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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
We have made the decision to move the festival, just for this year, to September. May was looking increasingly risky and the most likely scenario, even if we could have proceeded, would have been that it could only have been with socially distanced musicians and audience. This would have had a huge financial impact on the festival, would have meant drastically cutting down the size of the orchestra and thus changing all those programmes and, based on your responses to the survey, would have been less than satisfactory for the majority of you. Last but by no means least, we felt the risk to audience, artists, and our volunteer helpers was too great a one to take.
Even with September it is not 100% certain that we will be able to present concerts in the normal way, as there may still be the need to socially distance to some extent, but we feel it is by far the best option to take. Much as we are all desperate for live music to be back in our lives, please be assured our first priority will always be the safety of our audience, volunteer helpers, and the artists, and the Festival will be presented in accordance with whatever the guidelines are at the time.
However, we are remaining optimistic and are in the final stages of confirming bookings with our artists. Not every artist booked for May was able to offer a date in September but we have tried to keep the programme as close as possible to the original plans.
Where we still have Artists TBC in the programme we are about 95% sure all will be fine but don’t want to announce them until we have received final confirmation from them.
You can view the programme here
NB. Because of the ongoing uncertainties we will not be sending the brochure and booking form out until later in the year and the very earliest we will open bookings will be June. So please do not make any booking requests yet. We will keep you regularly updated and as always there will be Patrons & Friends priority booking periods prior to general bookings opening
Should the situation radically improve by late Spring it is possible we might present a couple of ‘one off’ concerts in either May or June. This will be, by necessity, a fairly last minute decision and the chances are they would have to be with a socially distanced audience. Should this look possible we will try and give you as much prior notice as we can.
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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!”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”