The Lichfield Festival - History - 1990–2001


Gordon Clark’s tenure as Artistic Director ended with his untimely death in August 1989. Clark was succeeded by Paul Spicer, the longest serving Artistic Director to date. Spicer sought to ‘cater for all tastes and provide something for everyone’. Different thematic strands were brought into the programme to encourage what Spicer called ‘cohesion and unity’. The first of these were the music of Mozart, Samuel Barber, and Cole Porter in 1991. The bi-centenary of Mozart’s death in this year also saw the Festival’s first opera – a full production of The Marriage of Figaro. The Festival acquired a logo – a stylised cello headstock with ‘The Lichfield Festival’ encircling it – and a Fringe, with events taking place in sixteen venues around the city, in 1994.

Spicer also introduced the concept of having a composer-in-residence to Lichfield, the first of whom was William Mathias, who was succeeded by such luminaries as Robert Saxton. Sir Michael Tippett was not a composer-in-residence, but did send in his best wishes in 1992.

Returning artists: András Schiff, Humphrey Lyttelton, Endellion Quartet, National Youth Jazz Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Ex Cathedra, BBC Philharmonic.

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