Arts Derbyshire


Get ready for The Big BIF Weekend this October!

Get ready for The Big BIF Weekend this October!

Buxton International Festival is delighted to announce the final line-up for The Big BIF Weekend 15th-16th October 2021.

This year’s books programme features politician Peter Hain, crime writer Sarah Ward, author Azeem Azhar, lawyer Meriel Schindler and journalist Paul Mason. The music programme includes the return of popular pianist Martin Roscoe, BIF’s Chamber Ensemble: the Corran Quartet, the Harewood Artists from English National Opera and jazz sensations XPQ (Xenopoulos, Price Quintet).

Michael Williams, Buxton International Festival’s CEO writes, “The small but perfectly formed Big BIF Weekend offers visitors a snapshot of everything that’s great about BIF – world-class music and challenging, contemporary discussion rolled into one weekend. It’s possible to travel from the poorhouses of Nottingham to the Iraq War and from Liszt to Sonny Rollins without leaving your seat.”

We have listed the full programme below.

There is a 10% discount when you book two or more events using the code BigBIF21.


The Quickening

Get ready for The Big BIF Weekend this October!

Sarah Ward is a bestselling crime author and no stranger to the BIF stage. She has a masters in religious history and is a member of the Institute of Psychical Research.

Sarah will discuss her latest novel, a spine-tingling gothic mystery entitled The Quickening (written under the name Rhiannon Ward), on Friday 15th October, 10-11am.

Book Tickets for Sarah Ward


Exponential: How to Bridge the Gap Between Technology and Society

Get ready for The Big BIF Weekend this October!

Technology is developing at an exponential rate. But human society can only ever adapt at a slower pace. The result is an ‘exponential gap’ between the power of new technology and humans’ ability to keep up.

Azeem Azhar, creator of Exponential View, Britain’s leading platform for in-depth tech analysis and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Futures Council, looks at whether we can bridge this divide on Friday 15th October, 2-3pm.

Book tickets for Azeem Azhar


A Pretoria Boy: The Story of South Africa’s ‘Public Enemy Number One’

Get ready for The Big BIF Weekend this October!

Growing up in Pretoria, the son of anti-apartheid activists, Peter Hain joined the fight against discrimination as a teenager. A Labour MP from 1991 and a member of the House of Lords since 2015, his Parliamentary career has given him a front row seat to political events including the Iraq War, Brexit and COVID-19.

Peter will talk about his latest publication, A Pretoria Boy: The Story of South Africa’s ‘Public Enemy Number One’ details that extraordinary journey, from Pretoria to the House of Lords on Friday 15th October, 4-5pm.

Book Tickets for Peter Hain


The Harewood Artists and Adrian Kelly

Get ready for The Big BIF Weekend this October!

Vocalists from English National Opera’s prestigious Harewood Artists scheme will be accompanied on the piano by Festival Artistic Director, Adrian Kelly on Friday 15th October, 7.30-9.20pm.

Soprano Rhian Lois studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, the Royal College of Music and the National Opera Studio. She made her professional debut for the English National Opera and has since performed at Welsh National Opera, the Grand Théâtre de Genève, Santa Fe Opera and The Grange Festival. Her awards include the Lies Askonas Prize and the Bryn Terfel Scholarship.

Alex Otterburn was described as “ruling the stage” by Opera Magazine in his debut in the ENO’s production of Orpheus in the Underworld. A graduate from the Royal Academy of Music, he is regarded as an exciting artist of the new generation.

Programme to be announced. Includes an interval.

Book Tickets for the Harewood Artists and Adrian Kelly


Fanny Mendelssohn String Quartet in E flat major & Felix Mendelssohn String Quartet in No. 6 in F minor Op. 80

Get ready for The Big BIF Weekend this October!

Corran Quartet are a young and exciting String Quartet from London. After forming in 2019, they studied intensively with James Boyd and Catherine Manson. They are Buxton International Festival’s Inaugural Chamber Ensemble 2021, Britten Pears Young Artists and are mentored by Simon Rowland-Jones through ChamberStudio. They will perform at the Big BIF Weekend on Saturday 16th October, 12.30-1.30pm.

Book Tickets for the BIF Chamber Ensemble: Corran Quartet


The Lost Schindler Café

Get ready for The Big BIF Weekend this October!

When Meriel Schindler’s father Kurt died in 2017, she felt compelled to resolve her mixed feelings about him. Kurt had made extravagant claims about their family history. Were they really related to Franz Kafka, Oscar Schindler or Hitler’s Jewish doctor? Where exactly was Kurt on Kristallnacht, the night that Nazis beat his father half to death and ransacked the family home?

Meriel will discuss her memoir, a unique story taking in two centuries, two world wars and a family business: the famous Café Schindler on Saturday 16th October, 4.30-5.30pm.

Book Tickets for Meriel Schindler


How to Stop Fascism

Get ready for The Big BIF Weekend this October!

By exploring the history of the original fascist movement, and its rise to prominence in the 1920 and 30s, award-winning journalist Paul Mason offers a radical, hopeful blueprint for resisting and defeating the new far right. Paul will be discussing highlights from his recent book on Saturday 16th October, 2.30-3.30pm.

Book Tickets for Paul Mason


The XPQ Quintet

Get ready for The Big BIF Weekend this October!

For more than a decade, award winning UK guitarist Nigel Price and the hugely popular Athens born virtuoso saxophonist Vasilis Xenopoulos have established a strong musical partnership through their shared stylistic and artistic connections.

This dynamic band pays homage to some of the greatest historical guitar/saxophone collaborations such as Jim Hall/Sonny Rollins, Kenny Burrell/Stanley Turrentine, Stan Getz/Charlie Byrd and from the UK jazz scene Dave Cliff/Geoff Simkins and the legendary Morrissey/Mullen. Tickets available for Saturday 16th October, 7.30-9.30pm. Includes interval.

Book Tickets for The XPQ Quintet

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