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Ealing Music and Film Valentine Festival unveils 2014 line-up

Ealing Music & Film Valentine Festival

Story by Jack Foley

FOLLOWING its huge success in 2013 The Ealing Music & Film Valentine Festival returns in 2014.

With films and television programmes still being made at the renowned Ealing Studios and music and dance of all styles performed across the district, Ealing Music & Film Valentine Festival 2014 gives people a chance to experience and enjoy this fascinating place and gives an insight into its continuing role in film, music and dance.

The Festival will take place in and around the centre of Ealing from Wednesday, February 12 to Sunday, February 16, 2014, and one of its key focuses will be on young performers.

The Ealing Youth Orchestra will be performing Handel’s Royal Fireworks Music exactly as Handel wrote it – for 26 oboes, 14 bassoons 4 contra bassoons, 9 horns, 9 trumpets, 3 pairs of timpani and 6 side drums.

Two of the soloists, not much older than the players from the Ealing Youth Orchestra and yet already tipped fo international stardom, are the cellist Michael Petrov, who studies at the Guildhall School of Music, and the truly breathtaking, Alena Baeva, from Kazakhstan. Baeva attended the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow and won First Prize at the prestigious Wieniawski competition in Poznan while still at school – soon followed by the Grand Paganini Prix in Moscow and First Prize and Gold Medal in Sendai, Japan. This is a rare opportunity to see such a truly great musician.

This year’s festival will be celebrating dance, not least because Margot Fonteyn, the most famous dancer England has ever produced, was brought up in Ealing. Her international dancing career spanned an incredible 55 years and her life was as dramatic as many of the roles she made her own – from Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty to Juliet, which she danced with Rudolf Nureyev in Prokofiev’s great ballet Romeo and Juliet.

There will be talks from great dancers and choreographers, including the one-time prima ballerina of the Royal Ballet, Dame Beryl Grey, and Dame Gillian Lynne (awarded a DBE in the recent New Year’s honours), who devisedCats and the choreography for Phantom of the Opera.

The amazing Ealing young person’s dance organisation, Twisters, will be giving a demonstration of their incredible talent.

The Ealing Symphony Orchestra will be performing ballet and music, including Romeo and Juliet and a little known ballet called Horoscope, written specifically for Margot by the then Music Director of Sadler’s Wells Ballet, Constant Lambert, also her lover, who subsequently dumped her at the door of the Registry Office.

Constant was the father of Kit Lambert, the manager of The Who – and Pete Townshend will be giving a talk about his own life.

The excellent film slate continues the theme of dance with one of the BFI’s top 10 British films of all time, the Oscar winning The Red Shoes from Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and Tony Palmer’s Margot.

There will also be a screening in association with the Ealing Classic Cinema Club of the Ealing Studios made satirical comedy, The Man In The White Suit, starring Alec Guinness.

And the Studios will once again be throwing open its doors to the public fortours.

Renowned film director Tony Palmer, the Artistic Director of the Festival commented: “There will be a mountain of music on offer – from live blues each night at the Ealing Club, close to Ealing Broadway station, where the British rhythm and blues movement and The Rolling Stones began in the early 1960s – through a celebration of Alec Guinness, who starred in many Ealing Comedies, with a one-man show by Trevor Littledale named Two Halves of Guinness – to an array of classical music, much of it relating to dance.

“The closing night of the festival will feature a Raga Jam with some extraordinary sitar players.”

For more information and the full programme, visit the festival website