Three Choirs Festival 2023
© James O'Driscoll
Performance at the Three Choirs Festival 2023
© Michael Whitefoot
Choir at the Three Choirs Festival 2023
© Dale Hodgetts
Enjoy a superb selection of concerts at the 2024 edition of the world’s longest running music festival, from a performance of Charles Villiers Stanford’s The Blue Bird in the 100th anniversary year of the composer’s death, to Elgar’s Biblical oratorio The Kingdom
Hear performances from the Three Choirs Festival Chorus and Youth Choir, in a festival programme which takes its inspiration from the natural world
Absorb the area’s musical history and links with Elgar with a visit to The Firs, the composer’s birthplace
“A really excellent tour… interesting, well researched daily lectures by Russell. Most enjoyable!”
- ACE customer on a previous Worcester Three Choirs tour led by Russell Keable
For over 300 years the cathedral cities of Hereford, Gloucester and Worcester have taken turns to host a renowned annual music celebration. In 2024 the Three Choirs Festival will take place in Worcester, surrounded by the captivating architecture of the city’s cathedral. Built between the 11th and 16th centuries, the cathedral’s structure exemplifies many architectural styles, from Norman to Perpendicular Gothic.
The 2024 Three Choirs Festival takes as its central theme the environment and the ways in which the natural world has inspired composers over the centuries. Celebrating the beauty of the landscape and highlighting the importance of environmental conservation, the programme will feature a selection of inspiring concerts featuring works both old and new.
The festival is a keen advocate of the work of contemporary composers, and our second tour will feature a performance of local composer Ian Venables’ Requiem, alongside Shipping Forecast by Cecilia MacDowall, who is particularly renowned for her choral compositions.
The festival will also mark 100 years since the death of Charles Villiers Stanford –“one of our most celebrated composers of church music” in the words of Artistic Director Samuel Hudson. The Three Choirs Festival Chorus will perform his partsong The Blue Bird and Three Motets alongside Eric Whitacre’s Cloudburst, Bob Chilcott’s The Angry Planet and a new work premiering at the festival by Welsh composer Paul Mealor, whose piece for the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla was the first to be performed in the Welsh language at a coronation.
Other highlights of our second tour will include Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle, and this year’s closing performance of Elgar’s magnificent The Kingdom – continuing the current pattern of featuring his large-scale oratorios at the Three Choirs Festival.
Alongside the festival performances, and making the most of our time in Worcester, we will also explore the area’s musical heritage and connections with Elgar. The picturesque Malvern Hills were a source of inspiration to the composer, and our tour will feature a visit to The Firs, Elgar’s birthplace, containing a museum dedicated to him.
We will stay at the Worcester Whitehouse Hotel, chosen for its ideal location in the heart of the historical city. Simply furnished, the hotel provides a welcoming base for our festival tour.
This tour will be led by Russell Keable, BA, MMus. Russell trained at the universities of Nottingham and London and studied conducting with George Hurst and Norman Del Mar at London’s Royal College of Music. He currently teaches at the University of Surrey and is active as a composer, arranger, lecturer, broadcaster and performer.
Festival Fringe Events
In addition to the four evening festival performances advertised, we hope to include some further daytime festival performances, subject to scheduling and availability. Details and an updated itinerary will be released on the ACE website once the full festival programme has been confirmed in spring 2024.
Included: accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, performances as described, four breakfasts, four dinners with water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities & all taxes.
Not Included: travel insurance, double room for single use supplement £130.