Chipping Campden Music Festival

“The Chipping Campden Music Festival brings worldclass artists – and also young musicians starting their professional journeys – to a wonderful venue. After a long lifetime as a performer, having the chance to be part of the audience and to hear concerts of outstanding quality in such a setting is the purest joy.”

Bernard Haitink

“I only discovered the joys of Chipping Campden late in my performing career but still relished the opportunity to play in the glorious acoustics of St James’ Church. Since retiring from the concert platform I have returned a number of times to lecture at the music festival and can’t think of many places that rival this most picturesque Cotswold town in late spring.”

Alfred Brendel

“The Festival is in my view, and that of all musicians I know, one of the loveliest in the British summer musical calendar. The audience is knowledgeable, attentive and extremely warm and there is always a sense of occasion. A beautiful piano completes a nigh perfect venue , the whole fuelled by the passionate enthusiasm of Charlie Bennett, whose devotion to quality at all costs is only too rare, and to be treasured.”

Imogen Cooper

“The Chipping Campden Music Festival is a jewel in the crown of British music making. Without compromising on either the choice of musicians or their programmes, Charlie Bennett has created one of the ‘hottest tickets’ in classical music”

Julian Lloyd Webber

“There are two main reasons we performers love playing at the Chipping Campden International Music Festival. The first is that so much care and thought has gone into the choice of artist and programme by Charlie Bennett – we all know that he really loves the music as much as we do. The other reason is the wonderfully warm welcome the audience always gives you as you step onto the stage in St James’ Church. It really is a great pleasure to return each time.”

Julius Drake

“I’ve always relished playing at the Chipping Campden Music Festival! The church is stunningly beautiful, with wonderful acoustics, and the audiences are always warm, attentive and knowledgeable. Charlie Bennett has created something to be treasured; a festival full of performers of the highest quality, playing superbly varied and engaging programmes, in a glorious venue situated in one of the prettiest villages imaginable.”

Tasmin Little

Latest News

The 2021 May Festival programme is finalised and we hope we will be able to proceed as normal. You can view the programme at this link here.

Because of the current uncertainty on live events we are amending the dates on which information is made available and will not be sending the brochure out this autumn as we usually do.

By March of 2021 we should know how things are looking for May so the brochure & booking form will not be available until then. Bookings will open on April 1st. The normal Patrons & Friends priority periods will still apply but the whole booking process will be telescoped.

If we cannot run as normal in May (i.e. using the full capacity of the church) we have the following alternative plans in place.

If we can proceed in May but only by observing social distancing with both audience and performers, the advertised programme will be amended to make this possible. The programmes will shortened to a maximum of 70 minutes and there will be no intervals. In some cases, it will simply mean the performers cutting some works out of their programme. With other concerts we will have to completely rethink the repertoire. e.g. It would be impossible to fit all of the Festival Academy Orchestra on stage in a socially distanced way, so we will have tailor the rep to suit a much smaller orchestra.

Social distancing would also involve a very different layout of seating and we envisage that the capacity would be somewhere in the region of 100 or possibly slightly less. In this scenario we would also livestream each concert. We fully appreciate this is not to everyone’s liking but we feel we must offer an alternative for those who cannot be fitted into the church. 

In the event of the Covid-19 crisis making it impossible to proceed at all in May, we would move the entire festival to September 2021 keeping as many of the programmes unchanged as we can. With this option the dates would be Monday September 6th – Saturday 18th with the joint event being on Monday 20th as the Literature festival would run after us on this occasion. We would send out the revised brochure in July with bookings opening on August 1st.

If you are not already on our mailing list you can subscribe here.

Charlie Bennett – Artistic Director

About the Festival
The first Chipping Campden Music Festival was held in 2002, since when it has grown to be widely recognised as one of the UK’s leading festivals, with visitors coming from the Americas, Canada, Australia, & New Zealand, as well as from all over the UK, and mainland Europe. The glorious venue of St James’ church has become a favourite with many of the world’s greatest musicians who all look forward to returning to this most beautiful of all the Cotswold towns.

 The Local Area
As well as our prestigious Music Festival & sister organisation the Chipping Campden Literature Festival, the area offers a wealth of other cultural treasures; the RSC is just down the road, and the wonderful gardens of Hidcote and Kiftsgate are nearby. It really is the perfect setting for a long weekend or a fortnight’s holiday in the Cotswolds. Chipping Campden is also one of the most important homes of the Arts and Crafts movement. Fine accommodation at all prices is available, from luxury hotels, lovely B&Bs, traditional Cotswold pubs, and a large selection of self-catering cottages.

“I love everything about the Chipping Campden Festival! I love the village itself – surely one of the most beautiful in England; I love the church, with its serene atmosphere and beautiful acoustics; I love the way the audience listens with noiseless concentration, to every note one plays; and I love the way we musicians are treated by the administration of the festival, which seems to anticipate our every need, whim or desire. Playing at the festival is one of the highlights of my musical life. Thank you so much to Charlie Bennett and his merry team for all their amazing hard work!”

Steven Isserlis

“The surroundings and atmosphere in Chipping Campden is pure magic. Combining the unique concert venue with a wonderful audience, which was surely developed and nurtured with great care, makes for a unique concert experience both for the performers and the audience. It is definitely one of the dates we are most looking forward to on our season calendar.”

The Jerusalem Quartet

“The spacious beauty and splendid acoustic of St. James Church in Chipping Campden create an ideal atmosphere for making music. Playing there for the warm and receptive audiences has been among the highlights of my musical life.”

Richard Goode

“The Chipping Campden Festival is one of the best stops on the UK concert scene. Fabulous setting, a wonderful array of world-class musicians, and real artistic integrity and vision on the part of Charlie Bennett: it’s a joy to perform and attend concerts there.”

Steven Osborne

“The Chipping Campden Music Festival provides an exquisite venue of intimacy amid an incomparable historical setting. It was heartwarming to communicate with such a receptive audience and I congratulate you heartily for your deft programming and personal warmth. Every artist fortunate enough to be invited to perform at the Festival will take indelible memories from church, town, inhabitants, and visiting audience members.”

Robert Levin