History

The Tetbury Music Festival was founded in 2003 by Graham Kean and Elise Smith and brings to Tetbury the finest musicians you are likely to hear outside of the great concert halls of the world. They perform in the extraordinarily beautiful parish church of Tetbury, St Marys' Church.  An early and fine example of Georgian Gothic architecture, the church has a fine acoustic to match which attracts both musicians and audience.    

 

The Festival takes place in the early Autumn when the nights are drawing in and the church is lit by candlelight. The concerts offered at each Festival have ranged from early to classical to contemporary music, with the more recent addition of a series of lectures and interviews to share insight, understanding, and new ways of appreciating the context in which these great works were written.  

 

Previous performers have included Angela Hewitt, Radu Lupu, Mark Padmore, The Sixteen, Sarah Connolly, Rachel Podger – a veritable Who’s Who of musicians and singers - see more on our Past Performers page.

 

The first Artistic Director was Steven Isserlis, who has performed at the Festival on several occasions. The Festival also champions new ensembles and performers such as The Trio Apaches and the pianists Jonathan Biss and Joseph Middleton. 

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The Festival's symbol is the two dolphins crest of Tetbury that can be seen at the top of the Church gates. The story goes that Sir William Graose, the once owner of Tetbury, was sailing back across the Irish Sea when he was holed by rocks in a terrible storm. But two dolphins, seeing his plight, lodged themselves in the holes to block the incoming seas. The stuff of legends!

 

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