Most of us are very familiar with summer music festivals, and benefit concerts. This is the tale of a benefit festival which lasted for over a century and involved some of the major British and European composers of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
In the second half of the eighteenth century, the town of Birmingham was expanding rapidly. The free thinkers and scientific explorations of the Lunar Society , the canal expansion, and the explosion of manufacturing drew in large numbers of people. One important facility in the town was the General Hospital. This wasn’t funded in any way by the government of the day, but instead, relied largely on charitable donations. This was where the Triennial Festivals came in.