The Presteigne Festival is proving really popular this year, with the Box Office reporting brisker business than ever before in this, the Festival’s 35th anniversary season.

The crammed concert programme features an insight into Danish music, special birthday celebrations for composers John Joubert and Hugh Wood and the chance to enjoy a number of successful commissions from previous Festivals.

Celebrated for its fresh, stylish mix of contemporary music, balanced with great works from the past, the 2017 music programme embraces an amazingly wide range of work from J S Bach, Beethoven, Berg, Lennox Berkeley, Brahms, Frank Bridge, Duruflé, De Falla, Haydn, Nielsen, Poulenc, Schubert, Vaughan Williams and Walton.

A varied collection of supporting events include a centenary celebration of the work of celebrated Australian artist Sidney Nolan (founder Presteigne Festival President) and Meurig Bowen’s delightfully witty salute to the music and writings of Erik Satie, Memoirs of a Pear-Shaped Life.

Ian Marchant talks about his new book A Hero for High Times which traces British counter-culture from 1956 to 1994 and, complementing this, the Festival will screen three movies – Jean-Luc Godard’s hugely influential Breathless (1960), British crime drama Performance (1970) and Arthur Penn’s unforgettable crime caper Bonnie and Clyde (1967).

For many years one of the UK’s leading supporters of contemporary music, the Festival has commissioned 17 works for its 35th season: a string quartet from composer-in-residence Edward Gregson, a choral work from Cecilia McDowall and a piece from Herefordshire-based composer Robert Peate.

There are six new ‘Bagatelles after Beethoven’ for solo piano from Martin Butler, Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Michael Zev Gordon, Gabriel Jackson, David Knotts and the 2016 Royal Philharmonic Society/Presteigne Festival Alan Horne Memorial commission winner, Jack Sheen, and, finally, the English folk-song ‘Lovely Joan’ provides the theme for a set of string orchestra variations from Sally Beamish, Michael Berkeley, Christopher Gunning, Thomas Hyde, David Matthews, Matthew Taylor, Huw Watkins and Adrian Williams.

An extraordinary talented artist line-up includes: the Gramophone award-winning Nightingale Quartet, the Leonore Trio, Berkeley Ensemble, pianists Tim Horton, Anne Lovett and Timothy End, Benjamin Nabarro violin, Rachel Roberts viola, Gemma Rosefield cello, Rebecca Afonwy Jones mezzo-soprano, Katherine Baker flute, actor Christopher Good, Greg Tassell tenor, Suzy Willison-Kawalec harp, Laura Snowden guitar, the Sine Nomine International Touring Choir under director Susan Hollingworth and the hugely popular Presteigne Festival Orchestra.

Presteigne Festival runs from August 24 to 29. Brochures are available from Presteigne Festival, PO Box 30, Presteigne, Powys LD8 2WF or call 01544 267800. To book, call the box office on 01544 267800 or visit for online booking.