With summer fast approaching, we are very pleased to be able to give you details of the programme for the 2019 Winchester Festival. Once again we have a packed programme of talks that will take us from Charles Spencer’s account of Charles II evading capture by Cromwell’s army to Andrew Marr’s history of modern Britain and Simon Schama’s contemporary reflections on the arts, politics and food. The concerts will bring you sacred vocal music from the Sistine Chapel, Renaissance repertoire from Spain, Portugal and the New World and a quintessentially English evening of Elgar and Vaughan Williams in the Cathedral. John Keats, who wrote Ode to Autumn while in Winchester, is remembered in a dramatic presentation and in actor walks and the talented young musicians of Winchester will once again be delighting audiences in the lunchtime series. We hope that you will find much to enjoy in the 2019 Winchester Festival programme.
Since the Festival started in 1998 there has been an extraordinary increase in the number of concerts and talks happening in Winchester so that every week - almost every day - there are wonderful performances across the city. Winchester now has a wealth of music and literature throughout the year and we have decided, with a great deal of deliberation and a lot of sadness, that this will be the final Winchester Festival. We hope you will find many events to interest you in this year’s programme and that our last Festival will be one to remember.
We are hugely grateful and indebted to everyone who has been involved with the Festival over the last twenty two years – the sponsors, individual donors and patrons, Hampshire County Council and Winchester City Council, the local performers and the performers who come to us from much further afield, the staff and volunteers, and, most of all, the audiences – indeed everyone who has made the Festival so inspiring and rewarding to be involved with. We very much look forward to seeing you at some of the events in July for this, the final, Winchester Festival.
Carol Butler Festival Director
Ginny Sherriff Literature Consultant