24-28 August 2023
The 2023 Presteigne Festival features the music of one of the most prophetic voices of the twentieth century, Leoš Janáček. In the translation by Nobel prize-winner Seamus Heaney, Janáček’s darkly atmospheric song-cycle/opera, The Diary of one who disappeared, will take centre stage on the opening night of the Festival.
Major birthdays are celebrated for the Festival’s long-serving President, Michael Berkeley and octogenarian British symphonist, David Matthews.
We’re also hugely excited to be welcoming Roxanna Panufnik as composer-in-residence, recently described by The Observer as ‘a gifted composer with a fast-growing reputation for heart, spunk and individuality … distinctive in voice, serious, bold and appealing’.
The Festival’s important tradition of commissioning and premiering new music continues to be central to its ethos. 11 new works from Panufnik, Berkeley, Charlotte Bray, Edward Gregson, Thomas Hyde, Sarah Frances Jenkins, Claire Victoria Roberts, Adrian Williams, James B Wilson and Electra Perivolaris (2023 Royal Philharmonic Society composer) will receive world premieres.
Extant music from other living composers – including Ninfea Cruttwell-Reade (Presteigne Festival ‘Evolve’ composer), Jonathan Dove, Edmund Finnis, Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Hilary Tann, Rhian Samuel, Huw Watkins and Judith Weir – is programmed alongside pieces by Bartók, Beethoven, Brahms, Britten, Debussy, Fauré, Holst, Poulenc, Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky.
A truly world-class artist roster includes the Solem Quartet, Ivana Gavrič (piano), Rachel Roberts (viola), Mathilde Milwidsky (violin), Robert Plane (clarinet), Mark Wilde (tenor), Julien Van Mellaerts (baritone), Zoe Drummond (soprano), Alexei Watkins (horn), Chris Hopkins and Timothy End (piano), the Choir of King’s College, London under Joseph Fort and the popular Festival Orchestra and Chamber Ensemble conducted by artistic director, George Vass.
The Festival will also offer a wide-ranging supporting programme of literary- and music-based talks, a trio of films produced in Wales, an exhibition presented in association with the Sidney Nolan Trust and, in partnership with local artists and makers, the now hugely popular Presteigne ‘Open Studios’ weekend.
The full programme will be published in April 2023.
Presteigne Festival, PO Box 30, Presteigne, Powys LD8 2WF