Three Choirs Festival

Three Choirs FestivalGloucester Three Choirs Festival

23 – 30 July 2016

From the single ethereal lines of medieval plainchant to the vast forces that assembled for Mahler’s ‘Symphony of a Thousand’, this year’s Three Choirs Festival programme encompassed the spectrum of classical choral music.

We marked the anniversary of the Coronation of nine-year-old Henry III in 2016 in Gloucester Abbey with programmes by Conductus (‘the three medieval tenors’) and vocal consort Stile Antico that included music of the 13th century. Festival commissions included a new War Passion by Philip Lancaster, premiered as part of our on-going commemoration of the First World War. Works by English composers of that era whose music has always been associated with the festival and with Gloucester – Parry, Vaughan Williams, Howells, Finzi and Gurney – featured prominently in concerts and cathedral services.

The Three Choirs Festival Youth Choir performed Rossini’s effervescent Petite Messe Solennelle; Sir Willard White took the title role in Mendelssohn’s Elijah and former Gloucester chorister Edward Gardner conducted the Three Choirs Festival Chorus and resident Philharmonia Orchestra in the mighty Grande Messe des Morts by Berlioz. The Philharmonia premiered an orchestral fantasia by Joseph Phibbs inspired by the work of our festival charity Mindsong.

There was a Family Come and Sing session and instrumental recitals too, with free entry for Under 26s to some, courtesy of the CAVATINA Chamber Music Trust. And we created a Festival Village in the Close with revamped catering featuring hot meals from StarBistro, picnic boxes and a pre-concert champagne bar.

The Three Choirs Festival will return to Gloucester Cathedral, this year, in the Summer of 2019. More information can be found on the Three Choirs Festival website.

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