Carducci Festival Highnam 17-19th May 2024

Welcome to another wonderful celebration of chamber music in Highnam! We are looking forward to sharing a fantastic springtime weekend with you.

We can’t wait to welcome pianists Lara Melda and Katya Apekishiva, both of whom are making their Highnam débuts, playing Chopin and Shostakovich respectively. Clarinettist Emma Johnson needs no introduction, and will be joining us for Sunday morning’s Coffee Concert – this year in a new location, the historic church of St Mary de Crypt in Gloucester.

As ever, we’ll be celebrating our work with young artists, with brand new music by the winners of the Carducci Young Composers Competition, as well as our regular Gloucestershire Young Musician Showcase and festival masterclasses. Tickets are free for anyone aged 25 or under thanks to support from the Cavatina Chamber Music Trust.

See you in Highnam!

(Festival passes now sold out – tickets for some individual concerts available below) 

Friday 17th May

Pre-concert event: Young Composer Showcase

6.00pm, Highnam Church

FREE EVENT – the winning pieces from the Carducci Young Composers Competition, performed by the Carducci Quartet.

Musical Masterpieces

7.30pm, Highnam Church

The Carducci Quartet 

Lara Melda, piano

Mozart String Quartet No. 19 in C major K465 ‘Dissonance’

Beethoven Sonata No. 17 in D minor ‘The Tempest’

Chopin Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor Op. 21 arranged for piano & string quartet

We look forward to opening the 2024 Festival with one of Mozart’s most celebrated chamber works, the glorious ‘Dissonance’ quartet, and we’re thrilled to be performing Chopin’s iconic second piano concerto with former BBC Young Musician Lara Melda.

Tickets from £18 (free tickets for under-26s) 

Free tickets supported by the CAVATINA Chamber Music Trust 
(Sold out – for returns call 07958 790173)

Saturday 18th May

From Paris to Moscow

7.30pm, Highnam Church

The Carducci Quartet

Katya Apekisheva, piano

Haydn String Quartet Op. 20 No. 4 in D major

Ravel String Quartet in F major

Shostakovich Quintet for Piano & Strings in G minor Op. 57

If you’re a regular Carducci follower you’ll have realised that we’re very passionate about the music of Shostakovich, and we’re looking forward to performing his Piano Quintet with Moscow-born pianist Katya Apekisheva. Alongside this masterwork we’ll be performing two of our favourite quartets by Haydn and Ravel.

Tickets from £18 (free tickets for under-26s)
(Sold out – for returns call 07958 790173) 

Sunday 19th May

Coffee Concert: Mozart and More

11.00am, St Mary de Crypt, Gloucester 

The Carducci Quartet

Emma Johnson, clarinet

We’re delighted to be welcoming back clarinettist Emma Johnson for this year’s Coffee Concert which takes place in a new (to us!) venue in the centre of Gloucester. See below for directions and car parking suggestions. Together we will perform Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet in A major K581 alongside a variety of shorter pieces that have been arranged for the ensemble.

Tickets from £18 (free tickets for under-26s). Includes coffee and cake before the concert from 10.30am

Sunday 11am – Seat choices

Festival Finale

Quartet Classics

4.30pm, Highnam Church

Mendelssohn String Quartet No. 2 in A minor Op. 13
Shostakovich String Quartet No. 9 in Eb major Op. 117

The 2024 festival comes to a close with two contrasting masterworks. One written by a teenage Mendelssohn, the other by an older Shostakovich but both composers struggling with inner turmoil, dealing with the universal themes of unrequited love and oppression.

Tickets from £18 (free tickets for under-26s)

Sundays 4.30pm – Seat choices


Saturday 18th May

Concordia Festival Masterclasses

10.30 – 12.00pm, Highnam Church

FREE EVENT – A masterclass for young violinists with Matthew Denton.

Supported by the Concordia Foundation

Gloucestershire Young Musician Showcase

1.00pm, Highnam Church

FREE EVENT – Featuring the winner of the Carducci Audience Prize at the Gloucestershire Young Musician Competition 2024.


Directions, Accommodation and Food



For Highnam Church (GL2 8DG): From Gloucester take the A40 towards Ross on Wye. After 2km turn right at the traffic lights onto B4215 (signposted Newent). After 250m turn left (signposted Highnam Community Centre) and drive straight ahead for Church parking.


For St Mary de Crypt GL1 1TP

St Mary de Crypt is in Southgate Street and there are several public car parks nearby. On-street parking is free on Sundays, or we suggest the Southgate Moorings car park at Gloucester Docks GL1 2DB which is a five minute walk along Southgate Street and costs £4 for the whole day on a Sunday. 


Bus & Taxi

Bus & Taxi for Highnam concerts
Stagecoach bus route 32 from Gloucester stops at Highnam Stores (a short walk from Highnam Church) in the daytime. For a taxi back to Gloucester after evening concerts try Andy Cars on 01452 523000.



We are always looking for volunteers to join out friendly team of Festival stewards.  Benefits include free access to concerts!  Email carduccitrust@gmail.com to find out more.



Gloucestershire is a wonderful area for a weekend visit.  For more information regarding accommodation in the local area, please contact us for a list of suggestions.



Although there is no pub or restaurant in Highnam, there are good facilities locally at Over Farm Market (shop with a good selection of sandwiches and snacks); the Toby Carvery (on the A40 towards Gloucester); and the Wharf House at Over.  All are less than a 10 minute drive away.

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"a performance of supreme clarity, focus and precision." Gramophone Magazine
"…playing of constant variety, a masterclass in unanimity of musical purpose." The Strad
"...technical rigour, penetrative musical insight and lively yet unified individualism...winning in every sense of the word..." The Irish Times
"...high-octane playing balanced control with devil-may-care spontaneity..." The Guardian