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image for Music Festival item typePresteigne Festival 2017 at Presteigne/Llanandras

Music Festival, Thu 24 - Tue 29 Aug 2017

Music Festival

Music Festival


The 2017 Presteigne Festival offers an exciting programme to suit the widest of tastes, whilst celebrating a number of important landmarks. We mark our 35th anniversary and also George Vass’ 60th birthday, who in turn celebrates twenty-five years in post as artistic director.

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

One of the UK’s major supporters of new music for many years, the Festival has commissioned several new works for its 2017 season: a string quartet from composer-in-residence Edward Gregson, an ‘a cappella’ choral work from Cecilia McDowall and a piece for cello and piano from Herefordshire-based composer Robert Peate.

Taking Beethoven’s late Bagatelles, Op 126 as a starting point, the Festival has also asked six composers to write a new set of Bagatelles for solo piano – 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.

Finally, the beautiful English folk-song ‘Lovely Joan’ provides the theme for a celebratory set of eight string orchestra variations from composers Sally Beamish, Michael Berkeley, Christopher Gunning, Thomas Hyde, David Matthews, Matthew Taylor, Huw Watkins and Adrian Williams.

Celebrated for its fresh, stylish mix of contemporary music, balanced with 20th century classics and great works from the past, the Festival’s 2017 music programme embraces a particularly wide range of important pieces by J S Bach, Beethoven, Berg, Lennox Berkeley, Brahms, Frank Bridge, Duruflé, De Falla, Haydn, Nielsen, Poulenc, Vaughan Williams and Walton.

A varied collection of supporting events include a centenary celebration of the work of founder Festival President Sidney Nolan, anthropologist Stephen Hugh-Jones talking about the music of the Amazonian Indians 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 counterculture 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 action-crime caper Bonnie and Clyde (1967).

An extraordinary talented artist line-up includes many Festival favourites alongside a number of gifted Presteigne débuts: Nightingale Quartet, 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 critically-acclaimed Presteigne Festival Orchestra.

Event details

Dates Times
Thu 24 - Tue 29 Aug 2017

Events at this Venue



01544 267800





Plan route to Presteigne/Llanandras using Google mapsPlan route using Google maps

Map reference: SO 314644  Lat: 52.27362 Long: -3.00625

Turn off the A44 Leominster road at Walton onto the B4362; then B4355.

Accessible by Public Transport: 7 miles from Knighton station