Full line-up for Cheltenham Music Festival unveiled
BRACE yourselves. The full line-up for Cheltenham Music Festival has been unveiled and it looks to be another cracker.
This year's event which takes place at a host of venues across Gloucestershire from July 3 to 14, has a programme tailored especially for families.
It also has the usual mix of emerging talent, a smattering of classical superstars, and a liberal dose of entertainment to guarantee you a good day out.
Highlights of the extensive programme include a performance of Beethoven and Tchaikovsky from classic Brit award-winner Nicola Benedetti and her trio and an appearance from film critic Mark Kermode.
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He will join the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra for a celebratory night of music written for the cinema.
Cappella legends The Swingle Singers will also return to Cheltenham as part of the festival with a 50th anniversary concert.
Other musicians who will perform during the musical extravaganza include Imogen Cooper, Lawrence Power and Felicity Lott.
Those in Tewkesbury can soak up the atmosphere with a 40th anniversary concert by The Tallis Scholars at Tewkesbury Abbey and a special production of Britten's Noye's Fludde.
The event's commitment to spreading live classical music to new audiences is also reflected in a special slice of musical magic designed for even the youngest of budding maestros.
Children's author and illustrator James Mayhew – author of many popular Katie and Ella Bella Ballerina books – has joined forces with festival director Meurig Bowen to curate a series of fun and surprising concerts which offer the perfect introduction to classical concerts.
"Music has always told me stories, even as a child," James said. I'm not a musician (alas), but music has always brought such joy and passion into my world.
"I'm delighted to have been invited back to Cheltenham, and this time in the extraordinary position of Guest Director of the Cheltenham Music Festival's children's events. What an honour."
James will also feature in a Young Person's Painted Guide to the Orchestra as he describes and illustrates the special characters of flutes, violins, trumpets, drums and more – painted live on stage and projected on to the big screen – as Chetham's Symphony Orchestra provides the accompaniment of Britten's score.
In a brand new addition for 2013, the festival is offering concert-goers under 30 a very special ticket price of just £5.
Festival director Meurig Bowen, said: "Having become a father myself in the last few years, the importance of developing a love for classical music in young people has become even more important to me."
Visit cheltenhamfestivals.com to see the full festival line-up. Members' priority booking from March 25 and public booking from April 2. Call 08448 808094.