University of Huddersfield), Huddersfield Town Hall and Bates Mill Blending Shed make up the venues. And these will allow the Festival to facilitate socially-distanced seating for optimum audience numbers.

Booking is required to attend. Get your tickets from


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