Chiltern Arts Unveils Dynamic 2024 Festival: A Journey Through Human Stories with Music, Literature, and Film, Plus Groundbreaking Outreach Initiative for Youth Concert Experiences

Press Release: March 14, 2024

  • Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pintrest
  • LinkedIn
  • Mail
Chiltern Arts Unveils Dynamic 2024 Festival: A Journey Through Human Stories with Music, Literature, and Film, Plus Groundbreaking Outreach Initiative for Youth Concert Experiences
CHILTERN HILLS, UK. 14th March, 2023 – Chiltern Arts is thrilled to announce the theme, ‘Human Stories’ for its highly anticipated 2024 festival. From the 10th to the 17th of May, attendees will immerse themselves in a diverse array of exceptional musical performances, enthralling poetry readings, and engaging literature sessions. Musicians of the highest calibre, including The Gesualdo Six, I Fagiolini, violinist Fenella Humphreys, and the Carducci String Quartet, will take centre stage alongside literary stars of today Roger McGough and James Runcie. This year’s festival promises to captivate audiences of all ages, with a special focus on engaging young minds aged 9 to 14 through our innovative outreach initiative, ListenUp & ListenIn: inspiring a new generation of audiences.
 
ListenUp & ListenIn integrates with the diverse festival programme and embodies the values and beliefs upon which the charity was founded: that providing context for music, and presenting it in a way that assumes no prior knowledge of concert etiquette or the music itself, is the best way today to reach a broad and diverse audience. Supporters have the opportunity to help grow the scheme by ‘Sponsoring a Seat‘ to help Chiltern Arts reach more children.
 
Founder and Creative Director Naomi Taylor says: “We’re so excited to be in the pilot phase of this project, taking steps to nurture a love of culture in young people that is so essential for a resilient cultural sector. I always try to plan thoughtful programmes with human experience at their heart — programmes that are designed to spark curiosity and inspire creativity. I hope that integrating literature into our events, and developing enjoyable and interesting online resources will offer new perspectives, both for our new young audiences, and our existing audiences.”
 
Taking an exciting new approach to scheduling which differs from previous years, Chiltern Arts will spend two full days in Henely-on-Thames, followed by two days in Princes Risborough and surrounding villages. The Festival’s final flourish takes place in Hughenden and Marlow later in the week. The immersive opportunity of spending two full days in a single location offers a new kind of experience with Chiltern Arts — and the new ‘Festival Passes’ for each of these locations recognise that, offering 20% off tickets by purchasing a Henley or Risborough Pass. 
 
In Henley, the Festival opens on Friday 10th May with the most British of experiences: Afternoon Tea aboard Hobbs of Henley’s flagship vessel, The New Orleans, with star poet and presenter Roger McGough for company. In the evening, join three outstanding chamber musicians (Huw Wiggin, Noriko Ogawa and Oliver Wass) in an invigorating and eclectic programme for saxophone, piano and harp featuring music from Bach to Gershwin and poetry from Sara Teasdale to Pádraig Ó Tuama.
 
Saturday 11th May is packed full of musical treats: Mozart and Haydn String Quartets with the Brompton Quartet in the morning; the first of three remarkable young ensembles, Natrio Trumpet Trio, in the afternoon; and The Gesualdo Six with a programme of French music in the evening. This concert includes a performance of Fauré’s stunning Requiem, performed in partnership with the specially-formed Chiltern Arts Festival Chorus, directed by the Gesualdo Six’s founder and director, Owain Park. The Festival Chorus is open for applications until March 31st: register today to be part of this fabulous event.
 
Moving on Sunday 12th May to Princes Risborough, start your journey in the picturesque village of Bledlow with some French Fables from another young ensemble as this theorbo and viola da gamba duo whisk you across the channel in the idyllic setting of the 12th Century Holy Trinity Church. A film screening telling the life of Fanny Mendelssohn, the famous Felix’s sister, and featuring piano superstar Isata Kanneh-Mason is next on the billing — and you can round the day off with the winning combination of violinist Fenella Humphreys and novelist James Runcie as they take a deep-dive into Bach’s world with a combination of music and readings, drawing on Runcie’s latest novel, The Great Passion
 
On the morning of Monday 13th May there’s an opportunity to stretch your legs, explore the countryside and connect with nature through poetry on a guided 3-mile walk starting at Whiteleaf Cross. 
 
The afternoon takes you to Russia — with a talk from BBC broadcaster Stephen Johnson on the great Dimitri Shostakovich, and an evening concert that winds the composer’s letters around his powerful string quartets. This concert follows in the footsteps last year’s heart-wrenching Beethoven Letters programme and the Carducci Quartet return with Game of Thrones and Endeavour star Anton Lesser to introduce you to Shostakovich in the same way. 
 
Later in the week, come to Hughenden on Thursday 16th May for poetry and spoken word with poet and spoken word artist Cathi Rae, followed by the last of the three young ensembles, the quite remarkable Alinde Wind Quintet, travelling all the way from Prague to celebrate The Year of Czech Music here in the Chilterns. And finally, the finale to this feast of music and literature takes place in Marlow on Friday 17th May — with the award-winning group, I Fagiolini, bringing an array of 17th Century Italian choral masterpieces to All Saints’ Church… including Monteverdi masterpieces and a performance of Orazio Benevoli’s Mass for Four Choirs.
 
This festival is not one to miss… find out more and book your tickets at chilternarts.com 

  • Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pintrest
  • LinkedIn
  • Mail