Major Music Festivals in Wales
Not very many Music Festivals can offer performances from artistes that range from opera star Bryn Terfel to rock legends Status Quo! Both will be performing at the six day 68th Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod which starts this year on Tuesday 8th July together with over 5,000 singers, dancers and instrumentalists from around fifty countries. Over twenty competitions take place during the day feature followed by concerts in the evening. Other headline acts will include the Dutch jazz bass baritone Caro Emerald, The Wales Millennium Centre Only Kidz Aloud Chorus and Africa’s premiere opera company, Cape Town Opera.
The Gregynog Festival is set in the beautiful countryside of rural Mid Wales near Newtown and Welshpool; the dates are Friday 13th June to Sunday 29th June. The theme this year is War, exploring the impact of the English Civil War and WWI on musicians in Wales and the Borders. Concerts will be given by some of the world's finest including Phantasm, The Brabant Ensemble, Alamire, Coope, Boyes and Simpson, Christopher Maltman, Yossif Ivanov, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, The Nash Ensemble and the Flemish Radio Choir.
In North Wales, the St Mary's Church is the venue for the Conwy Classical Music Festival from Sunday 20th to Saturday 26th July with lunchtime and evening concerts featuring prominent musicians. The Orchestral Concert on Tuesday evening will feature many principal players from the North West of England’s premier orchestras and the soloist will be Nicholas Trygstad, principal cellist with the Halle Orchestra. New features for this year will be the Night At The Opera concert, the lecture recital by Elinor Bennett and the Choral workshop by members of The Marian Consort.
The 2014 Machynlleth Festival is from Sunday 17th to Sunday 24th August - a week of lunchtime, evening and late night concerts, talks, interviews and masterclasses. The classical programme features many celebrated artists including two leading young string quartets, The Heath and The Tippett, the tenor Ian Bostridge, pianists Bengt Forsberg and Charles Owen and the violist and violinist Lawrence Power. To accompany a special exhibition in the Tannery Gallery, Sunday 24th will be a day to remember and commemorate WWI, with music written on both sides of the conflict by Ravel, Elgar, Bartok, Debussy, Janacek, Rachmaninov, Stravinsky, Satie and Gershwin.
The North Wales International Music Festival (Saturday 20 September to Saturday 27 September) is a classical music festival featuring concerts from internationally acclaimed artists which is held every year in St. Asaph cathedral. One of the principal aims of the Festival is to “strive to provide all people from all backgrounds with the opportunity to experience live performances of classical music given by performers of the highest quality”.