Chester Music Festival (2019)

The Chester Music Festival is an opportunity for people to enjoy fabulous music in an informal setting. This event has been produced and organised by Storyhouse, as well as feature the musical group Ensemble Deva since 2013.

This year, expect the Chester Music Festival to be filled with exciting events and amazing music performances. If you are as pumped as we are for this year’s event, listen up!

The 2019 Chester Music Festival will take place between the 20th of July and the 4th of August. It will feature an exciting and quite impressive line-up of international musicians and virtuosos as well as thrilling young talent.

There will also be a number of appearances from jazz exponents Gwilym Simcock and Julian Joseph, superstar John Helliwell, Cheshire-raised virtuoso pianist Martin Roscoe, and of course, award-winning classical crossover cellist Abel Selaocoe.

There is also a Big Band evening wherein you can expect the stunning performance of the Company Carpi’s “The Stumbling Block.” There will be a series of classical recitals that you cannot miss. Look out for The Big Storyhouse Jam Along.

The event will also feature the spectacular return of the well-known Kitchen Prom and Caffé Venezia events. Be sure to watch out for their 12 family-friendly free daytime music event.

Chester Music Festival 2019 - Chester Taxi Services

Chester Music Festival Performers (2019)

Dobrinka Tabakova

One of the performing artists in this year’s Chester Music Festival is Dobrinka Tabakova. She has dedicated so much time in the promotion of contemporary music. Her love for music started all the way back during her student days at the Guildhall School. She was also able to conduct a number of chamber operas and premieres here.

Tabakova became the President of the Contemporary Music Society in 1999. She held this position for over 5 glorious years. As the president, she acted as the artistic director of various concerts and music festivals, all of which aimed to promote the up and coming composers of this generation.

The years 2002 and 2003 was a memorable moment for Tabakova as PLAY and Forward were invited to be part of the City of London Festival. Following from her role at the Guildhall School, Tabakova was soon appointed as the coordinator of the British Music Information Centre’s Cutting Edge series from 2003 to 2009.

Now, she is expected to present at the 2019 Chester Music Festival.

Ensemble Deva

The performance of Ensemble Deva will be one of the highlights of the 2019 Chester Music Festival. This duo is composed of Abel Selaocoe on cello and Delia Stevens on percussion.

One of the many musical plays of this group includes their typical young, energetic, and vibrant tone that heavily appeals to fans of Ensemble Deva. There will also be a world premiere of a brand new piece that has been devised by those who attended Ensemble Deva’s workshop earlier that day.

Their performance and appearance at the 2019 Chester Music Festival will explore the concept of dance, sound, and art as a whole.

Chester Festival Chorus

The Chester Festival Chorus was actually formed in the year 1981 by Martin Merry. Merry was not only the founder of the Chester Summer Music Festival, but he was also the Artistic Director from its inception in the years 1978 until 1985.

Since the formation of the Chester Festival Chorus, it has successfully established itself as one of the leading large-scale mixed-voice choirs of Northwest England. They have had the reputation of always performing at the annual Chester Summer Music Festival; thus, you can definitely expect this group in this year’s music festival.

With that in mind, watch out for the performance of the chorus and some of their major choral works from Poulenc and Tavener to Britten, and Handel to Mozart.

Julian Joseph

According to Peter Hepple of The Stage, Julian Joseph is actually one of the most significant jazz musicians this nation has produced for so many years, perhaps ever. Joseph is acclaimed as one of the finest jazz musicians to emerge on this side of the Atlantic.

Joseph devoted his long and fruitful career to championing and promoting jazz music across the British Isles as well as into the far corners of the globe. He has also forged a reputation beyond his skills as a performer, musician, and composer.

In addition, Joseph is also a highly knowledgeable and engaging broadcaster; not to mention, he is also a cultural advocate and a musical ambassador. Some of his charitable works and generous traits include him being an educator and actually contributing to Britain’s cultural landscape and heritage.

Joseph is greatly admired and respected. Be sure to catch his performance at this year’s Chester Music Festival.

John Helliwell

John Helliwell was born in Todmorden, West Yorkshire, England. He was rather sheltered from the big world. Growing up, he sang in the church choir and have had piano lessons for a year at only the age of nine.

Soon, Helliwell began to appreciate “modern” jazz. He even bought a saxophone years later after being inspired by Art Blakey, Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderley, and Sonny Rollins.

Martin Roscoe

Acclaimed British pianist Martin Roscoe is also one of the many musical geniuses who will perform at this year’s Chester Music Festival. Truly, Roscoe possesses an extraordinary career that spanned over four decades.

No one can argue that Roscoe is one of the United Kingdom’s favourite pianists. He possesses a distinguishable career as his enduring popularity continues to rise; not to mention his breath-taking chamber performances can truly make any music festival worthwhile.

Abel Selaocoe

Abel Selaocoe is a South African cellist that is known to have redefined the parameters of playing the cello. From the audience’s perspective, Selaocoe has always moved gracefully and seamlessly across a variety of styles and genres, to concerto performances as well as solo classical recitals, and collaborations with world-class musicians.

Selaocoe is known to have combined virtuosic performance with improvisation. He sings and utilises body percussion as a means to highlight the links between Western and non-Western musical traditions. This cultural performance is the missing element that will truly make the 2019 Chester Music Festival worth it.

Company Carpi

When it comes to a Company Carpi performance, you can the poetry and percussion will be unified in one beautiful moment. It will also be partnered up with a dance theatre piece accompanied by live music. Company Carpi will be expected to present a rigorous and tight work based on the poetry cycle of “The Stumbling Block.”

Do note that the “The Stumbling Block” is conducted by producer and composer Gary Lloyd as well as choreographed by Bettina Carpi. Truly, the work of this group has inspired so many across the U.K. Their work is driven by the actual desire and need to communicate, comment, and of course, explore the issues of equality and its role in the arts.

2019 Chester Music Festival Line-Up

Kindly see below for the complete guide on the dates and location of each performance.

Date: June 23, 2019

On Stage: Summer Serenade: Manchester Camerata Wind Soloists with RNCM Maestros of Tomorrow

Location: The Kitchen

Manchester Camerata’s performance in this year’s 2019 Chester Music Festival will be one of the most majestic and enchanting openers of all. The group’s soloist is joined on stage by the Maestros of Tomorrow from the Royal Northern College of Music. They will present a program that is filled with Mozart’s melodious tunes as well as lyrical laments.

The program will also feature Anna Appleby’s Marriage of Figaro-inspired Federalizing Zoo. Make sure that you won’t miss William Alwyn’s Concerto for Flute and Eight Wind Instruments.

Date: July 20, 2019 – August 3, 2019

On Stage: Music Festival Lunchtime Concerts

Location: Various

Throughout the month of July, there will be a program of lunchtime concerts that are completely free of charge. This is open to everyone who wants to truly experience the beauty of music. In addition, 12 family-friendly concerts will be performed across Storyhouse’s areas. What better way to truly enjoy the relaxing music while browsing through the books and reminiscing a much simpler time.

Date: July 20, 2019

On Stage: Storyhouse Kitchen Prom

Location: The Kitchen

The Storyhouse Kitchen Prom will be an event performed by the festival’s very own Ensemble Deva. In this informal setting, be sure to expect Mozart’s ebullient Overture to the Marriage of Figaro. It is packed with juicy and lively tunes that will surely increase everyone’s level of engagement.

There is also a chance to experience a double bill of Dvorak as his Cello Concerto, which is actually played by soloist Hannah Roberts, is paired with Symphony No. 9 “From the New World.”

Date: July 21, 2019

On Stage: Dobrinka Tabakova in Conversation

Location: Storyhouse Theatre

Another free event is the Dobrinka Tabakova in Conversation which will happen at the Storyhouse Theatre. Dobrinka Tabakova is a composer-in-residence who will talk about her life and music with festival director Clark Rundell. Their conversation will be accompanied by performances of Chester Festival Chorus and Ensemble Deva.

Tabakova’s “Through the Cold Smoke” will also be played and heard in a piano and violin recital by Ian Buckle and Sophie Rosa. In addition, they will also feature some of Tabakova’s favourites, works by Schubert. With all of these, Tabakova shared how she is generally happy when people say that they have found the music accessible and more challenging at the same time. She enjoys music which moves her, so she hopes to back to the musicians and the audience.

Date: July 21, 2019

On Stage: Ensemble Deva and the Chester Festival Chorus

Location: Storyhouse Theatre

As for the Ensemble Deva and the Chester Festival Chorus, do note that each ticket will be subjected to a £1.50 booking fee. This event at the Storyhouse Theatre will be conducted by Ellie Slorach.

You can expect performances by Ensemble Deva, which is led by Callum Smart, and the Chester Festival Chorus, which will truly complete the whole music festival experience. On this event, you can bet that some of the composers of Central and Eastern Europe are at the core of this program.

Some of the pieces that you can expect to see and hear include Henryk Górecki’s ethereal “Totus Tuus;” this was actually composed as a means to celebrate Pope John Paul II’s pilgrimage to Poland in the year 1987. There is also “Such Different Paths,” “Centuries of Meditations,” and the luminous “Te Deum” by Arvo Part.

Date: July 22, 2019

On Stage: Ian Buckle & Sophie Rosa

Location: The Kitchen

In this event, you can expect well-known pianist Ian Buckle as well as violinist Sophie Rosa to present some of the musical pieces and creations that have a span of over 400 years of music-making.

From Arcangelo Corelli’s “Baroque Sonata” in F to Beat Furrer’s 1993 composition entitled “Lied,” via Schubert and Brahms, you have everything you need to truly enjoy the history and evolution of music.

There are a number of contrasting works from two majestic and amazing female voices from across the generations; be sure to watch out for the performances of 18th Century French composer by the name Hélène de Montgeroult. With that in mind, don’t forget about composer-in-residence Dobrinka Tabakova.

Date: July 24, 2019

On Stage: Martin Roscoe: Solo Recital

Location: The Kitchen

U.K. pianist celebrity by the name of Martin Roscoe will bring about a chest full of treasures in the forms of classical jewels to Storyhouse this 2019 Chester Music Festival. In addition, Mozart’s Fantasy in D minor has also been described as something that is very intriguing yet puzzling.

Roscoe will also be performing some of Beethoven’s “Pathétique Sonata.” Thus, the whole event elicits a sense of romanticism and tempestuousness. After the interval, be prepared to be charmed by the captivating melodies of Debussy’s Children’s Corner.

To this day, Roscoe still remains to be one of the most versatile virtuosos players.

Date: July 25, 2019

On Stage: Café Spice

Location: The Kitchen

Café Spice is an indie-folk adventuress that has the capability to bring about their memorable and alluring vocal sound to Storyhouse in an evening of musical wonder at the 2019 Chester Music Festival.

This power group is composed of Niamh Feeney, Eleanor Lang, and Georgia Gage. They weave a three-part honeyed tune into their songs depicting stories of adventure and life itself.

Anyone who loved this Manchester-based indie-folk trio will be very much excited to see this quirky group perform at this year’s Chester Music Festival. You can feel the passion and love radiating from the group as well as the crowd that listens to their songs.

Date: July 26, 2019

On Stage: Julian Joseph Trio

Location: The Kitchen

With their performance of over 100 minutes, you have to be prepared to be transported to the Left Bank as the Storyhouse, on the other hand, is actually transformed into an intimate Parisian jazz café. One thing is for sure is that the atmosphere during the Julian Joseph Trio will leave you wanting for more.

With that mind, all you have to do is to sit back and enjoy the sound of the Julian Joseph Trio.

This group’s music is actually described as one of Duke Ellington’s heirs as Joseph, who is an acclaimed British jazz pianist, composer, bandleader, broadcaster, and arranger, spent his 35 years of musical career trying to promote and champion jazz across the United Kingdom.

Joseph will also be joined in this festival event by the very special Mark Hodgson on a memorable double bass while having Jerry Brown on drums.

Date: July 27, 2019

On Stage: When I Was Young: John Helliwell, John Ellis and the Ensemble Deva String Quartet

Location: Storyhouse Theatre

In celebrating the 74th year of Supertramp celebrity John Helliwell, guests are expected to take in his talent and love for music. You can very much tell Helliwell’s distinctive saxophone tunes as well as his clarinet sounds as part of the whole performance and aesthetic of the 2019 Chester Music Festival. This will definitely hit you as some of the most famous songs have hit you, including but not limited to hits like The Logical Song, Dreamer, and Breakfast in America.

The “When I Was Young” musical event was actually written as well as arranged from Andy Scott, a British composer, a saxophone virtuoso, and an award-winning musician. John Ellis, an expert on the Hammond organ as well as Ensemble Deva will also join Helliwell on stage; they are led by Rakhi Singh.

You may also be interested in the Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre in Chester

Getting around Chester

Parking in Chester can be difficult during peak seasonal periods, and the park and ride facilities are very handy during these periods (free busses every 10 minutes). If you are staying within Chester there are local busses, hop on hop off tourist busses, taxis in Chester can be booked or head off to one of many taxi ranks dotted around the city.

Chester Taxi Services also offer airport transfer services. If you decide to fly into Manchester, Liverpool or London to catch one of these productions, you can arrange for one of our hired cabs to meet your flight. Let our driver escort you to and from your performance in style.


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