|I'm delighted to present the programme for what I firmly believe to be our most exciting festival to date. Alongside some of the UK's finest musicians we have artists from Spain, Germany, Romania, Russia and America joining us this year so really can claim to be "Chipping Campden International Music Festival".
Whilst we don't have major themes for each festival we do acknowledge significant anniversaries in our programming; accordingly, 2013 being the centenary of Benjamin Britten's birth, four of our concerts feature his works.
Our president Paul Lewis approaches the end of his two year exploration of the late piano music of Schubert and performs the final programme of the cycle; the last three sonatas, written in the final few months of Schubert's life. Paul returns to close the festival with Brahms magnificent D minor concerto.
As always, we have a host of wonderful musicians returning to Chipping Campden but we also introduce many new artists to the festival. The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment give the opening concert on the 6th and musicians from the Britten Sinfonia are here on the 8th. On Tuesday 7th we welcome organist John Scott Whiteley and Hopkinson Smith, who is recognised as one of the foremost lutenists of the age. At the end of the first week the Atos trio fly in from Germany. Not yet widely known in the UK, they are fast gaining a reputation as perhaps the pre-eminent piano trio of today. I am particularly excited to announce the Saturday evening concert in which Steven Osborne will perform one of the most important piano works of the 20th century, Messiaen's monumental, Vingt regards sur l'enfant-Jésus, and on Sunday the dynamic vocal ensemble I Fagiolini make their first appearance here. Week two sees the return of many old friends but also a festival debut for the superb
|young violinist Jack Liebeck and a recital from one of the true legends of the piano world, Elisabeth Leonskaja.
Despite ever-increasing costs we are holding ticket prices for the third year running. Student tickets are a nominal £1 for evening concerts (we know of no other festival offering such an incredible deal) and free for all weekday lunchtime recitals. We can only do this because of the tremendous financial support we receive from our Sponsors, Patrons and Friends who grow in number each year.
'Sponsors' and 'Patrons' enjoy a two-week priority booking period and 'Friends' a one-week period. Increasingly this is the only sure way of obtaining reserved seating for many of the concerts. There is also an opportunity for those wishing to direct support specifically towards our Academy Orchestra. This project grows every year and is now one of the most significant aspects of the festival.
Apart from the glittering list of musicians booked for 2013, perhaps the most exciting piece of news is the purchase by the festival of the magnificent Steinway D concert grand we have been hiring for the last six years. This will be a wonderful asset to the festival for many years to come and a huge thank you to all who have contributed to the fund. If you have not already done so but would like to, please contact me and I will send details of the scheme.
I hope you are as inspired by the 2013 programme as I am and I look forward to seeing many of you next May.
Charlie Bennett November 2012