20 world premieres in Alison Balsom’s first festival

The trumpet virtuoso today unrols her first Cheltenham Music Festival, marking its 75th anniversary.

Among other novelties, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla will perform the world premiere of Thea Musgrave’s Trumpet Concerto with Alison Balsom as soloist. Musgrave was the first female composer to be commissioned by the Festival in 1956.

Manchester Camerata with saxophonist Jess Gillam will give two world premieres -by Anna Clyne and Gavin Bryars.

Composium, a day-long event, will focus on the Festival as a place for composers and new music.

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  • I supppose this thread will have to be where we congratulate women on International Women’s Day today? Since there is nowhere else to do it?

    Wishing Alison the best of success with her Festival 🙂

    • She’s a wonderful musician – and I’m glad she’s heading efforts to increase repertoire for concert trumpet.

  • Perhaps she envisages other dimensions to her life – as any recently-married young lady might well do? We wish her success in everything she does!

  • Good to hear this. Long ago when I was a schoolboy in Cheltenham, able to get in to some of the Festival concerts for free by helping out as a programme seller, it was as I recall the Cheltenham Festival of Contemporary Music. It subsequently abandoned that distinctiveness and became yet another circuit festival. Perhaps it will rediscover its roots.

    (Although its choice of which contemporary music of the day was quite selective – no Boulez for example – to the extent that the phrase “Cheltenham composer” was sometimes used in a not entirely complimentary way).

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