The celebrated Three Choirs Festival takes place in and around Gloucester from July 26 to August 3, with the spectacular large-scale choral concerts at the heart of the festival complemented by a wide range of chamber recitals, talks, exhibitions and family events.

Artistic Director Adrian Partington said of his fourth festival programme: “Our aim is always to honour the great tradition of the Three Choirs Festival by presenting masterpieces of the choral-orchestral repertoire alongside musical rarities and premieres. This year is a thrilling mix of old and new, in which I’m delighted to be honouring significant anniversaries and celebrating music which is in turn beautiful, inventive, astonishing and spectacular.”

Alongside blockbuster programmes such as Verdi’s epic Requiem with superstar conductor Ed Gardner (28 July) and Rachmaninov’s beautifully introspective Vespers (29 July), four main programming strands weave through nine days of music making, celebrating composer anniversaries, new voices, song and discovery, as Berlioz 150 marks the 150th anniversary of the death of the Romantic visionary Hector Berlioz - spirited cellist Natalie Clein joins the BBC National Orchestra of Wales for a centenary performance of Elgar’s contemplative Cello Concerto, alongside Berlioz’s Le Carnaval Romain. Adventures in Song, meanwhile, features a new interactive one-woman opera recounting the life of Mary Tudor and star baritone Roderick Williams charts the diversity and passion of English song throughout history.

Cheltenham-born Gustav Holst's interest in Indian culture was the catalyst for an exploration of a rich seam of Anglo-Indian connections that sees the festival partner with London's Bhavan Centre and the Holst Birthplace Museum - talks delve into Holst's fascination with India while local history buffs can learn about the county's Anglo-Indian connections and dancer Shivaangee Agrawal leads a workshop and showcases her talents in Bharatanatyam dance.

Music by living composers has long been central to the festival, but especially this year, where each performance with young people to the fore features music of today. Large-scale performances bookend the festival, with Stephen McNeff’s ‘miracle play for music theatre’ The Burning Boy staged in Tewkesbury Abbey at the start of the week (27 July) and at its close, 80 years to the day since the last Kindertransport left Prague, local children perform Carl Davis’ poignant Last Train to Tomorrow (3 August).

To view the full programme, find out about the many ways to get involved, or for further details of free ticket schemes for local and young audiences, visit The festival welcomes applications from potential volunteers, and keen singers aged 14-25 who would like to join the youth choir.