THE Chester Summer Music Festival has long been one of the highlights of the city’s cultural calendar but the 2010 event promises to be even more special.

For this year’s musical extravaganza will form the centrepiece of the new Chestival 2010 which will run for an entire month during the summer.

The 33rd annual Chester Summer Music Festival from June 30-July 14 promises to be a great line up of established names and rising stars.

Artistic director Andrew Cornall has put together a programme that showcases the finest in festival music - this year with a hint of France.

At the heart of the festival remains the joy of choral music, whether it’s performed by international choirs such as the Choir of King’s College Cambridge (with Faure’s Requiem) or the Tallis Scholars or performed by community groups in The Big Sing.

The love of music for the voice will always be present throughout the two weeks culminating in a performance by the Chester Festival Chorus.

Andrew said: “The festival is full of exciting and interesting concerts that will appeal to all tastes and ages and Chester really will come alive with music for the two whole weeks.”

For lovers of orchestral music, there is the European Union Chamber Orchestra with Nicola Benedetti as soloist in Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Poet Andrew Motion will also be on hand to read new poems inspired by the pictorial music of Vivaldi’s great masterpiece.

And David Hill will conduct the Opera North orchestra in Saint-Saen’s great Organ Symphony in Chester Cathedral.

There is a cabaret evening with Melanie Marshall, the re-formed Penguin Café bring their quirky and hugely entertaining music to the city, Kathryn Tickell brings the beautiful sound of the Northumbrian pipes and an evening of the best folk music.

Chamber music concerts come from the Heath Quartet, the guitar quartet Aquarelle and from Holland the wind ensemble Calefax.

The ever popular lunchtime concerts in St Mary’s Centre will run right through the festival showcasing some of the best young talent.

Tracy Lynn, director of Chester Festivals, said: “This year the Chester Summer Music Festival is the last two weeks within Chestival 2010 and I can’t think of a better way to end this new exciting showcase of the best festival and events in Chester, than with the music festival.”

Tickets will be available for public sale on Thursday, April 1 from the box office on 0845 241 7868 or via You can also join The Friends of the Music Festival to receive advanced information and priority booking, making sure you get those tickets early. To find out more or to join please email

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VOCAL ABOUT FESTIVAL: Artistic director Andrew Cornall and Tracy Lynn, director of Chester Festivals, launch the 2010 Chester Summer Music Festival.


STAR NAMES: Nicola Benedetti and Kathryn Tickell are among the star attractions at the 2010 Chester Summer Music Festival.