Friday 4 August 2023

Gŵyl Machynlleth Festival

Machynlleth Festival

Machynlleth is an historic market town in Wales that was the seat of Owain Glyndŵr's Welsh Parliament in 1404, and as such can claim to be the "ancient capital of Wales".  Modern-day Machynlleth is also the home of the Machynlleth Festival which returns for its 36th edition, under co-artistic directors Julius Drake and Dennis Jones, from 20 to 27 August 2023. The festival’s home is The Tabernacle, a former Wesleyan Chapel now converted for use as an intimate concert hall, and the festival expands into the spaces of the attached gallery, MOMA Machynlleth, as well as the town itself.

Alongside art, talks and workshops the festival features a lively classical music programme. The centrepiece this year is Schubert Day which sees pianist Elisabeth Leonskaja returning to the festival after her triumphant performance last year. She will be playing Schubert’s Sonata in B flat for piano, D960, and with Julius Drake will play for works for four hands, baritone Konstantin Krimmel will be singing Schubert songs and Sir Thomas Allen will coach young singers in Schubert songs in an open masterclass followed by a special concert.

Other visitors this year include Australian composer and viola player, Brett Dean and his daughter, mezzo-soprano Lotte Betts Dean, in Brett Dean's new work I Starred Last Night I Shone for viola and mezzo soprano along with music by Vaughan Williams, Arthur Bliss, Michael Berkeley, Rhian Samuel, Edmund Rubbra and Brahms with pianist Jams Coleman.

Lotte Betts Dean will also join the Consone Quartet at the festival's final concert which features music by Mendelssohn, Schumann, Respighi and Mozart. Violinist Anthony Marwood, clarinettist Matthew Hunt and pianist Alasdair Beatson perform Bartók’s Contrasts, Rachel Podger and members of Brecon Baroque perform works by Handel, LeClair and Purcell and the Salieca Trio play Smetana’s Piano Trio in G minor.

Traditional Welsh music plays a strong role at the festival, and this year there is also an exploration of traditional Roma music.

Full details from the festival's website.

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