British folk icon Richard Thompson has been appointed creative director of the 2010 Meltdown festival.

The 17th edition of the festival takes place at London’s Southbank Centre over the period June 11-20; the line-up is to be announced “soon”. Virtuoso guitarist Thompson follows in the footsteps of past curators David Bowie, Morrissey, Massive Attack and, most recently, Ornette Coleman.

Since he first came to the world’s attention in the 1960s with his groundbreaking folk-rock group Fairport Convention (whose 1969 albums Liege & Lief and Unhalfbricking are pretty much compulsory listening), Thompson has involved himself in a wide range of solo and collaborative projects. Having played on classic LPs by the likes of Nick Drake and John Martyn, Thompson became best-known for his duo recordings with his wife Linda, and he reached his commercial peak in the 80s and 90s through albums like Mock Tudor and Amnesia. His most recent work is the Cabaret of Souls song-cycle, performed with chamber orchestra, and he also created the soundtrack for Werner Herzog’s 2005 documentary Grizzly Man.

“I am very excited to be hosting this year’s Meltdown at Southbank Centre,” he says in a press statement. “The wide-ranging programme reflects many of my interests and influences across many musical, visual and literary styles, and should provide some unique moments, unusual collaborations and juxtapositions. All this in the place where I saw my first concert in 1961 – such an honour!”

We’ll update you as soon as the line-up is announced.



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