One of the country's most outstanding music festivals is celebrating its 40th year with a superb range of performers in stunning North Yorkshire settings.

With 40 concerts back to in-person audiences from July 17-31, Ryedale Festival also welcomes performers including Jess Gillam, Abel Selaocoe, Carolyn Sampson, Isata Kanneh-Mason, Lara Melda, Milos, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Kathryn Tickell and Tenebrae, as well as Poet Laureate Simon Armitage.

Among the festival line-up is the acclaimed BBC Big Band, with Tina May on vocals to present a collection from the classic era of swing, on Saturday 24 July at Scarborough Spa.

The festival also includes locations such as Pickering Parish Church, All Saints’ Kirkbymoorside, Hovingham Hall, St Olave’s Church York, Birdsall House and Church, St Peter’s Church, Norton, Duncombe Park, Milton Rooms, Malton and Ampleforth Abbey.

The two weeks of summer music also features the Albion String Quartet performing a programme of Haydn and Shostakovich; and in Pickering Parish Church one of Britain’s best loved singers Carolyn Sampson and pianist Joseph Middleton perform an all Schubert recital themed around Elysium, the ancient Greek concept of afterlife.

Cellist Hannah Roberts joins the Albion String Quartet for Schubert’s great String Quintet at All Saints’ Kirkbymoorside, St Michael’s Church Malton and St Olave’s Church York.

The beautiful surroundings of Birdsall House and Church is the scene for a double concert on Monday 19 July.

Fresh from her acclaimed Proms debut, British/Turkish pianist Lara Melda plays Rachmaninov and Chopin’s thrilling, epic third sonata in the house. While the chart-topping star, classical guitarist Miloš plays Villa Lobos, Bach and Albeniz among others at the church.

The format of the double concert encompasses a two-hour interval where the audience is invited to picnic in the grounds of Birdsall House between the two performances.

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage visits Ryedale to read from Magnetic Field, which gathers together his poems on Marsden, the village where he grew up.
At Hovingham Hall, violin soloists of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE) present music written for violins alone, highlighting the contrasts, textures and colours of the instrument.

Tenor Nicolas Mulroy and Toby Carr on the guitar and theorbo play a rare combination of music from two golden ages, as songs of love, sorrow and faith by baroque composers such as Purcell, Monteverdi and Strozzi speak across the oceans and centuries to modern Latin- American standards by songwriters like Silvio Rodríguez, Caetano Veloso, Pablo Milanés and Victor Jara, who gave voice to a continent emerging from years of suppression in Cubaroque.

Abel Selaocoe’s cello performances moves seamlessly across genres and styles, highlighting the links between musical traditions in a programme including his own work Nagula, Debussy, James Macmillan, Ravel and Schedrin.
Trailblazing artist Jess Gillam presents an electrifying programme with her ensemble at St Peter’s Church in Norton, which will inspire you to reflect, dance and smile in a programme that ranges from Meredith Monk and Philip Glass to Björk, Thom Yorke and Piazzolla.

Sirocco, the collaboration between Manchester Collective, Abel Selacoe and Chesaba, is a great storm of music that celebrates the warmth and diversity of folk traditions from across the globe.

Also on the middle weekend, stunning pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason performs a programme of contrasting sonatas from Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin and Gubaidulina at one of Yorkshire' s finest historic houses and estates, Duncombe Park.

The second week of the festival brings the fresh sounds and ancient influences of one of the leading lights of the UK folk scene Kathryn Tickell and close collaborator, accordionist and clog dancer Amy Thatcher.
The winner of the Strings category in this year’s BBC Young Musician, Coco Tomita joins Simon Callaghan to play Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Poulenc’s intense, deeply felt Violin Sonata at Duncombe Park.

On Thursday 29 July there is a performance by award-winning choir, Tenebrae, of music from the Golden Age of Spanish art, including Tomás Luis de Victoria’s Requiem Mass of 1605, at the Benedictine monastery Ampleforth Abbey.

Friday sees two concerts at All Saints’ Church in the village of Hovingham. The first is a wide-ranging programme from pianist Mishka Rushdie Momen which journeys from Bach to spellbinding Ligeti, and culminates in Schubert’s monumental and virtuosic work for solo piano.

The second is extraordinary music from two fast-rising artists, violinist Charlotte Saluste-Bridoux and pianist Ljubica Stojanovic.
The final concert by Solem Quartet and friends at Hovingham Hall is filled with music of optimism and friendship. Florence Price’s tribute to her extraordinary friend, the jazz musician and singer Memry Midgett, Summer Moon.

Alongside the music programme throughout July and August the celebrated artist Jake Attree presents an exhibition inspired by time spent in and around Ryedale dedicated to the memory of Dr Richard Shephard.

Among ambitious plans for the future, the festival recently created an online platform called RyeStream to share performances with music-lovers far and wide.

The Summer Music programme is online now