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About Us


Stars in the Family!  October 10th - 26th


This year’s Festival is inspired by the 450th anniversary of the birth of Galileo Galilei.

Galileo was a star-gazer and astronomer and came from a multi-talented family.


His father, Vincenzo, was one of the inventors of opera and a part-time scientist who made an important study of acoustics.

His brother, Michelagnolo, was a musician and his eldest daughter, Virginia (Suor Maria Celeste), was a lady of letters.

Galileo also studied and taught art. Through his artistic knowledge of light and shade (chiaroscuro) he deduced that the moon’s surface was not flat but made up of mountains and craters.


There will be plenty of audience events to choose from including art and heritage exhibitions, concerts (of several kinds!), masterclasses, opera, talks, plays, poetry readings and films, all with a focus on Galileo, families and stardom. These are just a few highlights.


George Szirtes, winner of the internationally acclaimed T S Eliot Prize, will judge our poetry competition and visit the Festival at the Drayton Court. He will be accompanied by his family to present an array of activities in which they have collaborated as writers, musician and artists.


William Lloyd Webber, father of one of the most star-studded families ever, will feature in several concerts celebrating his centenary. Jiaxin Cheng/Lloyd Webber will bring her piano trio to play works by WLW and Rachmaninov alongside readings from Travels with my Cello by Julian Lloyd Webber. The West London Sinfonia will play Wiliiam’s finest orchestral work Aurora in a programme of Schumann and Brahms, representative of another kind of “adoptive” artistic family.


4020 Art Group has produced a stunning collection of paintings entitled Constellations which will be incorporated into a production of our new community opera written specially for the Festival: Galileo!


The Festival is offering many opportunities for you to take part in things you enjoy doing.

Want to dress up and sing in a Chorus of Stars? Want to play in an orchestra, maybe for the first time? From beginner to brilliant virtuoso, the new opera Galileo! gives you your chance.


If you want to try heritage and history with a real difference, sign up for the tWW1tter project.

We’re going to tweet a whole World War 1 battle in real time starting on October 19th. No one has done it quite like this before so you could be part of a big first ever global event!


Maybe you’re a budding playwright? Tell us and we’ll sign you up for our playwriting workshop.

Maybe you’re a poet? Contact us and we’ll tell you how to enter the poetry competition.


If you like the idea of a sociable walk with a purpose, you could join our leafleting team: a nice bit of exercise with a positive purpose!



Contact us at:  or  020 8567 7623


Just say if you’re interested in Galileo! (chorus or orchestra), tWW1tter, playwriting, poetry competition, leafleting or ask for more information.


We’re waiting to hear from you!

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