This July (23 - 30) sees the return to Hereford of the world's longest running classical and choral music event. The week-long festival rotates annually between the beautiful historic cities of Hereford, Worcester and Gloucester and this year our county is delighted to play host.
It's a chance to hear stunning music from across the world in equally stunning surroundings, with the iconic Hereford Cathedral being one of the key venues. Newcomers, super fans and families are all warmly welcomed to come along to experience classical music in our tiny city, which is also home to acclaimed eateries and independent boutiques as well as within easy access of everything the county has to offer.
To browse the programme and buy tickets, see the Three Choirs Festival events listing for further details.
Photography © Michael Whitefoot
An amazing programme
Hereford may be a small city, but it packs a punch on the classical music scene. With events costing from as little as £10, visitors can take their pick from a varied and creative musical programme. Choose from choral and orchestral concerts, solo and chamber music recitals, talks, cathedral services, theatre, exhibitions, family-friendly activities and walks.
Re-imaginings & rare performances
This year's theme is one of re-imaginings. The programme includes a rare performance of Dvořák’s Requiem; two strikingly different interpretations of the mediaeval poem Stabat mater, by Poulenc and Richard Blackford; and the universal genius of Bach re-imagined by composers as diverse as Elgar, Stravinsky and Webern.
Other highlights include Haydn’s The Creation, performed by the Three Cathedral Choirs and Mahler’s Fourth Symphony, plus a revival of Sir George Dyson's large-scale work Quo vadis.
Three Choirs Festival is an opportunity to hear favourites of the classical choral tradition alongside the best new music of our time.
Musical adventures for families
Children are welcome at all the concerts and there is also a special family events programme which opens up the magic of music. Babies, toddlers and their siblings are invited to Wish You Were Here!, where tunes from around the world will be played by the Lilliput Duo. Meanwhile, ages 5 and over will enjoy events such as Ferdinand The Bull And Other Surprises, Terrific Trios! and Once Upon A Tune. They are all wonderful musical adventures, introducing children to different instruments and sounds, as well as firing their imaginations. Finally, Take A Breath with saxophone player Amy Dickinson (as seen on TV with YolanDa's Band). It's an opportunity to learn the relaxed breathing technique which has helped hundreds of school children deal with stress and anxiety during the pandemic, whilst listening to Amy play.
Festival village & venues
This year also sees the introduction of the Festival Village. Just outside the cathedral and free to enter, it's a space for visitors to relax with delicious food and drinks, shop local from craftspeople and even get involved by performing on the community bandstand. This platform is the perfect place to unite all singing fans, and welcomes performances from individuals or groups at any level, any age.
The Three Choirs Festival is the perfect opportunity to experience Hereford’s 13th-century Cathedral in all its glory. Most events will take place in central Hereford, but visitors who are keen to see more of the county can catch events at other quirky historic venues including Tudor manor house Hellens, in the pretty village of Much Marcle. Whichever events you decide to visit, the Three Choirs Festival promises to be the perfect antidote to the silence and separation we all experienced in the pandemic. After two years of disrupted events, live music will never sound sweeter!