The 19th Wye Valley Chamber Music Festival will feature the Hungarian pianist, Domonkos Csabay, New Zealand cellist, Victoria Simonsen and American violist, Hannah Shaw who will be sharing the stage with festival regulars, Malin Broman, Marie Bitlloch, Simon Crawford-Phillips and Ben Hancox.

"This year's musical menu, taken beside log fires at Treowen Manor as well as at our venues in St Briavels, Monmouth and Hereford, will feature the music of Beethoven and Mendelssohn, both under the influence of the masterpieces of J S Bach," says artistic director Daniel Tong. "Our final concert presents three famous masterpieces as you might not have heard them before! I can't wait for the annual inspiration, always unknown and ever fresh, of ten days in the beautiful Wye Valley, alive with music.”

In keeping with tradition, the festival’s opening concert on Saturday, January 13 takes place in the church at St. Briavels, where the first Wye Valley Chamber Music Festival was held in 2000. Audiences can expect an intriguing programme of Beethoven and Schumann under the spell of JS Bach. The programme includes Schumann’s G minor piano trio, one of his last great chamber works.

The next concert in the opening weekend takes place on Sunday, January 14 in the magnificent setting of the Bishop’s Palace in Hereford and will feature Beethoven in a Viennese context, and audiences will be treated to his glorious A major cello Sonata performed by cellist Kate Gould and pianist and festival co-director Daniel Tong. The Bishop’s Palace concert also features Mahler’s darkly brooding piano quartet movement before ending with Brahm’s irresistibly life-affirming C Major Trio, performed by the Kungsbacka Trio.

Stately Treowen Manor near Monmouth is the home of the festival and mid-way through the festival its doors are open to the public. The evening concert on Tuesday, January 18 explores the relationship between Schumann and JS Bach. The festival also hosts the ever-popular, but already sold-out, ‘Discovery Day’ at Treowen on Saturday, January 20.

The Festival Finale on Sunday, January 21 takes place at the spacious Bridges Centre in Monmouth. The thought-provoking programme poses the question of what happens when great music is played by new instrumental combinations. Three famous masterpieces are presented in unfamiliar versions - from Brahms’ string quintet in F minor, itself an early version of a work that would find itself reworked into his mighty piano quintet to Beethoven’s own reworking of his piano sonata for string quartet. The finale is Dimitri Sitkovetsky’s string arrangement of the breath-taking Goldberg variations.

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