newmusicwells festival: Sunday 15 – Thursday 19 October 2017


new music wells
forty years of music: a celebration

Sunday 15 – Thursday 19 October 2017

Founded in 2008 by Matthew Owens, Organist and Master of the Choristers, this innovative festival is a retrospective of sacred choral and organ music of the previous forty years during all services, together with world premiere performances by Wells Cathedral Choir and organists of music by internationally renowned composers, local composers, and composition students from Wells Cathedral School. There are also concerts and a public masterclass with the featured composer of the year. The festival’s President is British composer, Judith Bingham, following on from the late Jonathan Harvey.

The 2017 new music wells festival will take place from Sunday 15 – Thursday 19 October. This year’s distinguished featured composer is Howard Skempton. His new choral works will be premiered by Wells Cathedral Choir on Thursday 19 October at the 5.15pm service of Choral Evensong. He will be in conversation with fellow composers for Composer Conversations with Michael Berkeley at 2.30pm on Wednesday 18 October. Admission to all nmw events is free.

The festival will also include world premiere performances of works by other composers including Philip Wilby.

There will be four concerts during the week: Vicars Choral Ed Goater and Chris Sheldrake will give a contemporary song recital on Monday 16 October, and students from Wells Cathedral School will give lunchtime recitals on Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 October at 1.05pm, including music by the school’s student composers. In addition Organist and Master of the Choristers, Matthew Owens, will give an organ recital at 1.05pm on Thursday 19 October which will include world premieres of works by Howard Skempton and Judith Bigham. Admission to all three performances is free, with retiring collections to support Wells Cathedral Music.

For information about how you can support the commissioning of new music for the festival, please click here.

Times of Services for the festival
Sunday: Eucharist 9.45am, Matins 11.30am, Evensong 3.00pm

Monday to Thursday: Evensong 5.15pm

newmusicwells also forms part of a cultural collaboration in Wells with four Festivals showcasing a wealth of local and national talent to create a spectacular autumn in Somerset.  More information about our ‘City of Festivals’ can be found here.