26-31 August 2021
The Presteigne Festival team have worked tirelessly to bring together a striking programme for the 2021 Festival. Our hope is to present a range of live performances to a socially-distanced audience, also offering ‘Presteigne Digital 2021’ an additional online event available from late September, which will include chamber highlights specially designed for an online audience, offering composer and artist interviews.
Recently honoured at The Ivors Composer Awards and celebrating her 70th birthday year in 2021, Cecilia McDowall is composer-in-residence.
The Festival’s advocacy of new music continues with a corpus of exciting new works from a hugely talented roster of British composers – James Francis Brown, Gary Carpenter, Nathan James Dearden, Sarah Jenkins, Cecilia McDowall, Luke Styles, Adrian Sutton, Hilary Tann, Matthew Taylor and James B Wilson, our 2021 RPS Emerging Composer.
Other important elements see the Festival celebrating the Malcolm Arnold centenary, a mini-feature of music by Michael Tippett and a French music focus centred on Ravel.
Opening the Festival, Nova Music Opera present the premiere production of Luke Styles’ chamber opera Awakening Shadow – a re-imagining of his 2013 Glyndebourne Festival Opera commission, which interweaves his own music with Benjamin Britten’s five Canticles.
As always at the Festival, performance standards are upheld with a first class artist line-up – the Heath Quartet, Ensemble Perpetuo, violinists Fenella Humphreys and Francesca Barritt, pianists George Xiaoyuan Fu and Timothy End, oboist James Turnbull, baritone Jonathan Gunthorpe, cellist Cara Berridge and bassoonist Catriona McDermid.
The hugely popular Choir of Royal Holloway will be in residence under director Rupert Gough, whilst the Festival Orchestra undertake two programmes conducted by artistic director George Vass.
A balanced collection of supporting events includes talks from Peter J Conradi, Tippett biographer Oliver Soden, Nicholas Murray, Fiona Sampson and Christopher Austin on Malcolm Arnold. Also offered are an exhibition in association with the Sidney Nolan Trust and the popular Presteigne Open Studios weekend.
Final arrangements are likely to be confirmed in mid-May and as a result, tickets will not be on sale to the general public until June. The full programme will be announced online at the end of May. Please bear with us on this – we want to be able to give our audience the best and safest possible experience in 2021.
We hope to see you in August for some brilliant live performances – something greatly missed by us all in 2020.
Presteigne Festival, PO Box 30, Presteigne, Powys LD8 2WF