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Festival: Cheltenham Music Festival

Cheltenham Music Festival

June 28th – 29th and July 3rd – 12th, 2020

Cheltenham Music Festival offers two weeks of sublime and surprising musical adventures. The Festival takes place in first-class venues in the beautiful Regency town of Cheltenham and across the Cotswolds in cathedrals, abbeys and churches. 

Expect orchestral concerts by world-class orchestras and soloists in the fine acoustic of Cheltenham Town Hall, superb chamber music concerts in the Pittville Pump Rooms set in beautiful parkland and choral concerts in the glorious spaces of Gloucester Cathedral and Tewkesbury Abbey. Also in the mix are film, dance, drama, early music and world music in a range of venues in Cheltenham and beyond such as Cheltenham Ladies’ College Parabola Arts Centre; Everyman Theatre; Cheltenham College and country houses tucked away in idyllic corners of the Cotswolds.

Impressive past performers have included Nicola Benedetti, with whom the festival has had a long association, the Hallé, the CBSO, Bryn Terfel, Steven Isserlis, Alison Balsom, Milos and Evelyn Glennie. The Festival is proud to offer a platform for emerging performers, including BBC New Generation Artists, BBC Young Musician winners and local young musicians from Gloucestershire.

With a commitment to make classical music accessible to all, the Festival has recently appointed the musical innovator, conductor and arranger Jules Buckley as Guest Curator. One of the most in-demand conductors and arrangers of contemporary orchestral projects, Buckley has curated several BBC Late Night Proms and is Creative Artist in Association with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

There are opportunities for over 3000 local school children to make, enjoy and appreciate music as well as concerts specially programmed for families. The annual Classical Mixtape presents a wonderfully varied concert in an informal, accessible way, and there is an opening weekend of free music outdoors for all to enjoy in the centre of Cheltenham.

The inaugural festival saw Benjamin Britten conducting the first performances of his Interludes and Dances from Peter Grimes and a strong focus on British contemporary music continues to this day.   The Festival’s Composer Academy, gives early-career composers the chance to have their compositions workshopped, performed and recorded. And Composium brings some of the most influential people from the classical music industry together for discussion and debate.

Cheltenham’s reputation as a holiday resort dates back to the discovery of mineral springs in 1716.  The town is said to be the most complete Regency town in England, with many of the buildings being listed. 

Famous for its racecourse, Cheltenham is the home of jump racing and hosts the Cheltenham Festival and Gold Cup every March, which sees the town packed with race goers.  Known as The Festival Town with festivals year round celebrating music, science, jazz, literature, food and drink.

It is popular for shopping and has a great offering of food, drink, arts, culture and nightlife, making it an all-round destination.

For full information, visit the Cheltenham Music Festival website.

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