Discover the breathtaking acoustics of St Michael and All Angels’ Church, Lower Machen
The 50th anniversary launch event of the 50th Lower Machen Festival is on Tuesday 9th May 1.00pm St. David’s Hall
Peter Esswood joint artistic director writes:
“ The festival launch will be an exciting event taking place in St David’s Hall on Tuesday 9th May 1.00pm featuring Matthew Jones violin with the Welsh Chamber Players for a performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons reflecting the “year long” presence of the festival in the 50th Anniversary year.”
Alison Mears Esswood joint artistic director writes:
“We are extremely pleased to have reached the milestone of 50 years in what is a difficult climate to secure funding for arts festivals. To celebrate this event we aim to put on 50 events to engage with as wide a section of the public as possible and to give the festival a presence beyond the annual week in June.
Over recent years we’ve have brought young musicians to the heart of the festival to perform in concerts with established artists, to provide platforms for emerging artists and to introduce young families to their first concert experience. A main theme running through the 50th anniversary year is singing – something that we feel is inclusive, has far reaching potential and reflects the rich heritage of Wales.”
The festival is fortunate to have received Lottery Funding from the Arts Council of Wales to which it is most grateful to enable the ambitious programming to take place. Our festival commission by Nicola LeFanu has been supported by the Cohen Foundation and we are also grateful for support from RVW Trust. The festival still needs to raise a considerable amount to fund the projects and a 50th anniversary friends schemed has been launched inviting supporters to donate £50 to support the festival. To become a 50th Anniversary Festival Friend please visit www.ticketsource.co.uk/machen
The main festival in June is taking place over an extended period from 15 – 25th June. Further events are planned for the second half of the year.
Ambitious plans for this year’s festival include 50 events in the 50th anniversary year. Audiences voted for their favourite artist from previous festivals to perform in the festival and Voces8 winner of the audience choice vote will bring the main festival to a close. We are pleased to be welcoming many returning artists this years including Pianist Lucy Parham and Actors Martin Jarvis and Rosalind Ayres in the final programme of the composer portrait series, Michael Collins clarinet, John Lill piano, Elin Manahan Thomas soprano, Jeremy Huw Williams, baritone, the Lower Machen Festival Singers and a family concert given by Bach to Baby. Also returning to the festival will be the Feinstein Ensemble performing all of Bach’s six Brandenburg Concertos over two concerts on 18th June. New performers will include Caritas Chamber Choir and the Castalian Quartet. Full programme details and concert dates will be available shortly.
During the year musical tributes will take place to honour the work of Robert Maskrey and Peter Reynolds former Chair and Artistic Director who both passed away suddenly last year. Additionally, the festival is going to put on events in places where classical music isn’t normally found; for example a Shoppers Messiah to engage with as wide a public as possible and to give the festival a presence throughout the year.