Gŵyl Gregynog Festival

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Country and Region United KingdomWales
Type of Festival Music
Location of Festival Newtown, Powys, Wales UK
Festival Contact Information

Gŵyl Gregynog Festival
Newtown, Powys
SY16 3PW Wales UK
Phone: +44 01686 207100
Email: post@gregynogfestival.org

Festival Description

Gregynog Festival, the oldest extant classical music festival in Wales, is curated each year on a theme drawn from the cultural heritage of Gregynog and of Wales. The 2014 season, 13-29 June, examines the impact of the English Civil War and the First World War on musicians in the Festival’s Mid Wales and Border catchment. Several of this year’s concerts also reunite repertoire with the performance spaces in which it would originally have been heard.

Festival Dates June 13 - 29, 2014
Festival Links


Festival Events:

Programming 2014:
  • First weekend
    • Thanks to a new partnership with the National Trust, our first weekend of Civil War programming takes place in Chirk and Powis Castles. The opening concert by Phantasm (13 June) includes music for viol consort by the Royalist composer William Lawes who was shot by a Parliamentarian during the Battle of Rowton Heath, near Chester (1645). The Brabant Ensemble (14 June) revives music from Chirk Castle’s Part-Books which was intended for devotional use in the Castle Chapel, and Paul O’Dette (15 June) plays selections from the Lute-Book which Edward, Lord Herbert of Cherbury, assembled for domestic use in family properties such as Powis Castle.
  • Second weekend
    • On our second weekend, the Battle of Montgomery (1644) is recalled through a varied day programme of events in Montgomery Castle, Church and Town Hall before an evening concert at Gregynog with Hespèrion XXI (21 June). Other locations with Civil War connections include Stokesay Church for Sirinu (19 June), Brampton Bryan Church for Jordi Savall (20 June) and Montgomery Church for Alamire (22 June) in a programme of choral music by the Pembrokeshire-born composer Thomas Tomkins.
  • Third weekend
    • The Festival’s First World War events are inspired by the intriguing lost narrative of a group of distinguished Belgian musicians who came to Mid Wales as refugees and lived and worked here, 1914-16, through the philanthropy of Gwendoline and Margaret Davies, founders of the Gregynog Festival. The artist members of this significant expatriate community – Valerius de Saedeleer, George Minne and Gustave van de Woestijne – have received widespread attention and acclaim, including a retrospective exhibition arranged jointly by National Museum Cardiff and the Museum of Fine Arts, Ghent, in 2003 – but the musicians, some of whom were the artists’ relatives and who held prominent positions at the Brussels Conservatoire, Royal Palace and La Monnaie, have gone unrecognised. This concert party of singers, string players and pianists gave dozens of fundraising recitals all over Wales and premièred compositions by Eugène Guillaume, Nicolas Laoureux and Edgar Gevaert which were inspired by their experience of living in Powys and Ceredigion. David van de Woestijne, born in Llandinam’s Temperance (now Lion) Hotel as the first child of Belgian refugee parents in Wales, would also grow up to become a leading composer.
Festival at a glance 2014:
  • Friday, 13 June, 7.30pm
    • Chirk Castle - Phantasm
  • Saturday, 14 June, 7.30pm
    • Chirk Castle - The Brabant Ensemble
  • Sunday, 15 June, 7.30pm
    • Powis Castle - Paul O’Dette
  • Tuesday, 17 June, 11am-12.30pm
    • Shrewsbury - Guided Walk
  • Wednesday, 18 June, 2pm
    • National Museum Cardiff - Gregynog Festival Day
  • Thursday, 19 June, 7.30pm
    • Stokesay Church - Sirinu
  • Friday, 20 June, 7.30pm
    • Brampton Bryan Church - Jordi Savall
  • Saturday, 21 June, 10am-4.30pm
    • Montgomery - Battle of Montgomery Day
  • Saturday, 21 June, 7.30pm
    • Gregynog - Hespèrion XXI
  • Sunday, 22 June, 2.30pm
    • Montgomery Church - Alamire
  • Monday, 23 June, 7.30pm
    • Trawsfynydd - Alan Llwyd, Cofio Hedd Wyn
  • Tuesday, 24 June, 7.30pm
    • Llanfair Caereinion - Coope, Boyes and Simpson
  • Wednesday, 25 June, 7.30pm
    • Llandinam - Christopher Maltman & Joseph Middleton
  • Thursday, 26 June, 7.30pm
    • Llandinam - Yossif Ivanov
  • Friday, 27 June, 7.00pm
    • Aberystwyth - BBC National Orchestra of Wales & Sioned Williams
  • Saturday, 28 June, 10am-3.30pm
    • Gregynog - Belgian Study Day
  • Saturday, 28 June, 7.30pm
    • Gregynog - The Nash Ensemble
  • Sunday, 29 June, 7.30pm
    • Gregynog - Flemish Radio Choir


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Practical Info:

Photo slideshow credits:
  • In order of appearance
    • Audience on the grounds at Gregynog Hall
    • Charles Medlam demonstrates the bass viol (Gregynog Festival, Wales)
    • Full Panorama view of Gregynog Hall
    • Escher String Quartet
    • Ex Cathedra in rehearsal
    • Charles Medlam demonstrates the bass viol
    • Gregynog performance 2012
    • Gregynog performance 2012
    • Rhodri Davies in recital at the Gregynog Gallery of National Museum Wales in Cardiff
    • Gregynog Gardens
    • The King’s Singers sing Happy Birthday


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