Chiltern Arts

Chiltern Arts

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  • Arts

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At the heart of Chiltern Arts is a commitment to excellence, opportunity and innovation, as well as a belief that the arts are central to the quality of life and should be accessible to all. We aim to inspire audiences, create new work, and create a community that adds to and supports the rich tapestry of culture in the area. 

In 2024, Chiltern Arts begins work on the first phase of an ambitious outreach project to engage and inspire a new generation of listeners while also building and developing our connection with our festival audience. The project is two-fold: ListenUp offers access to concerts for young people aged 9–14. This part of the project will be delivered through schools and in 2024 we are earmarking 240 seats for young people attending our concerts free of charge. ListenIn is a free online resource that offers a number of ways to learn about, engage with or explore the music and artists that appear at the Festival.


Founded in 2017 to bring the highest-quality arts and music to the Chiltern Hills, Chiltern Arts runs an annual week-long festival in May. Festivals present music from some of the country's best musicians and literary talents. Programmes include performances from young professional ensembles selected in collaboration with the Worshipful Company of Musicians through our Take Note Young Artist Platform. A distinctive feature of Chiltern Arts events is the combination and entwining of music and literature, presenting the two alongside one another to offer new perspectives, new ways of thinking and new ways to experience the arts. 

Events take place in venues across the Chilterns: in 2024 we present two days of events in Henley-on-Thames, two days in the Risboroughs, a day in Hughenden and a day in Marlow. Events include poetry and afternoon tea on the Thames; afternoon concerts in gorgeous country churches; a film screening; a guided poetry walk; string quartets combined with composer's letters, a spoken word performance; and choral masterpieces from Italy and France — plus the opportunity for local singers to perform at the Festival.

In 2020 Chiltern Arts worked with several partners to create its first major digital project – a 20-minute film of excerpts from Britten's Saint Nicolas cantata, featuring both professional musicians and amateur singers in a virtual capacity. Each year we seek to present the world premiere of new works or arrangements, including in 2020 the commission and premiere of the first piece written for Marimba and Theorbo.

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