THE CHRISTCHURCH Priory Music and Art Festival have announced the programme for this year’s event.

The biannual festival, now in its fourth year, will showcase a range of different music styles from Baroque, jazz, romantic, choral and orchestral.

This year’s week-long event, which is due to take place from Saturday June 13 to Saturday June 20, will feature seven evening concerts in the Priory and seven daytime events including events at St George’s and St John’s.

Organiser Colin Bacchus said: “As always, we have tried to get a wide range of music so that there is not just one particular genre.

“At this year’s festival we will have a nod to Beethoven and his 250th anniversary, we have a fantastic pianist who will be performing on Tuesday lunch who will be playing Beethoven’s Tempest Sonata which is a beautiful piece of music.

“This year also marks the 75th birthday of John Rutter so we will be celebrating his music which we had to do, and we thought was a good idea.”

The festival will kick off on Saturday June 13 with a celebration of English composer John Rutter’s 75th year. The whole programme will be devoted to his music, sung by the Festival Chorus, along with Soprano soloist Abi Temple, and accompanied by the Oxford Sinfonia.

John Rutter famously composed the setting of Psalm 150, commissioned for the Queen's Golden Jubilee, and commissioned to write a new anthem, "This is the day", for the Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in 2011, performed at Westminster Abbey during the service.

Visitors may even see the great man himself.

Acapella vocal group Papagena will be hosting workshops with schoolchildren in the Priory and, at lunchtime, in St George’s Chris Dean, leader of the Syd Lawrence Orchestra, will coach sixth-form students with the orchestra performing to the public in the evening.

The festival will also celebrate Beethoven’s 250th anniversary year with a collection of solo and choral performances.

On Friday evening, the Priory will be hosting a Film Night – all your favourite movie themes, and the opportunity for children and adults to dress up as their favourite character.

Colin added: “The festival has its own momentum now. When we call up acts for their availability, they usually confirm before we have even finished speaking because they want to come back and perform in this much-loved venue.

“The popularity of the festival has increased year on year, but the budget has also grown, which means there is a good return for the church but means we are able to bring more and more acts to the festival.”

Tickets for the festival go on sale on Sunday March 1 and can be purchased from the Priory’s box office.