General booking opens for this summer's 41st Petworth Festival

Stewart Collins, Artistic Director
Stewart Collins, Artistic Director

The box office for the 41st Petworth Festival opens today (Thursday, May 9).

Running from Tuesday, July 16-Saturday, August 3, the festival will aim to build on last year’s spectacular 40th-anniversary event which broke all box office records.

MILOŠ, dubbed ‘the hottest guitarist in the world’, rock legend Rick Wakeman and comedian Julian Clary top the bill in a festival that aims to present the very best in music and performance across the board.

Artistic director Stewart Collins said: “We have been genuinely amazed by the way the festival has grown in the last few years but I have no doubt that it is down to a formula which combines the very finest of performers, the genuine intimacy of our venues, and of course the fact that you don’t have to travel to London or to the big cities to see what is genuinely the best across the performance genres.

“Classical music has always been at the core of the festival offering, and the class of 2019 carries this tradition proudly forward with the epic bass-baritone Sir John Tomlinson, top international pianists Imogen Cooper and Barry Douglas, violin virtuosi Viktoria Mullova and Tamsin Waley-Cohen and leading instrumental ensembles The Brodsky Quartet and vocal group I Fagiolini, who celebrate the 500th centenary of Leonardo da Vinci. The mould-breaking instrumental ensemble Chineke! also makes its Petworth debut in 2019, the group being the first to feature top professionals from black and ethnic minority communities.”

Stewart– who celebrates his tenth year as artistic director in 2019 – is keen to point out the extent to which the festival programme has developed in recent times.

“My passion has always been to reach out to the widest possible audience in the same way that I was myself hooked many years ago. I’m not even sure what my first love was all those years ago now, but having worked with amazing comedians, classical, jazz and world musicians, not to mention companies that cater specifically for young and family audiences, I am completely convinced that there is quality wherever you look – and my happy mission is to bring it to Petworth.

“Jazz artists featuring this year include the great John Etheridge, a tribute to the Jazz of Dudley Moore performed by the Chris Ingham Quartet, and the hyper-energetic Ray Gelato and the Giants who headline the annual jamboree that is the Jazz in the Stables concert. This is one of three headline events planned for Petworth House’s atmospheric Stable Yard - the other two featuring blues superstar Georgie Fame, and the one and only Julian Clary.”

The festival is also proud to announce that it is for the first time the recipient of an Awards for All grant from the National Lottery, an award that reflects the festival’s commitment to its work in the community and for young and family audiences. A series of events across the festival targets these audiences, not least a free performance of Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows in the Pleasure Ground of Petworth House and Park, thanks to a new partnership with the National Trust.

Tickets for the festival are available on http://www.petworthfestival.org.uk; 01798 344576 (Tues-Sat, 10am-1pm); or a booking form can be downloaded from the website and posted to the festival office: 151 Whites Green Lodge, Lurgashall, Petworth GU28 9BD.

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