Very sadly, due to Covid-19 coronavirus restrictions introduced recently by the Welsh Government, it has been necessary to cancel our planned Winter Festival Weekend to have taken place at the end of November.
Thanks to the generous support of our funders, the artists who had been engaged to perform, many of whom have been prevented from playing in public since the end of March, are being afforded generous cancellation fees.
The Team is in the midst of planning the 2021 Festival. Despite many complications, not least the requirement for social-distancing which will clearly necessitate a reduction in venue capacity and some form of digital broadcasting, we hope to reach a wider and more diverse audience.
There is a particularly strong music programme with an exciting artist roster and the Festival will continue its support for living British composers, premiering and commissioning new work. It can now be divulged that Cecilia McDowall, who celebrates her 70th year in 2021, will be composer-in-residence. A more detailed picture of the programme and all that it has to offer, will be available on the website before Christmas.
‘Presteigne Digital’ is still available, online via the Festival website, until 31st December 2020. There are eleven specially recorded Festival performances, recently reviewed in Musical Opinion Quarterly: ‘This enterprising and thoughtfully planned series of events preserves faithfully the Presteigne Festival’s questing, creative spirit. Picture and sound quality are exemplary throughout and constitute a model of how to present chamber music online’.
In addition to our own digital content, BBC Radio 3 is promoting a ‘Focus on Welsh Festivals’ in December. The Presteigne programme features a piano recital by Clare Hammond to be broadcast at 1pm on Wednesday 9 December, live from St David’s Hall, Cardiff. Clare will present an eclectic mix of music by Lili Boulanger, Robert Peate, Rachmaninov, Edmund Finnis and Gershwin.
Sadly our efforts to bring live performance to Presteigne this year have failed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is the first time in 38 years that the Presteigne Festival has been forced to cancel, but we hope to welcome you to join us in 2021, when the Festival dates are from 26-31 August.