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Organ Festival

This year’s Cirencester International Organ Festival looks set to be like no other, with a wine tasting organ recital, family concert set to Peter and the Wolf, a silent movie improvisation and a performance by one of the most virtuosic performers of his time from the USA. 

Tickets are now on sale for the week-long festival, held at Cirencester Parish Church, from April 22nd – 29th. The event is a mix of ticket-only evening concerts and free lunchtime recitals, open to all. 

The opening Gala of the Organ Festival will be a recital by Stephen Tharp, who hasn’t played in the UK for over a decade and has no further concerts booked or plans to return, and therefore is an unmissable event for classical music lovers. It is hoped that the festival will bring new people to the town and wider area, benefiting the wider community. 

Dr Anthony Hammond, director of music a Cirencester Parish Church and artistic director for the festival, said: “The festival is now an established fixture of the musical life of Cirencester and the Cotswolds, but it is far more than just entertainment for those living here. “It draws visitors from all corners of our country and beyond. People who come not just for a fabulous and varied week of live music, but who also spend time enjoying our church and everything that the local area has to offer and whose money supports our hotels, guest houses, shops and restaurants.”

Aside from the show-stopping gala performance by Stephen Tharp, the festival is proud to announce the return of the extremely popular ‘silent movie’ improvisation, played by Dr Hammond, who tours both the UK and US. 

New to the programme this year will be the Gala wine recital. The California Wine Suite is an entertaining work of eight movements, named after California wine varieties including: Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Gamay, Late Harvest, Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc, Petite Sarah, Chardonnay and California Champagne composed by Hans Uwe Hielscher. At the event, guests will enjoy listening to each movement alongside a tutored wine and food tasting – perfect for wine and music lovers alike!

Meanwhile, another new addition is the family concert, aimed at children of all ages, and their parents. It will be a musical re-telling of Peter and the Wolf using organ music, poetry and picture. 

The free lunchtime concerts running each day from 1.10pm to 1.50pm will feature some of the brightest rising stars of the organ world, playing a varied programme, which will provide something for everyone. 

For more information on dates and times of each concert and to buy tickets visit