CHELTENHAM MUSIC FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES LONG-TERM PLAN AND NEW ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, AHEAD OF 80th YEAR

Left: Jack Bazalgette (photo by Katie Lodge); right, Cheltenham Music Festival 2024 (photo by Still Moving Media for Cheltenham Festivals) 

Ahead of a 2024 season that will celebrate among other musical moments the 150th anniversary of fellow Gloucestershire native Gustav Holst, Cheltenham Music Festival is already planning for its future. It today announces a new Artistic Director and a three-year strategy that looks to take the storied Festival to new heights and audiences. 

The Festival is announcing the appointment of Jack Bazalgette as its Artistic Director for the 2025 season onwards. Bazalgette is the co-founder and director of through the noise, a classical music promotions company that has since 2020 programmed more than 130 industry-changing classical music concerts in London and beyond. Bazalgette’s work offers a vision for the future of live classical music. 

“Cheltenham Music Festival has been at the heart of the UK’s classical music landscape for nearly 80 years,” Bazalgette says, “it’s a real honour to have the opportunity to help take it into a vibrant future.  

“Cheltenham has an astonishing history of commissioning new works and showcasing the world’s most talented musicians. Its year-round work with young people and schools is also crucial to introducing diverse audiences to the joy of classical music. As Cheltenham’s Artistic Director, I will be continuing this work while also seeking to expand its audiences – and our understandings of what live classical music can and should be in the twenty-first century.” 

Bazalgette’s first year as Artistic Director will coincide with Cheltenham Music Festival’s 80th year. He will be supported by the Festival’s Producer, Tamsyn Hamilton, who will remain in post following her work on implementing the Festival’s 2024 programme. 

“As we approach this year’s Festival in July, we’re hugely excited to welcome the likes of Clare Hammond, Roderick Williams and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra to Cheltenham,” says Ian George, co-CEO of the Music Festival’s parent charity, Cheltenham Festivals. “Our 2024 programme features everything from choral to chamber music, new commissions alongside favourites from the repertoire, and the return of our signature Mixtape event, which emphasises ‘rules-free’ music-making. 

“And, with Jack coming onboard for 2025, we could not be more excited about our future. In his trail-blazing concerts at KOKO, Camden Jazz Cafe and elsewhere, he has shown that it is possible to expand classical audiences while placing an absolute premium on artistic integrity and quality. That’s the place where we want Cheltenham Music Festival’s sustainable future to be located. We can’t wait to welcome audiences returning and new, this summer and many more to come.” 

Bazalgette has been appointed on an initial three-year basis. His first programme for the Festival will be announced in March, 2025.