Three Choirs Festival 2017 Preview

Worcester, 22-29 July 2017

In 2017, the world-famous Three Choirs Festival takes place right here in our home city of Worcester – with Worcester Festival Choral Society a proud participant in the mighty Festival Chorus across a range of concerts.

The Three Choirs Festival is a week-long programme of choral and orchestral concerts, cathedral services, music recitals, masterclasses, talks, theatre, exhibitions and walks, rota

ting each summer between the beautiful English cathedral cities of Worcester, Hereford and Gloucester. The Festival attracts thousands of classical music lovers each year, from across the UK and around the world.

It is the oldest non-competitive classical music festival in the world, celebrating its 300th anniversary in 2015. At the heart of the festival are the large-scale evening concerts featuring the Three Choirs Festival Chorus, internationally acclaimed solo artists and the Philharmonia Orchestra, which has been resident at the festival since 2012.

Concert programmes combine established favourites of the British classical choral tradition with works drawn from a broader, more international musical canvas. Some are conducted by thdirectors of music of the three cathedrals, who also undertake the role of artistic director of their city’s festival, and some by guest conductors from the UK and abroad.

Download the introductory Three Choirs Festival 2017 preview leaflet HERE

The full Three Choirs Festival 2017 programme will be live on the Three Choirs website at noon on the 31st March.

Tickets go on sale to members in early April, and the general public on 24th April.


A Century of Inspiration: The Musical Vision for Three Choirs Festival 2017

Peter Nardone - Director of Music at Worcester Cathedral and Worcester Festival Choral Society, and Artistic Director of the 2017 Three Choirs Festival – reveals his vision for the Worcester event: 

"Every summer, the singers of Hereford, Gloucester and Worcester gather to celebrate the finest choral music. This year, Worcester plays host with its splendid mediaeval cathedral, and other inspiring venues throughout the county. There are many ways for enthusiastic singers of all ages and abilities to take part: in the coming months two Come and Sing events feature works in the festival programme, while those aged 9–13 can sign up for our ‘Sing Up, Sing Out’ children’s choir. Talented young singers (14–25) have the opportunity to join our Youth Choir for a performance of Jonathan Dove’s sparkling There Was a Child and Faure’s beautiful Requiem, and on the last day of the festival, singers of all ages and abilities can take part in a Family Come and Sing – just one of a host of workshops and Tiny Tunes sessions to entertain and inspire the very youngest in our community.

This year, the cathedral performances will take place under the tower of the cathedral, improving the listening experience for the audience. This repositioning of the concert platform also allows us to marry up the orchestra with the cathedral organ, enabling me to programme both the Poulenc Organ Concerto and Saint-Saens Organ Symphony as well as harnessing the full power of Janaček’s towering and triumphant Glagolitic Mass.

My starting point in programming the 2017 festival was the historical tension between war-torn Europe and the contrasting atmosphere in the United States in 1917. As America entered the First World War, spirits ran high and the arts flourished; the first commercial recording of the Dixieland ‘Jass’ Band was released and the vibrant ragtime of Scott Joplin (who died that year) would have been heard up and down the country while the Bolshevik uprising in Russia was a cataclysmic event to which Shostakovich responded by dedicating his twelfth symphony ‘The Year 1917’ to the memory of Lenin. I look forward to welcoming a host of visiting artists including the Choir of King’s College Cambridge, the Cardinall’s Musick, the Sacconi Quartet and many more. I hope you enjoy discovering what the festival has to offer."

Peter Nardone, Artistic Director



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