Three Choirs Festival announces its 2023 programme

Returning to Gloucester this July 2023, the world's longest-running classical music festival is bringing three of the UK's most prestigious orchestras and a host of talented musicians to the county.

By Chloe Gorman  |  Published
With a celebration of Ralph Vaughan-Williams, three of the UK's most prestigious orchestras and a host of incredible artists performing, this year's Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester promises to be an unmissable event.

Three Choirs Festival has just announced its full programme for 2023, with the long-standing music festival returning to Gloucester from Saturday 22 to Saturday 29 July 2023. 

This year brings three of the UK's most prestigious orchestras to Gloucester, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the Philharmonia Orchestra all performing during the week-long event.

The 2023 festival marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Gloucestershire composer, Ralph Vaughan Williams, with a variety of his much-loved and rarely heard works including 'The Pilgrim's Progress', 'The Lark Ascending' and ‘Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis', with these performances forming the final part of the year-long, national RVW150 celebration. 

The British Youth Opera is attending the event for the first time in 2023, with the ORA singers; the Corelli Orchestra; award-winning local brass ensemble Flowers Band; the Fidelio Trio; the Linarol Consort; folk group Coracle; and young organists from the Royal College of Organists, including François Cloete, also on the line-up. 

Critically acclaimed baritone, Roderick Williams, returns to perform with both the Philharmonia Orchestra and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales; James Gilchrist brings his world-famous performance as part of Bach's St John Passion to the event; Claire Hammond introduces audiences to her piano pioneers; and Mahan Esfahani and Carolyn Sampson perform works from Bach's Anna Magdalena notebook. 

Music fans can also enjoy much-loved classical pieces from composers including Beethoven, Elgar, Ravel and Montgeroult, alongside premieres from Nilufar Habibian, Liz Lane, Joseph Phibbs, Randall Svane and Jennifer Watson, as well as a brand-new piece commissioned especially for the Three Choirs Festival Chorus by Eleanor Alberga.

Alongside the Three Choirs Festival Chorus, comprised of singers from Gloucester, Hereford and Worcester, there's a brand-new choir for 2023 - the Three Choirs Festival Voices - created to be as inclusive as possible and give talented singers a rare chance to perform at the well-respected event.

Ideal for busy young professionals, there is a series of late-night concerts taking place that give audiences a chance to experience an eclectic mix of music in atmospheric settings later in the evening, to fit around work. 

There are several family events taking place, where children can get their first experience of classical music; enjoy wonderful children's literature set to music; and get hands-on with instruments. 

Then to top it all off, there's also the Festival Village outside Gloucester Cathedral all week long, providing visitors a chance to step inside the cathedral to see artists rehearsing for free; take in live music from local acts on the bandstand; tuck into street food; browse an interesting exhibition and shop for unique items from the Guilds of Craftsmen from Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire; and soak up the lively atmosphere, whether you're attending a concert or not. 

Three Choirs Festival takes place in Gloucester from Saturday 22 to Saturday 29 July 2023. 

For more information, see Three Choirs Festival

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