From Thursday 26th August for 6 days in Presteigne, Powys, Wales
Artistic innovation and musical discovery in the Welsh Marches
Held each August in an intimate setting nestling on the Powys/Herefordshire border, the Presteigne Festival has become a focal point for those seeking musical nourishment and artistic discovery in the beautiful surroundings of the Welsh Marches. With a truly forward looking commissioning policy, the organisation works closely with composers and artists to create and curate inspiring programmes and events for an ever-widening Festival audience and to bring experience broadening opportunities to its host community.
The Presteigne Festival’s six music-filled days span the August Bank Holiday period. Established over thirty years ago, the Festival has a long tradition of supporting young artists and for presenting a fresh and individually stylised mix of contemporary works carefully balanced with twentieth century classics and featuring a wide range of music from the standard repertoire.
Presteigne Festival 2019
Described by Musical Opinion Quarterly as ‘an indispensable mainstay of the cultural calendar’, the 2019 Presteigne Festival programme brings together a large number of diverse musical elements, but with an important American strand running throughout.
We welcome two exciting composers-in-residence – from the UK, Cheryl Frances-Hoad ‘A remarkable talent’ The Times, and from the United States, composer and virtuoso harpist Hannah Lash ‘striking and resourceful … handsomely brooding’ New York Times; we also include a mini-feature of works by the iconic Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Aaron Copland, among the most important and highly respected figures in all American music.
The Festival continues to actively promote the work of living composers with a collection of specially commissioned pieces from James Francis Brown (string trio), Cheryl Frances-Hoad (Clarinet Quintet), Harriet Grainger (a setting of the Missa brevis), Hannah Lash (Concertino for flute and string orchestra), Freya Waley-Cohen (a work for string quartet), Adrian Williams (Concerto for string orchestra, co-commissioned with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta) and 2018 Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize-winner, Liam Mattison (a work for percussion and piano).
A carefully balanced collection of supporting events extends the American theme further and includes Sarah Gabriel’s hugely entertaining one-woman show, Dorothy Parker takes a Trip, together with exhibitions, a trio of American movies, talks from Stephen Johnson, Ian Marchant and Nick Murray, poetry with Fiona Sampson, Welsh art with Peter Lord and more besides.
Artists appearing include the Albion Quartet, pianists Tom Poster and Siwan Rhys, virtuoso flautist Katherine Bryan, French clarinettist Rozenn le Trionnaire, string players Mathilde Milwidsky (violin), Alice Neary (cello), Sarah-Jane Bradley (viola) and Hannah Lash (harp), soprano Elizabeth Cragg and exciting young percussionist George Barton. A specially-formed Presteigne Festival Chamber Choir will be directed by Philip Sunderland and the ever-popular Festival Orchestra will appear three times under artistic director, George Vass.
Outreach continues to be a vital part of the Presteigne Festival’s work, enabling better engagement with communities both at home and away. In 2019, we’ll be working with senior members of the community in association with the Bleddfa Centre for the Creative Spirit, and our Autumn Tour is to be undertaken by exciting young piano and percussion duo George Barton and Siwan Rhys.