I was delighted to interview the Chairman of the Guiting Power Music Festival. This small festival is a community festival run by music enthusiasts and unbelievably it has been running for 47 years with no outside funding. I urge you to visit this fantastic festival in a beautiful Cotswold village.
This year’s Festival in the charming Cotswold village of Guiting Power will be held from the
21st to 30th July 2017. In its 47th year, the exciting programme includes eleven concerts
featuring the best in classical, jazz and contemporary blues. It features a number of
internationally renowned artists to bring a wonderful variety and highest standards to the
heart of the Cotswolds.
The festival opens on Friday, 21st July with a performance by one of his generation’s most
talented pianists, Vitaly Pisarenko. He is a former Royal College of Music student who has
performed in more than 25 countries world-wide. His exciting and adventurous piano style
will be shown to great advantage across a repertoire including Liszt, Saint-Saens,
Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev.
Saturday 22nd features the world-renowned Carducci Quartet performing with clarinettist
Robert Plane, principal clarinet with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, who will have
recently returned from his US tour. They will bring a link to Gloucestershire with Herbert
Howells’ Rhapsodic Quintet, preceding the Shostakovich Quartet No. 8. The climax of the
evening will be the superb Mozart Clarinet Quintet in A major.
Sunday, 23rd July sees the first of the two open air concerts. It starts at noon and
feature jazz by two bands. Local band Hot Fingers with singer Emily Campbell will delight
their audience with vintage acoustic string music from hot jazz to 1930’s swing. Then the
Brighton-based Paul Richards Trio will bring their brilliant fuse of latin, classical, jazz and
Blues vocalist Heidi Vogel, well known to BBC listeners from her work with the Cinematic
Orchestra and her debut solo album “Turn up the Quiet” will bring her extraordinary voice
and range to the Monday 24th concert. Then on Thursday 27th the audience will be treated
to music by the fabulous jazz vocalist, pianist and guitarist Julia Biel, nominated in the
Best Jazz Act category in the MOBO Awards and the Urban Music Awards in 2015.
Hailed as a musical pioneer and the first internationally recognised Chinese guitarist on the
world stage, Xuefei Yang will return to Guilting to perform on Tuesday, 25th July. Classic FM
named her as one of the 100 top classical musicians of our time, so the audience will
undoubtedly be in for a treat.
On Wednesday 26th Belgian violinist Jolente de Maeyer and pianist Nikolaas Kende,
winners of numerous international competitions who have performed as a duo since 2003
will play Beethoven, Schubert and Mendelssohn.
Brothers Jonathan and Tom Scott will return by popular demand to play two concerts. A
two piano recital on the Friday night (28th) will treat the Festival to a delightful and
infrequently heard range of two-piano music. Families will also be able to enjoy their fourhand
piano playing the following morning in a one-hour concert of famous classical pieces
accompanied by big screen animation developed by Tom Scott.
On Saturday (29th) the last indoor concert offers the opportunity to hear contemporary
jazz pianist/composer Neil Cowley, formerly of Fragile State, with his hugely popular Trio
and their quirky mix of jazz-meets-rock. The Trio recently released their superb project
Spacebound Apes and won the Jazz FM’s Artist of the Year Award in 2013.
The Festival finishes with an open air Blues concert on Sunday 30th July from noon to 4pm,
featuring two high profile bands. First up is Black Diamond Express, the immensely
energetic Scottish band with Blues, Celtic and American roots. Then Dublin’s Grainne Duffy
Band will wow the audience with their wonderful mix of blues rock and soul and Grainne’s
Tickets are from £10 to £20 and are going on public sale from the 1st May 2017 and the
concerts will be held at the Village Hall. The two Sunday open-air concerts held on the
playing fields are great events for all the family and small gazebos can be brought along.
The festival prides itself on its great food – this year, back by popular request, South East
Asian food specialist Ting’s Kitchen will be serving before each concert (indoor and
outdoor) and during the interval. For those who prefer more traditional fare, Lovett Pies
will also be available throughout the open air concerts. You are welcome to bring your
own picnic to the outdoor concerts. The Festival bar sells high quality wine, beer and soft
drinks at competitive prices.
Cosy post-concert suppers are also available but book early to avoid disappointment.
For full details see www.guitingfestival.org