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Wales’ oldest classical music festival returns to Greygynog Hall

28 May 2022 3 minute read
Llŷr Williams – copyright Hannan Images

Gregynog Festival, the oldest classical music festival in Wales, is set to return this year with what organisers describe as a ‘feast of Midsummer music’ in the handsome setting of Gregynog Hall near Newtown in north Powys.

On Sunday afternoon, 26 June, at 4pm, pianist Llŷr Williams, an acclaimed performer of Beethoven, makes a welcome return to Gregynog’s Music Room for the first time since 2011.

He will perfom a programme beginning with Beethoven’s popular ‘Pathétique’ Sonata, followed by compositions by Tchaikovsky, Béla Bartók and Peter Warlock.

Bartók, the great Hungarian composer-pianist, made his UK public recital début in  Aberystwyth’s Parish Hall (now Theatr y Castell) on 16 March 1922 before visiting Warlock at his family home, Cefnbryntalch Hall near Newtown, and Llyr’s recital marks the centenary of these remarkable events.

A free pre-concert talk from 2.30pm by Dr Rhian Davies, Gregynog Festival’s Artistic Director, will consider Bartók’s performance, described by the Cambrian News as ’an epoch-marking occurrence in the career of the music students’ and by Professor Walford Davies as ‘Baffling!’

Appearing at Gregynog on Saturday, 25 June, is Maximilian Ehrhardt, who is based in Berlin and specialises in playing historic harps including the Welsh triple harp.

Maximilian’s CD None But the Brave (2020) features music from three manuscripts at the National Library of Wales which are associated with the celebrated blind harper, John Parry of Ruabon, and he makes his Festival début by showcasing some of this virtuosic repertoire.

Maximilian Ehrhardt – copyright Ivan Barra

Challenging times

Launching the 2022 Gregynog Festival season, Dr Rhian Davies said: “We would like to express our thanks to the Wales Cultural Recovery Fund for enabling us to safeguard the future of the Gregynog Festival during and beyond the pandemic.

“Many regular festival goers have kept in close touch with us during this challenging time, and I know how much we have all missed the annual treat of hearing some of the world’s finest musicians perform for us here in mid Wales.

“Now that live events are able to resume, everybody is really looking forward to meeting at Gregynog once more for the Festival.

The day programmes are designed to include a pre-concert talk and an opportunity to enjoy afternoon tea before each performance, so there will be plenty of time to catch up with friends as well as to enjoy the music.”

Gregynog Festival’s Box Office is now open and tickets and full information are available here or by calling 01686 207100.

You can join the mailing list via the Festival website and follow Gregynog Festival’s Facebook page and Twitter account @gregynogfest.

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