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Science, Jazz, Music and Literature At The Cheltenham Festivals

cheltenham festivals

The next upcoming festival in the renowned Chelthenham Festival calendar is this year’s stellar Music Festival to be held from July 3rd through July 14th. This year’s Music Festival promises great diversity and a phenomenal selection of entertainers and music experts. The ambiance is always great and organizers have done an outstanding job of recruiting important performers.

One of this year’s highlights will be an evening with noted pianist James Rhodes and Penguin Café’s Arthur Jeffes whose newest project, Sundog, demonstrates his talents with the electronic adaptions of the piano. Jeffes is a gifted pianist who has performed on big stages around the world.

Jeffes will be followed by the unique style of James Rhodes who plays whatever he feels on a given night. Festival attendees could hear Beethoven, Chopin, Rachmaninov or Bach. All Rhodes’ talents will be on full display with the Town Hall’s remarkable Steinway.

This night will be on July 4th and will follow the opening night celebration featuring Jim Broadbent. Noted film critic Mark Kermode will host the entertaining night at the movies along with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Broadbent is the acclaimed actor who has won Emmy and Golden Globe notoriety along with his Academy Award and BAFTA accomplishments. Most recently, Broadbent earned a BAFTA nomination for his supporting role alongside Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady.

One of the exciting evenings will feature the new chamber work, Orchestrapedia, composed by Roxanna Panufnik. Roxanna’s composition is sure to thrill music lovers as she features each musical instrument by lending it human characteristics. Her work will be presented at the same time as work from her talented husband and noted artist Jem Panufnik, whose recent works will be displayed in stills during the music.

The Cheltenham Music Festival spans 11 days and nights and draws music enthusiasts from around the world, This is a celebration of music and its many dimensions.

The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival

This year’s Times Cheltenham Literature Festival will be held from October 4 through October 13, 2013. The Literature Festival concludes the summer series of Jazz, Music, Science and Literature festivals that attracts interested enthusiasts from around the globe.

As usual, Cheltenham will transform itself for the fourth time this year. The autumn festival features more than 600 of the world’s greatest writers and more than 500 debates, interviews and workshops for reading and writing enthusiasts.

The Cheltenham Literature, founded in 1949, is multi-dimensional, actually including many mini-festivals in one big event. This year’s events will feature Hollywood stars, political debaters and authors covering just about every conceivable genre.

James Harding, the Editor of The Times, describes the Cheltenham Literature festival as; “The best literary festival in Britain. It’s an amazing chance to hear people, meet people, learn new things – and I think that’s what brings me here.”

BOOK IT! – This is one of the mini-festivals within a festival and includes more than 100 events celebrating children’s literature. This is one of the festivals most popular venues. From toddlers to teens, Book It! has something for every youngster.

Party Time – Party Time is another mini-festival that emphasises some of the classical characters for children. In 2012, Spot, Peter Rabbit, Thomas Olivia and Maisy paid courtesy visits to attendees. Special treats include party bags and cakes.

Making and Doing – Lots of interaction and fun mark this mini-festival. Participants can learn to ice a cupcake, design a maze or do wonders with Legos. The idea of this platform is develop good hands-on skills along with using eyes and ears.

Write Away – This workshop concentrates on creative writing and has gained national recognition. These workshops welcome aspiring writers of all levels of ability. Write Away gives every participant the opportunity to work with proven and notable authors.

The Big Read – The Big Read gives participants one book to read, savor and debate. Book lovers from around the UK come to participate in this inspiring event. In most corners of the UK, The Big Read continues on long after the festival is closed.

The Cheltenham Jazz Festival

The recently concluded Cheltenham Jazz Festival ran from May 1 through May 6, 2013. More than 20,000 jazz lovers were in attendance. The festival always incorporates some of jazz’s greatest names along with many new, inspired jazz musicians.

Over the years, the festival has hosted the likes of Eartha Kit, Imelda May, Van Morrison, Jamie Cullum, an annual guest, Hugh Laurie, Stephanie Grappelli and Ornette Coleman. The jazz festival takes place at Montpelier Gardens, an ideal venue in the heart of Cheltenham.

The long Bank Holiday weekend is an ideal time to get away and relax to the distinct sounds of jazz. The music is free and all events are outdoors. The food is great and the drink stalls are always busy.

About the Jazz Festival, Jamie Cullum told the Times; “If someone doesn’t get jazz, how do you woo them towards enjoying it? The Cheltenham Jazz Festival, with 47 official concerts plus a lively fringe, is a good answer, offering the chance to dip into many different styles of jazz.”

The Science Festival

The Science Festival just concluded. The festival ran from June 4th through June 9th, 2013. The site for the festival is always the Cheltenham Town Hall and the Imperial Gardens. Like the Literature Festival, the Science Festival features many mini-festivals.

This year’s event included the following events, which give an overview of what to expect next year.

The Discover Zone – The Discover Zone is a daily event that features interaction for enthusiasts of all ages. Children and adults get hands-on experience with many pieces of scientific equipment and the newest technology.

The Talking Points – This venue is especially for aspiring scientists who want to debate the latest developments. The Talking Points features great guest speakers and interesting panels and encourages audience participation.

The GE Pavilion – This free pavilion featured insight into GE’s newest aircraft technology. Computer technology is used to simulate the control of various aircraft components. This year, the GE Pavilion featured a life-sized flight simulator.

There is something for everyone at the Cheltenham Festival. If you can fit it into your schedule, book your dates the summer events.

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