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Presteigne Festival celebrates 30 years in the Marches
7:00am Saturday 11th August 2012 in Music & Dance
SITUATED in the intimate town of Presteigne on the Powys and Herefordshire border, the Presteigne Festival has become a mecca for those seeking artistic nourishment and musical discovery in idyllic surroundings.
With a truly forward looking commissioning policy, the organisation works closely with composers and artists to create and curate inspiring programmes and events for an ever-widening festival community.
2012 is a very special year for the Presteigne Festival – as it celebrates 30 years of promoting great music in the unspoiled countryside of the Welsh Marches and will be taking the opportunity this year to look back over past successes and to look forward to an exciting and ever more diverse future.
The festival takes place over the August bank holiday weekend and will promote more than 30 events of which 16 are concerts supported with complementary activities including talks, walks and literary events.
Popular Scottish-based composer Sally Beamish will be composerin- residence and there will be an exciting crop of commissions from composers who have strong links with Presteigne.
Two are new orchestral pieces – Island Songs (for saxophone, strings and percussion) from premier Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe and Variations on a theme of Reger for string orchestra by Matthew Taylor.
Chamber pieces include an oboe quintet from Michael Berkeley; a string quartet (his seventh, Summer Eves) by John McCabe; a new work for two violins and viola, Rousseau’s Execution, from Cecilia McDowall; a piece for solo cello, Set in Motion, by Elizabeth Winters; and three songs for soprano and piano by James Francis Brown, Peter Fribbins and Alan Mills.
Apart from many exciting pieces by contemporary composers, a major feature of the festival is British music, with performances of Britten’s Frank Bridge Variations, Tippett’s Concerto for Double String Orchestra and Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis.
The Carducci Quartet gives three concerts with major works by Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Schubert and high-flying cellist Philip Higham performs unaccompanied Bach and the Rachmaninov Cello Sonata.
Pianist Tom Poster delights with a solo programme of Debussy, Grieg and Beethoven, and the City of Canterbury Chamber Choir returns to sing Haydn’s Nelson Mass as part of the festival’s 30th anniversary concert, and to give a concert of music by E J Moeran, Cecilia McDowall and Liz Lane at Pembridge Parish Church.
Other impressive performing talent includes world-class wind players Nicholas Daniel (oboe) and Amy Dickson (saxophone), popular string players Sarah-Jane Bradley (viola) and Retorica violinists Harriet Mackenzie and Philippa Mo, pianists Simon Lepper and Catherine Milledge, singers Gillian Keith (soprano), William Purefoy (countertenor), Matthew Long (tenor) and Michael Bundy (baritone), actor Crawford Logan and the Presteigne Festival Orchestra conducted by artistic director, George Vass.
Continuing its important partnership with BBC Radio 3, two concerts from the festival are to be broadcast.
Presteigne Festival runs from August 23 to 28.
To book, call the box office on 01544 267800 or go to presteignefestival.com