Tuesday 21 May 2024

Jack Bazalgette of 'through the noise' announced as next artistic director of Cheltenham Music Festival

Jack Bazalgette (Photo: Ehimetalor Unuabona)
Jack Bazalgette (Photo: Ehimetalor Unuabona)

Since 2020, through the noise has programmed more than 130 classical music concerts in non-traditional venues using an innovative crowd-funding model to widen audience appeal [see my review of their recent noise night at Leeds Lieder Festival]. Now through the noise co-founder and director Jack Bazalgette has been announced as the new artistic director of the Cheltenham Music Festival. 

Bazalgette will be artistic director from 2025, and he will be supported by the festival’s producer, Tamsyn Hamilton, who will remain in post following her work on implementing the festival’s 2024 programme. 2025 sees the festival celebrating its 80th anniversary, and whilst this year sees the festival celebrating the 150th anniversary of Cheltenham native, Gustav Holst, overall recent festivals have seemed to somewhat lose their focus and purpose, so it will be interesting to see how Bazalgette manages to combine through the noise innovations with a large scale traditional music festival. In a recent interview with International Arts Manager, Bazalgette explained, "We’re on a mission to show that with the right presentation classical music can be a viable part of the mainstream music scene without compromising the quality of the music".

And about his recent Cheltenham appointment he comments: "Cheltenham has an astonishing history of commissioning new works and showcasing the world's most talented musicians. Its year-round work with young people and schools is also crucial to introducing diverse audiences to the joy of classical music. As Cheltenham's  Artistic Director, I will be continuing this work while also seeking to expand its audiences – and our understandings of what live classical music can and should be in the twenty-first century."

Further information from the festival website.

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