2018 Presteigne Festival overview

Presteigne Festival


Presteigne Festival 2018

The programme for the 36th Presteigne Festival has a strong Baltic flavour. Important works by a range of Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian composers, among them Vladas Jakubėnas, Tõnu Kõrvits, Ester Mägi, Arvo Pärt, Raminta Šerkšnytė, Erkki-Sven Tüür and Pēteris Vasks, are included.

There are important birthday celebrations for two composers with long-held Presteigne Festival connections – our President, Michael Berkeley (70) and David Matthews (75). Outstanding musical polymath Martin Butler joins us as composer-in-residence.

We continue to explore the wonderful world of contemporary British music, with exciting commissions from a rich mix of established artists and emerging talent – Cydonie Banting (The Gate of Dawn, for solo piano), David Bednall (Regina caeli, for a cappella choir), Martin Butler (Concertante Dances, for piano and chamber orchestra, made possible with a generous grant from the William Alwyn Foundation), Gareth Moorcraft (Dolly Shot for oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon and piano), Huw Watkins (Echo, a song-cycle jointly commissioned with Carnegie Hall, New York) and, from Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize winner Manos Charalabopoulos, Two Poems for solo cello.

The Festival’s successful relationship with Nova Music Opera continues to flourish; the company perform Joseph Phibbs’ new chamber opera Juliana at the Festival (a co-commission with the Cheltenham Music Festival), inspired by August Strindberg’s unsettling stage drama Miss Julie.

Performing artists include the Navarra Quartet, Ruby Hughes soprano, Kristīne Balanas violin, pianists Huw Watkins, Joseph Tong and Martin Butler, a specially-formed Festival Ensemble, oboists James Turnbull and Ben Marshall, cellist Joanna Gutowska, the Choir of Royal Holloway conducted by Rupert Gough and the ever-popular Festival Orchestra under artistic director George Vass.

A wonderful collection of supporting events will include exhibitions, a feature of three Nordic films – Wild Strawberries, Festen and Pelle the Conqueror, talks from Stephen Johnson, Ian Marchant and Peter Lord, poetry with Gregory Leadbetter and Well Thumbed, a wonderfully irreverent one-man show from Terry Victor.

Outreach continues to be a vital part of the Festival’s work, enabling better engagement with communities both at home and away. In 2018, we again join together with Snape Maltings’ Friday Afternoons – a major singing project for local primary schools, and we’ll visit Birmingham and Oxford with our eighth Autumn Tour, to be undertaken by exciting young Polish cellist, Joanna Gutowska.

Brochures will be available at the end of April 2018 from:

Presteigne Festival, PO Box 30, Presteigne, Powys LD8 2WF
01544 267800