In 2018 the Festival marks two significant Centenaries: the end of the First World War and Women’s Suffrage. These significant moments in the life of the nation are reflected throughout this year’s programme.
Our literary series provides the platform to discuss the role of women: Shami Chakrabarti talks about her book Of Women: In the 21st Century, Professor June Purvis about the life of Christabel Pankhurst, Jenni Murray runs through A History of the World in 21 Women and Matthew Dennison rediscovers Caroline of Ansbach.
The First World War is remembered through music and visual art. Eton College’s Great War Remembrance trail offers a chance to view the ways in which its fallen are commemorated, Orpheus Sinfonia and Baritone Roderick Williams present a concert programme which includes music composed during the war, whilst The Choir of St George’s Chapel’s For the Fallen offers music with associations to the Chapel. Voci Chamber Choir celebrate Hubert Parry’s centenary including his Songs of Farewell, and artist Hughie O’Donoghue speaks about his series of paintings Seven Halts on the Somme.
But there is also so much more in the programme: a visit from The Choir of Westminster Cathedral to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of St Edward’s Catholic Church, a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and several local choirs, our Associate Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, in the Waterloo Chamber, and talks from Michael Rosen, Patrick Gale and Salley Vickers.
I hope that you will enjoy discovering these Festival events, and that we will all share in the festivities throughout the fortnight.