We cast the spotlight on the Thaxted Festival, which will be bringing a host of live events to Essex from 17 June-10 July
This year, Thaxted Festival returns to a four-weekend format with the best in live music, in the glorious acoustics of Thaxted Parish Church. With performances ranging from classical orchestral and chamber music, through jazz, light opera, swing, and a family event, there is something for all tastes and all ages. Ensembles will range from full orchestras and a large choir, through to trios, duos and solo performances.
Classical music is provided by Howard Shelley with London Mozart Players, Armonico Consort, Brodsky Quartet, and a closing piano recital by Leeds International Piano Competition winner Eric Lu. Jazz comes from Claire Martin with the David Newton trio, the Jason Rebello trio, and the Pasadena Roof Orchestra. Anna Lapwood gives a recital on Thaxted Church’s historic Lincoln Organ, while music from Bach to the Beatles is played by guitar wizards The Katona Twins. With a programme of English song tradition from baritone Roderick Williams, Gilbert and Sullivan from Charles Court Opera, movie themes from Redbridge Brass, an afternoon of Sondheim, and a family concert from Festival Patron Zeb Soanes, there is something for everyone.
There is so much to choose from, but a highlight is bound to be Gustav Holst’s hauntingly beautiful The Cloud Messenger on 1 July, performed by the Choir of King’s College London, with the English Chamber Orchestra. Gustav Holst is closely associated with Thaxted, where he lived for a number of years, during which time he composed his Planets Suite.
Education projects are an important part of the festival’s activity. Last year Thaxted Primary School took part in a rehearsal of Carnival of the Animals. This summer, a year group will work towards an exciting session with the Pasadena Roof Orchestra.
As well as music, the festival’s renowned home-made cakes, with tea or coffee, will be available during the intervals, and Friends of Thaxted Church will offer licensed liquid refreshments before each concert and during intervals. With its origins in Gustav Holst’s Whitsuntide Festivals from 1916-18 in Thaxted Church, in its modern form Thaxted Festival has delighted audiences since 1986. Set in the delightful medieval town of Thaxted on summer evenings, the festival offers a warm welcome at all events and the best in music-making. With its relaxed atmosphere, beautiful surroundings, and the superb acoustics of Thaxted’s historic Parish Church, Thaxted Festival provides a timeless musical experience.
Tickets are now on sale online. For those who prefer to drop into the festival office at 10 Watling Street, Thaxted CM6 2PE to book tickets, these will be available to callers on Friday mornings from 9.30am-12.30pm. Tickets are priced from £10 to £32, with a special offer of £10 tickets for those aged 30 and under in any available area.
All events, with full details of artists and their programmes, together with video and audio clips and booking links are on the festival website at thaxtedfestival.co.uk