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Tour Director
Practical Information

  • Hereford’s beautiful cathedral resounds with an array of music, from Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra to Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius featuring Dame Sarah Connolly

  • Enjoy a performance of Finzi’s timeless cantata Dies Natalis featuring soprano Elizabeth Watts

  • Visit Elgar’s birthplace at Lower Broadheath in the Malvern Hills and the Mappa Mundi exhibition at Hereford Cathedral

"All round excellent tour. I was very pleased by all aspects"

- ACE customer on a 2021 Worcester Three Choirs Festival

For over 300 years the cathedral cities of Hereford, Gloucester and Worcester have taken turns to host a renowned annual music celebration. In 2022 the Three Choirs Festival will take place in Hereford, where we will experience a programme of concerts in the wonderful surroundings of its cathedral. The longest-running non-competitive classical musical festival in the world, the Three Choirs Festival features word-renowned solo artists, as well as its own Festival Chorus and the Philharmonia Orchestra.


The 2022 festival is based around the theme of ‘re-imaginings’, echoing its revival in Hereford 75 years ago after a gap of seven years during the course of the Second World War. In 1946, audiences enjoyed many concerts that had originally been programmed for the festival in 1939, but which had been cancelled owing to the outbreak of war.


Finzi’s Dies Natalis was due to premiere in 1939, and we look forward to hearing this engrossing cantata performed on our tour: it will be, in the words of the festival’s Artistic Director Geraint Bowen, “a rare opportunity to hear this work as originally planned”, featuring award-winning soprano and former BBC3 New Generation Artists Elizabeth Watts.


Further musical highlights will include a performance of Bach and Webern’s Ricercar, presented alongside Richard Strauss’s Metamorphosen and Richard Blackford’s Pietà – the latter an acclaimed interpretation of the medieval poem Stabat Mater, which won the Ivor Novello Composer Award in 2020 for the Choral Category. Mezzo soprano Jess Dandy, baritone Roderick Williams and saxophonist Amy Dickson will be our soloists. This will be contrasted later in the tour with a performance of Poulenc’s Stabat Mater, composed in 1950 and featuring Elizabeth Watts alongside choir and orchestra.


Our tour will also take in a premiere by the British and Australian composer Luke Styles, whose work has been performed at Glyndebourne and Covent Garden. Styles’s new piece is a special commission for the Three Choirs Festival Youth Choir and contralto Hilary Summers. Our tour builds towards the festival’s closing concert – Elgar’s magnificent The Dream of Gerontius, featuring outstanding soloists Dame Sarah Connolly, Nicky Spence and Neal Davies.


We plan to include two main daytime performances alongside the evening concerts: a performance of Dvořák’s ‘American’ String Quartet with the Piatti Quartet, and a wonderful afternoon concert celebrating English song with tenor Stuart Jackson.


Exploring the city and its environs, we will make a dedicated visit to the cathedral – built in the Gothic style from the 11th century – to view the medieval Mappa Mundi, as well as making an excursion into the Malvern Hills will feature a visit to The Firs, Elgar’s birthplace in Lower Broadheath. This delightful countryside cottage contains artefacts and photographs narrating the composer’s life.


We stay throughout at the three-star Three Counties Hotel near Hereford.


This tour will be led by Richard Wigmore, MA, AGSM. Richard is a writer, broadcaster, lecturer and former professional singer. He contributes to Gramophone and BBC Music Magazine, and frequently appears on BBC Radio 3’s Record Review.

Tour Code
Places are limited.
Please contact the office
for more details.

Included: Accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, performances as described, breakfast, dinner with water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities.

Not Included: Travel insurance, double room for single use supplement £60.

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