Sacred music from across the centuries will feature in a three-day festival of concerts and services performed to the very highest standard by three of southern England's renowned cathedral choirs and guest musicians.
The 2013 Southern Cathedrals Festival is coming to Chichester Cathedral from Thursday 18 to Sunday 21 July. This unique Festival will include highlights such as a musical celebration of the centenary of the birth of Benjamin Britten, a jazz club, and the premiere of a new work by composer James MacMillan.
The Southern Cathedrals Festival takes place in July each year and features the Cathedral Choirs of Chichester, Salisbury and Winchester, and guest musicians. The inspirational sound of these three choirs singing together, offers audiences the rare opportunity to experience the combined voices of no less than 42 boy choristers, 38 girl choristers and 24 men.
Each of the three cities hosts the Festival in turn and their respective Cathedral Organists direct each Festival (Sarah Baldock – Chichester; David Halls – Salisbury; Andrew Lumsden – Winchester). Looking forward to the 2013 Festival, Director Sarah Baldock says: ‘There is something for everyone in the 2013 festival – a big orchestral/choir concert suitable for young people, some more traditional cathedral repertoire, an organ concerto, a jazz club, an organ recital with big screen, services led by individual and combined choirs, a concert of portraits with art alongside, a commission by James MacMillan, a massive motet by Scarlatti, plenty of Benjamin Britten and a concert of new pieces written for school children. I hope you can join us for some or all of it!’
Highlights of the 2013 Festival include:
- Celebration of the centenary of the birth of Benjamin Britten with performances of his church music including Rejoice in the Lamb, (Thursday 18 July at 2pm), the Hymn to St Peter, A Hymn to St Columba and A Hymn to the Virgin (Friday 19 July at 7pm) and St Nicolas (Saturday 20 July at 6pm with the Southern Sinfonia).
- Commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the death of Francis Poulenc with recitals in Pallant House Gallery (Friday 19 July at 11.30am and 2.30pm). Baritone David Wilson-Johnson and pianist David Owen Norris perform the song cycle Le travail du peintre and the piano variations Les soirées de Nazelles (with illustrations specially drawn by Guardian cartoonist Martin Rowson).
- Also as part of the Poulenc commemoration, his Organ Concerto (which received its premiere at Chichester Cathedral in 1943, played by Anne Maddocks) is performed by the Southern Sinfonia with Andrew Lumsden (Organist and Master of the Choristers, Winchester Cathedral) on Saturday 20 July at 6pm.
- Premiere of a new work by composer James MacMillan. The choir motet The Offered Christ (commissioned by the Southern Cathedrals Festival for this year’s Festival) will be sung at the Festival Eucharist on Saturday 20 July at 11am.
- James MacMillan will also be present to judge the final of the Pallant Charitable Trust Competition Prize on Saturday 20 July at 2.45pm (in St Paul’s Church, Churchside, Chichester). The Pallant Charitable Trust Prize Competition is a new initiative for the 2013 Southern Cathedrals Festival. Composers were invited to write works suitable for performance by children in schools and junior church choirs. Six shortlisted composers will have their works judged at the Final Concert on Saturday 20 July at 2.45pm by distinguished composer James MacMillan, who will also discuss the works with the finalists. Cash prizes of £1000, £500 and £300 will be awarded (generously provided by the Pallant Charitable Trust who also supported the promotion of the competition).
- Mark Wardell (formerly Assistant Organist, Chichester Cathedral) will give a Celebrity Organ Recital with large screen TV coverage of his playing (Thursday 18 July at 7pm).
Further information about the Festival can be found on www.southerncathedralsfestival.org.uk and www.chichestercathedral.org.uk. Tickets are available to purchase online through both websites, or by telephoning 01243 812595, or from Chichester Cathedral’s Shop, located in the Cathedral Cloisters.
Published 8th July 2013
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