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Prog at The Priory

Following on from its hugely successful and sold-out candlelit concerts featuring Rick Wakeman and Gordon Giltrap, Lancaster Music Festival’s Prog at the Priory season continues at the historic Lancaster Priory church with two intimate concerts celebrating the classic period of progressive rock.

On Saturday 28th May, in a unique blend of classical and progressive music, internationally-renowned organist and pianist Marco Lo Muscio and flautist John Hackett, brother of former Genesis guitarist Steve, will perform instrumental interpretations of some of the masterpieces from the classic period of progressive rock. Included in the show will be tracks by Genesis, Pink Floyd, ELP, Rick Wakeman, Steve Hackett and King Crimson. With the involvement of the Priory choir this is a concert that is likely never to be repeated.

The following week, on Friday 3rd June, there is a rare opportunity to see one of the legends of progressive rock, Sir Thijs van Leer of legendary Dutch band Focus. Sir Thijs, on grand piano and flute, accompanied by the dazzling guitarist of Focus, Menno Gootjes, will perform a very intimate acoustic set chronicling not only the best of Focus’s songbook, including their worldwide hits “Hocus Pocus” and “Sylvia”, but also the music that inspired Sir Thijs as he grew up in Amsterdam, from Bach to jazz and rock. Focus have sold over 8.5 million albums worldwide and van Leer’s Introspection album was at the time the biggest selling album in the Netherlands. Thijs van Leer holds the distinction of being the first ever knighted musician in Holland for services to music.

The concerts follow on from those in October featuring Rick Wakeman and guitarist Gordon Giltrap which were a great hit not just with the audience but with the artists as well. Rick Wakeman commented, “I know Lancaster quite well from when I lived on the Isle of Man and I used to come over for the plays in the park. I like Lancaster a lot. I’ve had great fun putting the show together with the choir and you can’t get a much nicer setting than the Priory”.

The concerts are being promoted by Paul Tarry of the Wagon and Horses and his fellow Music Festival board member Stuart Marshall, who says “We sensed that Lancaster’s historic Priory was going to be a very special venue to host some of rock music’s more classically-orientated musicians but even we were taken aback by the atmosphere in the Priory when Rick Wakeman performed with the Priory choir. These forthcoming concerts promise to be two more magical evenings in the wonderful setting of the Priory that are not to be missed!”

Tickets for both concerts are now available from


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