Boxgrove Choral Festival 2023

31 August–3 September 2023. Organised by The Beaufort Singers.

The Beaufort Singers are excited to announce the return of the Boxgrove Choral Festival from 31 August–3 September 2023.

There are three concerts and one service which all take place in the stunning Boxgrove Priory, just outside Chichester.

To kick things off on 31 August, renowned vocal ensemble The Gesualdo Six make their first appearance at the Boxgrove Choral Festival. However, the group are no strangers to Boxgrove and they absolutely love the Priory acoustics. Their English Motets programme will feature the music of William Byrd who both died 400 years ago this year.

On 1 September there is a concert of songs by Richard Strauss given by young duo Katherine Gregory & Madeleine Brown, recent winners of the Clare College Song Competition in Cambridge. Their programme culminates with the famous Four Last Songs

Soprano Katherine Gregory‘s operatic repertoire includes Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus (Rosalinde), Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (Queen of the Night) & Le Nozze di Figaro (Contessa) and Handel’s Semele (Juno). She has also sung solos in Brahms’ and Duruflé’s Requiem settings, the latter on YouTube for The Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge under Stephen Layton. Pianist Madeleine Brown recently won first prize in the Cambridge University Concerto Competition, playing Grieg’s Piano Concerto. She has also recently performed Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Both have just graduated from the University of Cambridge and are now embarking on the next stage of their careers.

The Beaufort Singers return to Boxgrove Priory for a weekend of choral music from Europe. First, on 2 September, they return to a work which we performed first in 2017, during our first season.

Rachmaninov was born 150 years ago this year, and the All-Night Vigil is being performed around the world to mark this anniversary. This work is the crowning achievement of the Russian orthodox sacred music tradition. It shows an altogether different side of the composer’s style to his orchestral music. 

Rachmaninov had a deep personal faith, clearly displayed through his setting of the choral vespers. Split into two parts, first comes music for evening Vespers and then for morning Mattins, forming an ‘All-Night Vigil’. The work includes the famous settings of the Nunc Dimittis and Ave Maria (Bogoroditse Dyevo). 

Prestigious soloists Jess Dandy & Peter Davoren join an augmented chorus to create the lavish soundscape, including the famous writing for the Basso profondovoice part.

The Festival ends in the customary way with Mass on the morning of 4 September at 11am. We are particularly delighted to welcome the Bishop of Chichester to celebrate and preach at this service which will feature Poulenc’s Mass in G as well the joint forces of The Beaufort Singers and Boxgrove Priory Choir in the final Te Deum by Stanford.

Tickets for the concerts and our Festival Pass can be purchased here:

We do hope you can join us for what promises to be a very special Boxgrove Choral Festival!

Joseph Wicks

The Gesualdo Six: English Motets 31 August
Strauss’ Four Last Songs 1 September
Rachmaninov: All-Night Vigil 2 September
Poulenc: Mass in G 3 September

Read about Simon Grant, baritone.

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