TWO major classical concerts will take place next week in the stunning surroundings of St Davids Cathedral as part of the 2022 Fishguard and West Wales International Music Festival.
Welsh pianist Llŷr Williams makes a welcome return to the festival with a recital of music by Haydn, Schumann, Rachmaninov and Liszt. Widely admired for his profound musical intelligence and for the expressive and communicative nature of his interpretations, he regularly appears at prestigious venues and festivals, and has performed with all the major UK orchestras. Earlier this year he made his Madrid recital debut and returned to North America to the Capital Region Classical series in Montreal. Llŷr Williams will be in concert on Thursday 1 September at 7.30pm.
The Festival has this year commissioned composer Geraint Lewis to write a short work for the Marian Consort as part of their concert programme on Tuesday 30 August at the Cathedral.
The Marian Consort is a vocal ensemble that performs music from the fifteenth century to the present day. Critically acclaimed for their bold and thrilling performances across the UK, Europe and North America, they have released twelve recordings and are frequent guests on BBC Radio 3.
Gillian Green MBE, Artistic Director of the Festival, said: “The Marian Consort are calling their concert ‘Music of the Sistine Chapel’. It was therefore important to commission a composer who was familiar with the music of Palestrina and other composers of the era. Cardiff born Geraint Lewis has composed around 150 works in nearly all genres including a community opera and a choral symphony. He was commissioned to write ‘Afallon’ for the Welsh National Opera Chorus to sing at the opening of the National Assembly for Wales in 1999. I am delighted that he has accepted the commission which will receive its world premiere at the Cathedral.”
Geraint Lewis commented: “I am delighted to have been asked to compose for the voices of the Marian Consort in the atmospheric and historic surroundings of St Davids. I have decided to write a setting of ‘Ave Regina Caelorum’ for this Festival concert. It is a prayer usually sung in the Liturgy of the Hours at the close of compline. At a point in the composing, I suddenly thought that it was a bit odd for a Welshman to be writing only in Latin for a concert of this kind held in our own ‘Sistine Chapel’ – and then remembered the poetic translation of the text by Saunders Lewis which he made in 1938. So, at the appropriate mid-point these words take over. It is also a modest homage to Ralph Vaughan Williams in the year of his 150th anniversary and in remembering his strong West Wales ancestry.”
Tickets for both concerts are priced £12 to £20 with concessions of £5 for under 18s and £1 for under 12s. A Festival bus will operate from Cardigan with pick up points at Newport, Dinas, Fishguard and Goodwick.
Tickets available for all events at www.fishguardmusicfestival.com