18 Dec

2016 Presteigne Festival highlights announced

The Presteigne Festival has today announced the main themes for the 2016 Presteigne Festival, which takes place from 25 to 30 August.

The 2016 Presteigne Festival will host no fewer than 27 arts events, including 14 concerts, a staged production of Stravinsky’s L’histoire du soldat, poetry, literature, exhibitions, a one-man show, local history and screenings of the classic trilogy of Harry Palmer films starring Michael Caine.

The full programme will be confirmed in April 2016, but an enticing overview of what is on offer can be found here.

All of us at the Presteigne Festival take this opportunity to wish you a peaceful Christmas and a musically prosperous New Year.

Discoed snowView of St Michael’s Church, Discoed in the snow

17 Sep

Autumn Tour with Fenella Humphreys

Hugely popular with everyone at the Presteigne Festival this year, violinist Fenella Humphreys performs Michael Small’s Royal Philharmonic Society/Presteigne Festival Alan Horne Memorial commission White Space, premiered in Presteigne, alongside a wide range of music by Cyril Scott, Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Kreisler and J S Bach at St George’s Bristol and adds Sibelius and Peter Maxwell Davies for her November recital as part of Music at Oxford’s International Concert Season.

Dates are as follows, please click on venue names for full details:Thursday 24 September at 1pm
St George’s Bristol, Great George Street, Park Street, Bristol BS1 5RR
Box Office – 0845 40 24 001

Friday 13 November at 7.30pm (pre-concert talk at 6.30pm)
Harris Manchester College Chapel, Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3TD
Box Office – 01865 244 806

21 Aug

Box Office open all day from Monday

From Monday 24 August, the Festival Box Office will have extended opening hours for telephone sales and personal callers; it is situated at the Assembly Rooms, Broad Street, Presteigne LD8 2AD. Please don’t send Festival mail to this address but instead use P O Box 30, Presteigne LD8 2WF

2015 Presteigne Festival Box Office opening times

24 August – 1 September
Daily, 10am – 5pm

Telephone 01544 267 800

If you wish to book tickets out of Box Office hours, Online Booking is available here

20 Jul

Festival Box Office now open for telephone sales

Excitement is starting to build in Presteigne – only five weeks before Festival Week. Over 50% of tickets have already been sold, so please book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

The Festival Box Office is now open for telephone sales and personal callers; it is situated at the Assembly Rooms, Broad Street, Presteigne LD8 2AD. Please don’t send Presteigne Festival mail to this address but instead use P O Box 30, Presteigne LD8 2WF

2015 Presteigne Festival Box Office Opening Times

20 July – 22 August
Monday – Saturday, 11am – 2pm

24 August – 1 September
Daily, 10am – 5pm

Telephone 01544 267 800

If you wish to book tickets out of Box Office hours, Online Booking is available here

27 Apr

2015 Festival programme announced

The full programme for the 2015 Presteigne Festival has been announced, with the publication of the Festival Brochure last week:

PF2015 Brochure front page


Now in its thirty-third year, the Presteigne Festival celebrates music, musicians and very much more with a wide variety of vibrant arts events. This year we feature Nordic music, marking the 150th anniversaries of Sibelius and Nielsen whilst also embracing the contemporary voices of Einojuhani Rautavaara and Pēteris Vasks.

The Festival has an enviable reputation for the commissioning of new music and 2015 is especially exciting with important pieces from Charlotte Bray, David Knotts, David Matthews, Cecilia McDowall, Joseph Phibbs, Michael Small and composer-in-residence, Matthew Taylor.

In addition, our complementary programme of exhibitions and talks – on a wide range of subjects with local and broader interest – includes Welsh painters, medieval archaeology and architecture, and an award-winning one-man show.

The artist roster brims over with extraordinary talent; Presteigne favourites return (including Tom Poster, Gillian Keith and the Navarra Quartet), whilst other musicians make their first pilgrimage to the Welsh Marches – among them outstanding British violinist Fenella Humphreys and piano-duettists Joseph Tong and Waka Hasegawa.

With such remarkable ingredients – tremendous music, superb artists and speakers, some of the most beautiful scenery in the country – who could fail to enjoy this wonderful Festival. We look forward to welcoming you in August.

Online and Postal Booking on Tuesday 5 May 2015

To view full details of 2015 Festival performance programme, click here

To view details of 2015 Festival exhibitions, click here

10 Mar

2015 London Fundraiser | Thursday 14 May – members of Cavaleri Quartet join Nicola Eimer

We are pleased to announce that Martyn Jackson violin, Ann Beilby viola and Rowena Calvert cello – three members of the wonderful Cavaleri Quartet who were such a hit at the 2014 Presteigne Festival – are able to join Royal Over-Seas League piano competition winner Nicola Eimer for our London fundraising event on Thursday 14 May.

Cavaleri Quartet

The distinctive programme features some great chamber music from Mozart with beautiful works for cello and piano at its centre (by Schumann and Presteigne Festival favourite Cecilia McDowall), and also Johan Halvorsen’s amazing arrangement for violin and viola of Handel’s Passacaglia in G minor.

W A Mozart Duo in G, K423
Cecilia McDowall Falling Angels
Schumann Adagio and Allegro in A flat, Op 70
Handel/Halvorsen Passacaglia in G minor
W A Mozart Piano Quartet in G minor, K478

Nicola Eimer

Please support this fabulous evening of superb chamber music. George Vass will be on hand to introduce the 2015 Festival programme and after the concert there will be an opportunity to mingle with the artists over wine and canapés, all at the delightful London home of Bob and Elisabeth Boas.

Booking details are available by following this link

13 Feb

John McCabe (21 April 1939 – 13 February 2015)

It is with great sadness that we report the death of celebrated composer and pianist John McCabe at the age of 75.

John held a long association with the Presteigne Festival as a vice-president and visited the Festival regularly as a performer. Over many years he featured as soloist in concertos by Judith Weir, Hindemith and Rawsthorne and gave regular chamber music concerts and piano recitals – his final recital was recorded ‘live’ at St Andrew’s Church in 2010 – and is available commercially on the Toccata Classics label.

The Presteigne Festival commissioned a number of works from him:
String Quartet No 7 ‘Summer eves’ (2012)
March Sonatina, for solo flute (2007)
Gladestry Quatrains, a song cycle for soprano and piano (2005)
Prelude to Messiah, Part Two (2002)
Cello Sonata (1999)

John was extremely popular with Presteigne audiences and artists alike; his knowledge of music and musicians both on and off the beaten track was encyclopedic and the support he showed for his fellow composers and other performing artists was without equal.

He was a hugely enthusiastic supporter of the Presteigne Festival and will be greatly missed by many. Our thoughts are with his widow Monica.

John McCabe





21 Jan

28/29 January 2015 | BBC Radio 3 Festival broadcasts

BBC Radio 3 is to broadcast two programmes made at the 2014 Presteigne Festival as part of its annual ‘Welsh Festivals’ lunchtime slot. The wonderful Cavaleri Quartet (pictured below) are the featured artists in both programmes recorded at St Andrew’s Church last August.

We are particularly delighted that Radio 3 decided to include Hilary Tann’s beautiful Presteigne Festival commission, And the Snow Did Lie, as part of its Festival coverage this year. The full details are as follows:

Wednesday 28th January at 1pm
Gorecki String Quartet No 1, Op 62 Already it is Dusk
James MacMillan Memento
Beethoven String Quartet in E flat, Op 74 Harp
Link to BBC site for i-player

Thursday 29th January at 1pm
Hilary Tann And the Snow Did Lie – first broadcast
Link to BBC site for i-player

A Cavaleri Quartet


18 Dec

Staff and board changes at Presteigne Festival

It is with great sadness that we bid a fond farewell to Annie Nethercott, who has served the Festival as General Manager for the past 7 years. For many she has been the public face of the Festival, having worked tirelessly on our behalf in the local community; one of her greatest triumphs and a lasting legacy for the Festival, was the introduction of the online Box Office system in 2012. Annie isn’t moving away from the area and hopes to be able to support us in the future, so there is every chance you’ll bump into her at future Festivals.

Hilary Marchant was recently appointed to the brand new position of Finance and Box Office Manager – we look forward to welcoming her to the Festival management team very soon. Hilary will look after the day-to-day running of all things financial and will also be responsible for the smooth operation of the Box Office.

During the summer, we reluctantly accepted the resignation of our highly respected company secretary and board member, James Tennant-Eyles. James has done a huge amount for the Presteigne Festival over the years – he will continue his work in the community as a member of Presteigne and Norton Town Council.

We welcome two new board members and look forward to working together with them for many years to come:

Sophie Lewis is currently Manager of Sinfonia Cymru, an exciting young chamber orchestra based in Cardiff, and also serves the Association of British Orchestras as a board member; she has a huge amount of experience in the arts, having previously worked at Welsh National Opera.

Keith Hatfield is well-known locally as a churchwarden at St Andrew’s Church, a retired school teacher, Keith is also the co-founder of ‘Translight’, an organisation responsible for lighting both professional and community arts events in the Presteigne area including the Festival.