Exhibition: Gustav Holst & The Three Choirs Festival


Holst Victorian House, Cheltenham, Pittville, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL52 2AY

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Gustav Holst and Vaughan Williams walking in the Malverns while attending the Three Choirs Festival in 1921.


The new exhibition for 2024 tells the story of Holst's relationship with The Three Choirs Festival – the oldest classical musical festival in the world. Holst first visited the festival in Worcester in 1893 as a 19-year-old student, where he was enthralled by Bach's Mass in B Minor.

Drawn from the collections of the Holst Victorian House, Gloucester Cathedral Library and the Three Choirs Festival archive, this small exhibition features a wealth of material illustrating how important the festival was to Holst's career. It was the setting for two premieres of Holst's music, and intriguingly would have hosted a third premiere in 1928 if Holst had finished a promised new work in time. On display will be a rare draft programme from the 1928 festival, featuring details of the performance that never was!

The exhibition has been co-curated by Simon Carpenter, Volunteer Archivist and Historian of The Three Choirs Festival. A professional librarian, Simon holds an MA by Research in History from the University of Gloucestershire. His forthcoming book on the history of the Three Choirs Festival will be published by Logaston Press in July.

Photograph: Gustav Holst and Vaughan Williams walking in the Malverns while attending the Three Choirs Festival in 1921.


Opening Times

Season (10 Feb 2024 - 1 June 2024)
Monday - Sunday10:00 - 16:00

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