Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Cheltenham Music Festival 2010

Christopher Cook, our Music Festival Chairman, welcomed us to the elegant surroundings of the former Daffodil Cinema this evening for the launch of next year's programme. But there were no moving pictures alas.

Instead, Festival Director Meurig Bowen gave us a quiz. Which is the odd one out of the four composers whose anniversaries will be celebrated next year, Schumann, Wolf, Gesualdo or Chopin? I said Chopin, because all the others wrote music for the voice. He said Chopin too - but for a non-musical reason: he was the only one who was not "odd". (Well "mad" was the word he used actually.)

The mooted programme comes across as excitingly varied - which is what Meurig has led us to expect. Nothing stereotyped here! Let's hope those with deeper pockets than me will ante up what is needed in the way of sponsorship, as the economic outlook is bound to cast doubt on the level of box office takings.

But Meurig left the best news of all to a private aside to me after his speech: for the first year in decades, we shall be able to walk out of the South doors of the Pittville Pump Room and be able to admire the gracious prospect of the Park - rather than the ugly profile of the catering marquee. Three cheers for that! It looks like the successful end of a very long campaign that I (along with a few others) have been waging!

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