1900 (Hereford) Horatio Parker returned to conduct the première of his A Wanderer’s Psalm. Elgar conducted Caractacus (Scene III).
1901 (Gloucester) First Performance of Herbert Brewer’s Emmaus, orchestrated by Elgar, who also conducted his Cockaigne overture in an orchestral concert, and 'The Prelude' and 'Angel’s Farewell' from The Dream of Gerontius as part of the Opening Service.
1902 (Worcester) First Three Choirs complete performance of Gerontius, conducted by Elgar, who regularly directed his own works at the Festival for the next thirty years. Other composers conducting premières of their works also heard in 1902 included Walford Davies, The Temple, and Granville Bantock, The Witch of Atlas.
1903 (Hereford) First performances of The Wilderness by Bantock and The Atonement by Coleridge-Taylor. Parry directed his own Voces Clamantium.
1904 (Gloucester) First Three Choirs performances of The Apostles and the Overture In the South, both conducted by Elgar. The première of Parry’s The love that casteth out fear, under the composer’s direction.
1907 (Gloucester) First Three Choirs performance of The Kingdom, conducted by Elgar.
1908 (Worcester) First performance of Parry’s Beyond these voices there is peace, conducted by the composer.
1909 (Hereford) Frederick Delius conducted the first performance of his Dance Rhapsody No. 1.
1910 (Gloucester) Ralph Vaughan Williams directed the première of his Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis. Thereafter he conducted his own works regularly at the Festival.
1911 (Worcester) Fritz Kreisler was the soloist in the first Three Choirs performance of the Elgar Violin Concerto, under the composer’s direction. Vaughan Williams conducted the first performance of his Five Mystical Songs.
1912 (Hereford) Premières of two works conducted by their composers: Ode on the Nativity of Christ by Parry, and the Fantasia on Christmas Carols by Vaughan Williams.
1913 (Gloucester) Camille Saint-Saëns conducted the première of his oratorio The Promised Land and was the soloist in a performance of the Piano Concerto No. 27 in B flat, K.595, by Mozart. The soprano Aïno Ackté travelled from Finland to sing in the Verdi Requiem, the first performance of Luonnatar, Op. 70, by Sibelius, and the hair-raising closing scene from Richard Strauss’s opera Salome.
1920 (Worcester) Resumption of the festival following the First World War. Elgar conducted his setting of Binyon’s For the Fallen, and Vaughan Williams, the first performance of his Four Hymns for tenor and strings. The St Matthew Passion (Bach) was performed using two organs for the first time in Worcester, and with chorales played from the tower by brass instruments
1921 (Hereford) Percy Hull’s first Festival as Artistic Director at Hereford. Elgar conducted the first Three Choirs Festival performance of his Cello Concerto, in which Beatrice Harrison was the soloist. Gustav Holst conducted his Hymn of Jesus.
1922 (Gloucester) First performances of Elgar’s orchestral transcription of the Fantasia and Fugue in C minor by Bach; A Colour Symphony by Arthur Bliss; Eugene Goossens’s setting of a poem by Walter de la Mare, Silence; and Sine Nomine by Herbert Howells.
1923 (Worcester) First performance of To the Name above every Name by Arnold Bax.
1925 (Gloucester) Dame Ethel Smyth conducted performances of the overture to The Wreckers and of the Kyrie and Gloria from her Mass in D. The Evening Watch by Gustav Holst received its first performance. This was the first year in which a Three Choirs Festival concert was broadcast by the BBC.
1928 (Gloucester) Herbert Sumsion’s first Festival as Artistic Director at Gloucester. Zoltan Kodaly conducted his Psalmus Hungaricus in the first of three visits (1928, 1937 and 1948) to Three Choirs. The festival programme also included King David by Honegger, and the first performance of The Burden of Babylon by Bantock, which was conducted by the composer. Dame Ethel Smyth returned to conduct a complete performance of her Mass in D.
1929 (Worcester) First performance at Three Choirs of Bach’s St John Passion.
1931 (Gloucester) Holst conducted the première of his Choral Fantasia and a performance of the Hymn of Jesus. Vaughan Williams conducted the first Three Choirs Festival performance of Job. Robin Milford’s A Prophet in the Land received its first performance, and Herbert Howells conducted the première of his song group In Green Ways.
1932 (Worcester) William Walton conducted his Portsmouth Point overture and Viola Concerto, and Vaughan Williams the first performance of his Magnificat.
1933 (Hereford) The last Festival in which Elgar took part, conducting Gerontius; The Kingdom; and the Concerto in E minor, arr. for Viola. George Dyson conducted the première of his St Paul’s Voyage to Melita.
1935 (Worcester) The first performances of The Morning Watch by Arnold Bax, and of Dyson’s Nebuchadnezzar, which was conducted by the composer.
1936 (Hereford) Vaughan Williams conducted the first performance of his Two Hymn Preludes for orchestra.
1937 (Gloucester) Kodaly conducted both his Budavari Te Deum and Jesus and the Traders.
1938 (Worcester) Dyson conducted his Symphony in G; Vaughan Williams, his Dona Nobis Pacem; and Lennox Berkeley, the première of his Domini est terra. The programme included the first Three Choirs performance of Debussy’s The Blessed Damozel.
1946 (Hereford) Resumption of the Festival following the Second World War. First Festival performance of Dies Natalis by Gerald Finzi. EJ Moeran conducted his Sinfonietta in C, and Dyson the first performance of his Quo Vadis? (Part I).
1947 (Gloucester) Vaughan Williams conducted his Symphony No. 5. Finzi conducted his Lo, the Full Final Sacrifice, and Edmund Rubbra his Symphony No. 3.
1948 (Worcester) Kodaly conducted his Missa Brevis (partly rewritten for this performance). Rubbra conducted his setting of The Morning Watch.
1949 (Hereford) Last appearances of Hull and Atkins as conductors. Vaughan Williams conducted his Symphony No. 3 (Pastoral); Finzi, the première of his Clarinet Concerto; and Dyson, Quo Vadis? (Parts I & II).