Celtic music pioneers perform in Paris to celebrate the start of Wales in France year
Celtic music pioneers Catrin Finch and Aoife Ní Bhriain will perform at the British Embassy in Paris tonight (17 March) to mark the start of the Welsh Government’s Wales in France year.
The performance, supported by British Council Wales, is part of a year-long programme to celebrate the cultural, business and sporting links between Wales and France.
Welsh harpist and composer Catrin, who is originally from Llanon, is internationally renowned having been the Official Harpist to the Prince of Wales.
As a composer, she has recently undertaken commissions from Ballet Cymru, S4C and the National Eisteddfod of Wales. While Irish fiddle player Aoife, combines classical and traditional music and is known as one of her generation’s most gifted violinists.
Together, they play music that is influenced by Welsh and Irish cultures.
The collaboration was greeted with huge acclaim when the duo first performed at the Other Voices Music Festival in Cardigan in the autumn of 2022.
They now plan to release their debut album in October, before embarking on a UK and international tour.
The British Council, together with the Welsh Government, Wales Arts International and Arts Council Wales, will also support the Wales in France year through a programme of arts and cultural activity yet to be announced.
This will support individuals and organisations in both Wales and France to connect, develop relationships and create new work throughout 2023.
Ruth Cocks, Director, British Council Wales said: “We are delighted be supporting the Welsh government’s Wales in France Year through our arts and education programmes.
“Wales has such a special history with France with our shared Celtic identities and links between our languages, music and culture. We’re very excited to support Welsh musicians at the launch in Paris, as well as work with our valued partners, Wales Arts International and Arts Council Wales.”
Previously, the British Council has supported several arts projects linking Wales and France, most recently supporting the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the Orchestre National de Bretagne in a series of joint concerts in 2022.
Mark Drakeford embarked on a three-day visit to France yesterday, meeting energy and industrial companies investing in Wales.
During his time in Paris, the First Minister will also visit the French National Archive to see the Pennal Letter, which was sent by Owain Glyndŵr to King Charles VI of France in 1406, requesting assistance for his rebellion against English rule.
Composed during a synod of the Welsh Church at Pennal, the letter gives an insight into Glyndŵr’s vision for Wales’ future.
The First Minister will lead a delegation of Welsh organisations to meet UNESCO at its headquarters in Paris and he will meet representatives to celebrate the unique relationship Wales has with Brittany.
He has also been invited to the Stade de France by the French Rugby Federation to watch Wales’ final match of the Six Nations campaign against France.
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