Curtain up on Gloucester Three Choirs Festival 2016

Timothy Brain and Adrian Partington

Highlights of the Gloucester Three Choirs Festival 2016 were revealed during this year’s Hereford festival by artistic director Adrian Partington and chairman Timothy Brain. The artistic programme will have an emphasis on young performers and hospitality for visitors to the event will be enhanced by the creation of a Festival Village around Gloucester Cathedral.


The festival will take place 23 – 30 July and the Philharmonia Orchestra will again be in residence, performing at the main evening concerts in Gloucester Cathedral alongside the Three Choirs Festival Chorus, the Three Cathedral Choirs and a distinguished line-up of international artists, including singers Willard White and Sarah Connolly, clarinettist Emma Johnson, violinist Jack Liebeck and conductors  Edward Gardner and Simon Halsey as well as Mr Partington and his colleagues from Worcester and Hereford Cathedrals, Peter Nardone and Geraint Bowen.


Repertoire will include Mendelssohn’s Elijah, the Grand Messe des Morts by Berlioz, Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana and Mahler’s Symphony No 8 (the ‘Symphony of a Thousand’). The Three Cathedral Choirs will perform Mozart’s Requiem and a focus on English music will include Elgar’s The Kingdom, works by Gurney, Butterworth and Parry and Vaughan Williams’s Dona nobis pacem, The Lark Ascending and Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis, in addition to commissions from Joseph Phibbs, Philip Lancaster and Neil Cox.


A celebration of youth in the first year of the Three Choirs Festival’s fourth century will embrace performances by ensembles such as the National Youth String Orchestra, Gloucestershire Youth Orchestra and of course our own TCF Youth Choir, by soloists such as the winner of the 2015 Bromsgrove International Young Musician Competition, and by the 29-year-old Finnish conductor Santtu Matias Rouvali, and emerging superstar.  The festival will commemorate the 800th anniversary of the coronation of nine-year-old Henry III in Gloucester Cathedral and establishing more links than ever with local schoolchildren.


Work with Gloucester Three Choirs Festival’s partner charity Mindsong will consider the memories we all cherish and the way past and present collide for those living with dementia.


The artistic programme for the 2016 festival will be enhanced by a new setting. For the first time a Festival Village is to be created around Gloucester Cathedral to provide guests with entertainment, excitement and refreshment, showcasing the best of Gloucestershire including the emerging talent of its young musicians. Meals will be provided in a marquee on the south car park, with food provided by an award-winning chef. Lighter snacks will be offered from street food booths and all ingredients will be locally sourced. There will also be a real ale and wine bar together with a champagne bar in the Cloister Garth serving pre-performance drinks and canapés.

An electronic copy of the festival preview brochure can be downloaded from the front page of the Three Choirs Festival website. To request a hard copy of the brochure please contact the Ticket Office, tel 08456 521 823

PHOTO: Timothy Brain, Chairman (left), and Adrian Partington, Artistic Director of Gloucester Three Choirs Festival c. Sally Corrick Photography