Manchester Song Festival 2021

Manchester Song Festival is back for March 2024 – find out more here.



    Generously supported by The Haworth Charitable Trust

The Manchester Song Festival is back, with a full day of live online performances and a masterclass from some of the region’s finest musical talent presented by Artistic Director Marcus Farnsworth. 

After a year in lockdown, the festival creates an opportunity for musicians to come together, explore new collaborations and share their music with audiences around the world.

Watch live throughout the day as we bring the music to you! 

4pm – 4.45pm Kathryn Rudge and Jonathan Fisher 

Mezzo-soprano Kathryn Rudge will kick-start the festival, performing alongside pianist Jonathan Fisher.  

Kathryn was named as The Times ‘Rising Star of Classical Music and ‘One of Britain’s brightest young mezzos’ (What’s On Stage). Kathryn is a versatile artist, performing to critical acclaim in operas, song recitals and orchestral concerts nationally and internationally, with a growing discography of orchestral, oratorio, opera and song repertoire recordings. Jonathan is an accomplished and sought after pianist. He has performed collaboratively alongside some of the finest professional singers and instrumentalists and works as a vocal coach in higher education. 

The pair will perform a celebration of beautiful English songs including Browne, Quilter, Howells, Britten and Bridge. 

Kathryn Rudge website 
Jonathan Fisher website 

4.45pm – 5.15pm RNCM Songsters (Curated by Jonathan Fisher) 

The RNCM Songsters are a specially selected group of pianists and singers from The Royal Northern College of Music, who are trained to excel in song repertoire and promote the unique and intimate setting of recital. The group comprises of a variety of voices, allowing for exciting and creative repertoire programming, led by Artistic Director and RNCM staff pianist Jonathan Fisher. 

RNCM Songsters website  

5.30pm – 6.30pm Haworth Masterclass – The Interpretation of Song 

In this masterclass, students from Chetham’s School of Music’s Vocal Department will be coached on their song interpretations by distinguished mezzo-soprano, Kathryn Rudge. The students will explore how the composer has chosen to realise the poem, and how to bring their own interpretation to bear on a great song. Watch here.

7.30pm – 8.10pm Lauren Kinsella & Kit Downes 

We finish the day with two spectacular concerts!  

BBC Jazz award winner and Mercury nominee Kit Downes will perform live from The Stoller Hall alongside world-class vocalist and composer Lauren Kinsella. The duo will perform the music of drummer Paul Motian, with lyrics specially written by Lauren. Motian’s beautifully crafted folk-like miniature masterpieces provide the perfect springboard for two artists interested in risk, improvisation, lyricism and communication. Kit performs solo pipe organ and solo piano concerts – and also plays in collaborations with saxophonist Tom Challenger, cellist Lucy Railton, composer Shiva Feshareki and with the band ‘ENEMY’. He teaches at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he himself studied and now holds a Fellowship. Lauren is an Irish vocalist based in London. Her work as a composer, improviser, collaborator and performer has been described as truly captivating (For Folk’s Sake), stunning (BBC Radio 3) and with inventive curiosity and imagination (Irish Examiner). 

Lauren Kinsella website
Kit Downes website 

8.10pm – 9pm Katherine Broderick & Friends

The festival will finish with a recital from soprano Katherine Broderick, pianist Kathryn Stott and violist Ruth Gibson.

The last twelve months have created new opportunities for the musicians to collaborate locally and look back on their personal and collective experiences through music. The repertoire reflects this, with the Brahms lullabies dedicated to Katherine’s granddaughter who was born during lockdown and to all babies and new mothers who have had to battle through lockdown restrictions and do the best for their children. Alongside the Frank Bridge and Strauss songs, the programme looks towards a better tomorrow when ‘the sun will shine again’. This will be one of their first concerts together after lockdown and promises to be a poignant and uplifting performance! 

Katherine is a committed concert singer and appears regularly with leading Symphony Orchestras in the UK, winning praise for her expressive range and versatility across repertoire that spans intimate lieder recitals to orchestral songs. Kathryn Stott is internationally recognised as one of Britain’s most versatile and imaginative musicians and among today’s most engaging pianists. She is in demand for a wide variety of chamber music alliances, playing with some of the world’s leading instrumentalists. Irish violist Ruth enjoys a varied musical career, performing as soloist and chamber musician across the UK and Europe. During her undergraduate at the RNCM, she founded the Finzi Quartet and was winner of numerous awards in chamber music. 

Katherine Broderick website 
Kathryn Stott website 
Ruth Gibson website 


  1. Online

    Manchester Song Festival All Day Event – Live Stream

    Sat 27 March 2021, 4pm

     Generously supported by The Haworth Charitable Trust The Manchester Song Festival is back, with a full day of live...

  2. Online

    Manchester Song Festival Evening Recitals – Live Stream

    Sat 27 March 2021, 7:30pm

    Generously supported by The Haworth Charitable Trust The Manchester Song Festival is back, with a full day of live online...