The Presteigne Festival has long been celebrated for its commissioning of new music from a wide range of composers. Thanks to generous financial support from organisations including the John S Cohen Foundation, the PRS Foundation, the RVW Trust and Tŷ Cerdd, the Festival has been able to intensify efforts to support composers at critical points in their professional careers.
In 2013, the Festival expanded its activity into composer development, and began a fruitful and ongoing partnership with the Royal Philharmonic Society Composers Programme.
More recently, in 2020, inspiring Scottish composer Ninfea Cruttwell-Reade was appointed as the Festival’s first ‘Evolve’ composer; over a period of five years, the Festival will feature her music, also regularly commissioning new works. The first of these, Reginald: The Musings of an Edwardian Gentleman, was premiered online as part of Presteigne Digital 2020, with narrator Christopher Good and the Nova Music Opera Ensemble under George Vass – the performance can be viewed via this link. Ninfea’s commission for the 2022 Festival is for a new violin and piano piece, to be premiered by Benjamin Nabarro and Tim Horton.
Such has been the success of ‘Evolve’, that the Festival is now embarking on a further post-graduate composer development scheme. We are delighted to announce that, from 2022, Sarah Frances Jenkins joins the Presteigne Festival as its ‘Emerge’ composer for a three-year period. Winner of the 2017 BBC Proms Inspire Young Composers’ Competition, Sarah already has a number of high-profile commissions to her credit.
Uniquely, the Presteigne Festival ‘Emerge’ programme will offer performance opportunities for Sarah’s extant works, commissions for new pieces, major involvement in an exciting community education project, alongside regular mentoring and a chance to work with the Festival’s board. She is currently writing a new orchestral work which will be premiered at the 2022 Festival conducted by artistic director, George Vass.