Cheltenham gears up to celebrate Gustav Holst's 150th birthday

Cheltenham is hosting a series of events to celebrate the 150th birthday of Gustav Holst, including a free community event at Imperial Gardens on the composer's birthday this September 2024.

By Chloe Gorman  |  Published
Cheltenham is marking Gustav Holst's 150th birthday with a series of events taking place throughout 2024.

Cheltenham is gearing up to celebrate the 150th birthday of famous composer, Gustav Holst, with a series of events taking place across the town to mark the occasion. 

Centred around the Holst Victorian House on Clarence Road, where Holst was born, residents and visitors are invited to discover his fascinating legacy, with exhibition 'Gustav Holst and The Three Choirs Festival' documenting his important relationship with the event and the impact it had on his musical career until Saturday 1 June 2024; followed by new exhibition 'In a Parisian Salon: Louise Dyer, Holst Patron' from Saturday 8 June 2024, exploring the pair's friendship and the influence Dyer's patronage had on Holst's music and creativity. 

Alongside the exhibitions, visitors can explore Holst's childhood home and take part in family-friendly activities at the museum, too. 

Cheltenham Music Festival is celebrating the important milestone with two special events as part of its programme, including a performance of 'The Hymn of Jesus' at Gloucester Cathedral on Friday 12 July 2024; and 'Holst: In The Footsteps' featuring a special live performance on Holst's own grand piano in the Holst Victorian House, followed by a concert at the church where his father played the organ on Saturday 13 July 2024. 

Cheltenham Silver Band is hosting a Made in Gloucestershire-themed Brass in the Park event at Hatherley Park on Saturday 22 June 2024, opening the show with part of 'A Moorside Suite', which was composed by Holst specifically for brass band. 

Then the celebrations culminate in a free community event at Imperial Gardens on Holst's birthday this Saturday 21 September 2024. 

Holst Victorian House's curator, Laura Kinnear, said: 'We are hugely proud of Holst’s national and international cultural impact, and this is a great opportunity to celebrate the life, work and legacy of one of Cheltenham’s most famous sons.'

Head of place marketing and inward investment at Cheltenham Borough Council, Helen Mole, added: 'Cheltenham is rightly proud of Holst and what he achieved during his life, and we are looking forward to celebrating that legacy this year for the 150th anniversary of his birth. There are some fantastic events and activities already planned and I’d encourage everyone to get involved in some way. We’d love to hear ideas from the community about how they’d like to celebrate this occasion.'

The events are funded by a £30,000 Arts Council England National Lottery Project grant and donations from The Summerfield Charitable Trust, The Peter Stormonth Darling Charitable Trust, The Trafford Fund and The Patricia Routledge Foundation. Cheltenham Borough Council is also looking for businesses to sponsor events to enhance the programme of activities. 

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