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Cheltenham Festival

Cheltenham Festival. Annual summer mus. fest. held (usually in July) in spa of Cheltenham, Eng. Begun in 1945 as a fest. of Brit. contemporary mus. but scope widened in 1969 to embrace contemporary mus. of other nationalities. Many post–1945 Brit. chamber works, concs., and syms. (hence the expression ‘a Cheltenham Symphony’) received at the fest., many of them from Hallé Orch., cond. Barbirolli, who gave bulk of orch. concerts 1947–61. Among operas premièred at the fest. was Judith Weir's A Night at the Chinese Opera (1987). First dir. G. A. M. Wilkinson, 1944–69. Programme dir. John Manduell 1969–94. Michael Berkeley from 1995.

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