Presteigne Festival 2020
Hailed by Musical Opinion Quarterly as ‘an indispensable mainstay of the cultural calendar’ and The Times as ‘an unexpected crucible for contemporary music’, the Presteigne Festival continues to provide an annual focus for those seeking musical innovation, artistic discovery and world-class performances.
The 2020 Festival programme brings together a typically wide variety of constituents – an exploration of music from Ireland, Scotland and Wales, a feature of Leoš Janáček’s amazingly original musical output and a celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday year.
The Festival’s advocacy of British contemporary music continues with a corpus of exciting commissions from Tarik O’Regan – our 2020 composer-in-residence, Martin Butler, Gary Carpenter, Amelia Clarkson, Ninfea Cruttwell-Reade – our first Presteigne ‘Evolve’ composer, Joseph Phibbs, Emma-Ruth Richards and RPS Emerging Composer, Robin Haigh.
The Festival’s successful partnership with Nova Music Opera continues into its sixth year, with a triple-bill – Janáček’s atmospheric The Diary of One Who Vanished in the translation by Nobel prize-winner Seamus Heaney is programmed with Judith Weir’s striking King Harald’s Saga – an opera in three acts for unaccompanied female voice and Ninfea Cruttwell-Reade’s fascinating new music theatre work for narrator and ensemble, Reginald: The Musings of an Edwardian Gentleman, which draws material from the writings of Saki.
A balanced collection of supporting events includes a mini-season of Irish films, talks from Peter J Conradi, Stephen Johnson, Nicholas Murray and Fiona Sampson, an exhibition in association with the Sidney Nolan Trust and the extremely popular Presteigne Open Studios weekend.
This year’s Festival boasts a particularly starry artist line-up – the Carducci Quartet, violinist Chloë Hanslip, pianists Clare Hammond, Martin Cousin and Timothy End, Australian saxophonist Amy Dickson, tenor Bradley Smith, baritone Jonathan Gunthorpe, trumpeter Angela Whelan and harpist Oliver Wass. The Bath Camerata are conducted by director Benjamin Goodson, whilst the acclaimed Presteigne Festival Orchestra undertakes three concerts under Festival artistic director George Vass.
Community outreach continues to be a vital part of the Presteigne Festival’s offer, enabling better engagement with communities both at home and away. In 2020 we’ll be working with senior members of the community in association with the Bleddfa Centre and the East Radnorshire Day Centre, whilst our Autumn Tour to Bristol and Birmingham will be undertaken by exciting young harpist, Oliver Wass.
The full programme will be available in print and online in April.
Presteigne Festival, PO Box 30, Presteigne, Powys LD8 2WF