A Celebration of Musical America.

Following the tartan hue of 2006, the 2007 Cheltenham Music Festival will be decked in the stars and stripes as the sounds of America come to Cheltenham.

We begin with the BBC Concert Orchestra and Rumon Gamba playing favourites from Copland, Bernstein and Barber. Joined by internationally acclaimed soloists ChloÎ Hanslip and Nancy Gustafson, this sparkling opening night concert will set the tone for a sensational Festival line-up.

We celebrate the sheer diversity of American music with a programme of contrasts. Musical theatre takes centre stage at our Festival cabaret with Kim Criswell and Wayne Marshall performing Broadway hits whilst Psappha give premieres by one of the most important emerging American composers, Steven Mackey. We celebrate composer John Adamsí 60th birthday with performances of his Chamber Symphony and clarinet concerto Gnarly Buttons with Michael Collins.

The Brno Philharmonic Orchestra visit Cheltenham for the first time, giving a pair of concerts. The first welcomes back Wayne Marshall as conductor and soloist in a glittering programme of Gershwin and the Festival closes to the sounds of Dvo¯·kís New World Symphony conducted by the orchestraís Principal Conductor, Petr Altrichter.

Cheltenham Music Festival has become synonymous with exceptional performances by high quality artists, and this yearís line-up will not disappoint. Performers include pianist Marc-AndrÈ Hamelin in a heady programme of Alkan and Ives and Festival favourite Paul Lewis completes his acclaimed Beethoven cycle. Singers Felicity Lott, Willard White, Jonathan Lemalu and Susan Gritton will delight and with chamber music recitals from the Belcea Quartet, Florestan Trio, Natalie Clein and Kathryn Stott, we have a star-spangled line-up.

International rising stars are featured in a showcase of four concerts from BBC Radio 3ís New Generation Artists.

Looking to the future and continuing its illustrious reputation for commissions and premieres, the Festival features new work from Dominick Argento, Tunde Jegede, Steven Mackey and Peter Maxwell Davies. Tarik OíRegan will be ëComposing-in-Residenceí during the first week of the Festival and the Festival Academy will present our newest commission hot off the press.

The Festival also features early music from Liz Kenny, presenting The Masque of Moments with Concordia, James Gilchrist and Sophie Daneman. The enchanting Christina Pluhar and LíArpeggiata appear with the Kingís Singers in Los Impossibles.

We go out and about into the community in Surround Sound with a series of refreshingly fun musical events, starting with our fabulous Opening Parade featuring carnival band Tongues of Fire and local schools. Other highlights include a community performance by the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, a host of local musicians and dance groups, live music in Imperial Gardens and an opportunity to sing in the all new Festival Community Choir and Martyn Brabbins will lead local orchestras in a Dvor·k-athon.

This year sees the exciting introduction of our new Sounds Fun! series with events designed for children of every age from Clap and Sing! to exotic storytelling, music and puppetry in The Singing Storycloth and the pocket musical, Roald Dahlís: Three Little Pigs.

With such a wealth of music from across the Atlantic and great artists from all over the globe, who could ask for anything more?

 

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