Thousands of music-lovers from across the world will be flocking to Worcester from 22–29 July to attend more than 70 major concerts, workshops and family friendly events being held by this year’s Three Choirs Festival; and tickets are still available, with a local box office opening in Worcester on 17 July, and a new ‘Festival Firsts’ scheme offering festival newbies the chance to snap up free tickets.
The world-famous, eight-day annual festival – which this year celebrates its 302nd anniversary – features major classical concerts in Worcester Cathedral at its heart, plus a wide range of other choral, chamber and organ music, drama, dance and singing workshops, talks and children’s activities at venues across the region.
The wide-ranging festival programme means that county music lovers of all ages will have a chance to enjoy world-class concerts and musical events on their doorstep.
Chief Executive Alexis Paterson explained: “This year’s festival is a feast of musical experiences. On the choral and orchestral side, this year’s eight flagship evening Cathedral concerts – supported by the Philharmonia Orchestra, internationally acclaimed soloists such as Sarah Connolly, Sarah Fox and Roderick Williams, and the 150-strong Festival Chorus – include works both classic and contemporary, such as Mendelssohn’s immense oratorio St Paul and Tippett’s astonishing A Child of Our Time. There is an unmissable chance to hear the wonderful Choir of King’s College Cambridge in Worcester Cathedral on the last day of the festival, and the three cathedral choirs of Worcester, Hereford and Gloucester are performing a superb ‘Hail Bright Cecilia’ afternoon concert in celebration of the patron saint of music. There is a rare opportunity to hear four magnificent Tudor ‘symphonies’ in an afternoon cathedral concert performed by The Cardinall’s Musick ensemble, as well as an afternoon premiere recital by talented mezzo-soprano Kitty Whately, complemented by a talk about that new music by author Alexander McCall Smith and composer Sally Beamish.”
Alexis continued: “Even babies and toddlers can get their first taste of musical fun at our five, special interactive ‘Tiny Tunes’ music workshops at venues including Evesham, Malvern and Pershore, run in conjunction with Elgar School of Music. Elsewhere – among many other events – there’s a concert by award-winning double-bassist Toby Hughes, a chance to participate in a Youth Drama Workshop and a Dance Workshop at the King’s School, a Wayne Marshall organ recital, and a series of ‘Late Night’ music celebrations such as tributes to Dixieland ‘Jass’ from the Sunset Café Stompers and to Scott Joplin from pianist John Lenehan.”
Making the Three Choirs Festival events even more of a feast, concert-goers can enjoy a tented Festival Village on College Green behind Worcester Cathedral, housing a café serving breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a wine bar, cask ales and ciders. Free ‘Players on the Green’ performances will take place twice daily, and daily sung cathedral services are free and open to all. There will also be displays from local craftspeople, an exhibition of artwork from local illustrator John Rowlands-Pritchard and special sponsor activities.
“In all, Worcester will be hosting more than 500 acclaimed performers entertaining 22,000 ticket holders during festival week – coming from every corner of the UK as well as overseas – especially the USA,” added Alexis.“It promises to be a wonderful musical celebration in every way.”
Three ways to get tickets to the Three Choirs Festival
Browse the full festival programme online here.
1. Tickets for all festival events, subject to availability, can be purchased now from the main online Ticket Office or by telephone: 01452 768928 from 10.00am–4.00pm, Monday to Friday.
2. Festival organisers are also opening a dedicated, walk-in Local Festival Box Office in Worcester on Tuesday 17 July, located at 4, College Green (behind the cathedral).
3. In addition, there is a new ‘Festival Firsts’ scheme offering Worcestershire residents who have never been to the Three Choirs Festival before the chance to sample it for free. Alexis Paterson said: “Thanks to the generous donations of our existing audience, we’re able to offer a small number of top price, complimentary tickets to every one of the 40 concerts in the festival programme. As well as attending the concert, participants will be issued with a rehearsal pass, giving them access to rehearsals in Worcester Cathedral during festival week, offering a glimpse behind the scenes of this exciting event.” The ‘Festival Firsts’ scheme operates on a first come first served basis. To apply, call the main Festival Box Office on 01452 768930 between 10.00am and 4.00pm Monday to Friday, or email firstname.lastname@example.org before Friday 21 July. Festival organisers will add you to the database and a member of box office staff will talk to you about the concerts on offer.