Now one of the biggest arts festivals in the South of England, the Festival of Chichester celebrates music, literature, talks, art exhibitions, theatre, walks, film and more.
It’s a collaborative event run by the community for the community and a wider audience.
Highlights include internationally acclaimed author Louis de Bernières, the Hanover Band, star violinist Harriet MacKenzie with Celoniatus Ensemble in Chichester Cathedral, film/TV/stage star Dame Patricia Routledge, jazz stars Alan Barnes, Julian Stringle and John Law, Ensemble Reza, Oculi Ensemble, a major Ivon Hitchens art exhibition, authors Victoria Hislop, Kate Mosse and Sam Meekings, folk luminaries Pete Coe and Mary Ann Kennedy, award-winning poet Sean O’Brien, the Eduardo Niebla Experience and Russian maestro Victor Ryabchikov.
Chichester is all set for an exciting summer celebration of the arts with the launch of the award-winning Festival of Chichester, which is set to build on the runaway success of its first six seasons. The festival, now one of the largest in the south, combines the best of local talent with the lustre of some fantastic world class names.
High-profile names lined up for the sixth festival include: star violinist Harriet MacKenzie and the Celoniatus Ensemble with Eight Seasons and a Blackbird, combining Vivaldi’s popular Four Seasons with the heat of Piazolla’s Argentinian tango in Chichester Cathedral; flamenco jazz with Eduardo Niebla; one of the UK’s finest ensembles the Hanover Band with Mozart’s Horn Quintet for a lunchtime concert in St John’s Chapel; acclaimed author and poet Louis de Bernières (Captain Corelli’s Mandolin) performing his evocative Songs; folk luminaries Pete Coe and Mary Ann Kennedy; the vibrant Greek music band Plastikes Karekles; film/TV/stage star Dame Patricia Routledge in Poetry and Music at the Cathedral; acclaimed author Victoria Hislop in conversation with Kate Mosse, discussing her new novel Those Who Are Loved; the Poetry & Jazz Café with Sean O’Brien and Julian Stringle; top class jazz with Alan Barnes and Buce Parry leading a stellar Sextet; open air Pergola Theatre at West Dean Gardens in Twelfth Night; and an International Music lunchtime series with celebrated performers pianist Alessandra Pompili from Italy and clarinettist Einar Johannesson performing works on an Italian theme, and Russian maestro Victor Ryabchikov in Chichester Cathedral.
Major exhibitions include a wonderful Ivon Hitchens show at Pallant House Gallery; Catherine Barnes at the Oxmarket; Frances Knight at the Little Gallery; sculpture by Vincent Gray at Lavant; and a visit to Cass Sculpture Foundation at Goodwood. For lovers of rock music, there is a fantastic series of tribute concerts, bringing alive the music of George Harrison, Queen, the Stones, the Eagles, Pink Floyd, Steely Dan and the Beatles.
The festival opens on June 15th with Chichester City Band celebrating Summer Delights at St Paul’s Church and closes a month later over a weekend featuring award-winning folk star Mary Ann Kennedy in an open air concert and picnic at Halnaker, the Chichester Symphony Orchestra at St Paul’s Church with rising star Catherine Lawlor performing Brahms’ violin concerto, and, at St Pancras Church, the brilliant Oculi Ensemble previewing their Mozart and Brahms programme before performing at one of the world’s most prestigious venues, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
“In between there’s a wonderful diversity of events, with something for everyone,” says festival co-ordinator Barry Smith. “It’s a thrilling line-up of top-quality events. With music, plays, talks, walks, food and drink, cinema, open days and exhibitions, everyone will find plenty to enjoy in the fantastic range on offer.” With the announcement of the exciting programme of events in store, the Chichester summer festival seems intent on underlining its credentials as the most vibrant arts festival in the south.