Sunday 23 March 2014

Cheltenham Festival

Kirill Karabits and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Kirill Karabits and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Nicola Benedetti is the artist in residence at this year's Cheltenham Music Festival, performing in a whole series of concerts. There are 15 commissions and premieres in the festival including works by Richard Blackford and John Tavener plus Nicola LeFanu's opera Tokaido Road. As ever there are concerts in a whole variety of lovely venues, including Owlpen Manor, Tewkesbury Abbey and Gloucester Cathedral. New to the festival is a series of Town Hall Festival Proms in Cheltenham Town Hall, including one where the audience picks the programme.

The festival opens with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, conductor Kirill Karabits performing Beethoven, Panufnik and Elgar. The Festival's Artist in Residence Nicola Benedetti is joined by fellow members of the Benedetti/Elschenbroich/Grynyuk Trio to perform Beethoven's Triple Concerto and the Panufnik centenary is celebrated with his Heroic Overture. Two of the works on the programme were performed at the first festival in 1945, Beethoven's Leonora Overture and Elgar's Enigma Variations. (2/7) Both Panufnik's father and daughter feature on the Brodsky Quartet's programme, with music by Schubert and Brahms (5/7)

Another centenarian is celebrated in Bruno Procopio and Jennifer Morches recital at Owlpen Manor which includes CPE Bach's sonatas for piccolo cello and continuo (7/7)

The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra return with conductor Maxime Tortelier to perform Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez with Milos Karadaglic and a new work by Tony Banks (from Genesis), plus repertoire to be voted on by the audience ! (5/7)

The New London Chamber Ensemble with guests perform Mozart's Gran Partita alongside Philip Cashian's Dectet: Settala's Machine (3/7). The Fidelio Trio give an all contemporary programme with music by Graham Fitkin, Michael Zev Gordon, Tom Stewart, Piers Hellawell, Arlene Sierra and Gavin Higgins (5/7). The Okeanos Ensemble, which mixes Western with Japanese instruments will be giving the world premier of Nicola LeFanu's Tokaido Road, inspired by the Hiroshige prints (6/7). Mark Padmore and Huw Watkins give the premiere of Watkins new song cycle along with a selection of lieder (11/7)

Richard Blackford's The Great Animal Orchestra is premiered by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, conductor Martyn Brabbins. (12/7)

BBC New Generation artists feature in a trio of programmes, Louis Schwizgebel (piano), Zhang Zuo (piano), Elena Urioste (violin), Lise Berthaud (viola), Guy Johnston (cello) perform music by Schubert, Brahms and Dvorak (8/7), whilst Apollon Musagete Quartet, Robin Tritschler (tenor) and Louis Schwizgebel perform RVW, Schubert and Szymanowski (8/7), then Apollon Musagete Quartet and Louis Schwizgebel perform Ravel and Bacewicz (10/7)

The Choir of Merton College is joined by the St Cecilia Singers and the Oriel Singers for a performance of Durufle's Requiem, alongside music by Tallis, Victoria, Palestrina, Parsons, Judith Weir, Hanna Kendall, Kerry Andrew, Dobrinka Tabakova and John Tavener, with Ben Nicholas conducting plus Esther Brazil (mezzo-soprano), Nicholas Morton (baritone), Guy Johnston (cello) and Carleton Etherington (organ) at Gloucester Cathedral (8/7). The BBC Singers and the Hilliard Ensemble are performing Part and Tavener, conducted by David Hill at Tewkesbury Abby (9/7). The Cevaleri Quartet  with Celan Quartet and Quatuor Hermes perform a tribute to John Tavener including his Towards Silence in Gloucester Cathedral (11/7)

Further information and tickets (public booking opens 31 March) from the Cheltenham Festivals website.

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