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The Three Choirs Festival at Worcester is still set to go ahead in July

Harriet Clifford

Three Choirs Festival announces programme

11:02, 26th March 2020

While events are being cancelled all over the world, the Three Choirs Festival has announced its full programme, pledging to ‘weather the storm’ and calling on ticket-buyers to book with confidence when tickets go on sale in April.

Due to take place from 25 July to 1 August in and around Worcester, this year’s edition will be the 293rd festival to take place. It centres around the theme of journeying, marking the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s journey from England to the USA in 1620.

Worcester Cathedral’s recently appointed director of music Samuel Hudson artistically directs his first festival this year, which will feature over 80 events and around 1,000 performers if all goes ahead as planned.

With new music playing an important role in the festival, the announced programme features over 70 works from today’s voices. The year’s major commission for chorus and orchestra is Gabriel Jackson’s The World Imagined, while the combined cathedral choirs will perform a new piece by John Rutter, as well as premieres by Roderick Williams, James Francis Brown and Dani Howard.

Acknowledging the current coronavirus crisis, chief executive Alexis Paterson said, ‘From looking at how we can go on sale as planned by offering a reassuring refund policy to bookers affected by the outbreak, to accommodating a delayed start to chorus rehearsals and adding extra handwashing facilities and hygiene measures at the festival itself, we’re doing everything we can to weather this unprecedented storm while keeping the welfare of audiences, performers and staff at the forefront of our minds.

‘This event – thought to be the oldest classical music festival in the world – has survived a few international crises in its 300-plus years, and we’re absolutely committed to sharing the power and joy of making music for as long as we possibly can. I sincerely hope this summer will be a celebration of our communities coming together again after such a challenging time.’

Full details of the programme are available at 3choirs.org and tickets go on sale in April.


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