Chiltern Arts Festival Introduces Groundbreaking Outreach Initiative for Youth Concert Experiences

Chiltern Arts has announced the theme, ‘Human Stories’ for its 2024 festival. From the 10th to the 17th of May, attendees will immerse themselves in a diverse array of exceptional musical performances, enthralling poetry readings, and engaging literature sessions. Musicians of the highest calibre, including The Gesualdo Six, I Fagiolini, violinist Fenella Humphreys, and the Carducci String Quartet, will take centre stage alongside literary stars of today Roger McGough and James Runcie. This year’s festival promises to captivate audiences of all ages, with a special focus on engaging young minds aged 9 to 14 through our innovative outreach initiative, ListenUp & ListenIn: inspiring a new generation of audiences.

ListenUp & ListenIn integrates with the diverse festival programme and embodies the values and beliefs upon which the charity was founded: that providing context for music, and presenting it in a way that assumes no prior knowledge of concert etiquette or the music itself, is the best way today to reach a broad and diverse audience. Supporters have the opportunity to help grow the scheme by ‘Sponsoring a Seat‘ to help Chiltern Arts reach more children.

Founder and Creative Director Naomi Taylor says: “We’re so excited to be in the pilot phase of this project, taking steps to nurture a love of culture in young people that is so essential for a resilient cultural sector. I always try to plan thoughtful programmes with human experience at their heart — programmes that are designed to spark curiosity and inspire creativity. I hope that integrating literature into our events, and developing enjoyable and interesting online resources will offer new perspectives, both for our new young audiences, and our existing audiences.”

Taking an exciting new approach to scheduling which differs from previous years, Chiltern Arts will spend two full days in Henely-on-Thames, followed by two days in Princes Risborough and surrounding villages. The Festival’s final flourish takes place in Hughenden and Marlow later in the week. The immersive opportunity of spending two full days in a single location offers a new kind of experience with Chiltern Arts — and the new ‘Festival Passes’ for each of these locations recognise that, offering 20% off tickets by purchasing a Henley or Risborough Pass.