The full programme of concerts, talks, exhibitions and films has been announced for the 69th Cheltenham Music Festival. The programme features a special focus on family friendly concerts courtesy of Guest Director James Mayhew, outstanding orchestral performances in Cheltenham Town Hall, and Cheltenham’s unique mix of emerging talent and established classical superstars in stunning venues throughout the town and beyond.
Featuring a 50th anniversary celebration from a cappella sensations The Swingle Singers, a night of film music with Mark Kermode and the CBSO, 15 premieres of new works, and some of the world’s finest musicians including Nicola Benedetti, Felicity Lott, Boris Giltburg, Lawrence Power, The Tallis Scholars, Toby Spence, the Belcea Quartet and Imogen Cooper – Cheltenham promises twelve spectacular days of sublime summer music this July.
In a brand new addition for 2013, the Festival is offering concert-goers under 30 years old a very special ticket price of just £5.
With £5 tickets available for all concerts, the new scheme offers a unique chance to explore the best of the Festival, and discover first-hand the magic of hearing some of the world’s favourite classical pieces performed live.
The Festival’s commitment to spreading the joy of live classical music to new audiences is also reflected in a special slice of musical magic designed for even the youngest of budding maestros. Children’s author and illustrator James Mayhew – author of many popular Katie and Ella Bella Ballerina books – has joined forces with Festival Director Meurig Bowen to curate a series of fun and surprising concerts which offer the perfect introduction to classical concerts.
In a special showcase production in Tewkesbury Abbey, over 200 local school children will join outstanding professional musicians to perform in Britten’s mini-opera Noye’s Fludde. Featuring a set and costumes designed by James Mayhew himself, it promises to be a stunning, family friendly, festival highlight. James will also feature in a Young Person’s Painted Guide to the Orchestra as he describes and illustrates the special characters of flutes, violins, trumpets, drums and more – painted live on stage and projected onto the big screen – as Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra provide the accompaniment of Britten’s score.
James Mayhew can’t wait to head to Cheltenham in July:
“Music has always told me stories, even as a child. I’m not a musician (alas), but music has always brought such joy and passion into my world.
I’m delighted to have been invited back to Cheltenham, and this time in the extraordinary position of Guest Director of the Cheltenham Music Festival’s children’s events. What an honour!”