Popular Powys Music Festival turns 40 this summer

A RENOWNED Powys FESTIVAL turns 40 this summer.

After two years of uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Festival de Presteigne will celebrate its 40th anniversary from August 25 to 30.

With an international reputation for commissioning significant new works and supporting younger generation performers and composers, the 2022 festival takes the 150th anniversary of the birth of Ralph Vaughan Williams as its central theme.

Continuing to promote the widest range of contemporary British music, the festival has commissioned no less than nine works to mark this very special anniversary year: Looking West, a major new concert-theatre work by composer-in-residence Julian Philips, with a exciting orchestral, chamber, instrumental and choral pieces by Cheryl Frances-Hoad, David Matthews, Tarik O’Regan, Aileen Sweeney, Huw Watkins and the Royal Philharmonic Society’s 2022 Young Composer, Rylan Gleave.

There are also major commissions from Ninfea Cruttwell-Reade and Sarah Frances Jenkins, outstanding artists of the younger generation currently supported by Presteigne Festival’s “Evolve and Emerge” composer mentorship programs.

In addition to the new music component of the festival, the musical program also includes a wide variety of works by Bach, Beethoven, Elgar, Fauré, Hindemith, Ireland, Ravel, Schoenberg, Schubert, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Walton and a collection of works significant of Vaughan Williams.

The roster of artists includes many festival favorites and a number of newcomers – from the Carducci Quartet, members of Nova Music Opera, the Leonore Piano Trio, oboist Nicholas Daniel, violinist Benjamin Nabarro, saxophonist Amy Dickson, baritone Julien Van Mellaerts, pianists Tim Horton and Huw Watkins, cellist Gemma Rosefield, harpist Olivia Jageurs, guitarist Emmanuel Sowicz, the Bath Camerata with conductor Benjamin Goodson and the ever-popular Festival Orchestra under artistic director George Vass .

The supporting program includes cabaret by Jessica Walker and Joseph Atkins, poetry by Gillian Clarke, literature by Helen Attlee and Nicholas Murray, Stephen Johnson on Vaughan Williams, music and local history by Michael Tavinor, a trio of films from the American director Wes Anderson, exhibitions and Presteigne’s hugely popular ‘Open Studios’ weekend.

The festival brochure has been published and is now available, with phone and online bookings opening on Tuesday 24 May.

Visit presteignefestival.com or call 01544 267800 for more information.