Alison Balsom

Alison Balsom OBE appointed as Cheltenham Music Festival Artistic Director

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Cheltenham Festivals today announced that Alison Balsom OBE has been appointed Artistic Director of Cheltenham Music Festival. With her international reputation as one of classical music’s great ambassadors, Alison Balsom’s appointment reflects Cheltenham Festivals’ continued commitment to excellence and making the arts accessible to new audiences, in particular young people, through its developing education programme.

Alison Balsom has won many major awards including 2013 Gramophone Artist of the Year, three times winner at the Classic BRITs and three times winner at the Echo Klassik Awards. Alongside her work as a trumpet virtuoso, artist-in-residence and lecturer, Alison Balsom is a passionate advocate for the importance of classical music and music in education. She is Patron of several charities including Brass for Africa, giving a voice to disadvantaged children and young people in Africa, through brass music. Her television presenting roles include BBC Young Musician of the Year and Ambassador for the BBC Ten Pieces project and she has appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs.

I am delighted to be joining Cheltenham Music Festival, which has such a strong commitment to bringing classical music to the widest possible audience, and to supporting young talent. I know that the board and management of Cheltenham Festivals share my belief in the importance of good music education, so I am very much looking forward to working alongside them to develop this side of the Festival’s work even further. Most of all, I relish the opportunity to invite the world’s greatest artists and ensembles to the Festival and to lead it joyfully into this next exciting chapter

Alison Balsom

Edward Gillespie, Chair of Cheltenham Music Festival said: ““It is a thrilling prospect for Cheltenham that Alison will succeed Meurig Bowen as Artistic Director. Her musical brilliance and engaging personality will delight the Festival’s many communities and help us to attract even more. I much look forward to this bright new era for the Festival.”

Festivals Director Ian George said: “Cheltenham Music Festival is one of the leading classical music festivals in the country with an illustrious line of Artistic Directors. I look forward to working closely with Alison to ensure Cheltenham continues to lead the way in music education, in our commitment to new music and in our engagement with new audiences.”

Alison Balsom will take up her appointment in early 2018.