Tuesday 28 March 2017

Looking ahead: Cheltenham Music Festival

Cheltenham Music Festival
This year's Cheltenham Music Festival, which runs from 1 to 16 July 2017, is artistic director Meurig Bowen's 10th anniversary season, so to mark it he has come up with a fine mix of stellar performances and interesting new music. The festival will include more than 20 premieres including Ryan Wigglesworth's Clocks from A Winter's Tale which will be premiered by the Halle, conductor Jonathan Heyward. John Tomlinson will be giving the first performance of John Casken's Kokoschka's Doll which is inspired by the love affair between Mahler's widow Alma, and the painter Oskar Kokoschka. Other premieres include David Matthews' Haydn Variations which is premiered by Piano4Hands, whilst pianist William Howard's Love Songs includes premieres by nine different composers. 

The festival's closing event features New English Ballet Theatre performing at Frank Matcham's Everyman Theatre with new choreography to Max Richter's Four Seasons Recomposed.

Tewkesbury Abbey is the venue for Tenebrae's performance of Joby Talbot's Path of Miracles, his recent work based on the Pilgrimage to Santiago, whilst Gloucester Cathedral will be playing host to performances of RVW's A Sea Symphony and Holst's Hymn of Jesus with Martyn Brabbins conducting the Cheltenham Festival Chorus, Huddersfield Choral Society and the Salomon Orchestra. And Gloucester Cathedral is the highly evocative setting for the Academy of Ancient Music's performance of Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610, directed by Robert Howarth.

Festival's Composer Academy enables 12 selected young composers to spend a week at the festival, hearing new works and receiving advice from visiting composers. At this year's academy, the participants will be working with Michael Zev Gordon, percussionist Joby Burgess and the Ligeti Quartet. There is also a chance to hear music by graduates from previous academies with premieres of pieces by Daniel Kildane and James Wilson. Wilson is writing a work for Chineke! Orchestra which makes its festival debut on 10 July..

The festival's rush hour recital series is showcasing recent finalists and winners from the BBC Young Musician competition with recitals from Martin James Bartlett, Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Jess Gilliam.

Full details from the festival website.

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