About Lower Machen Festival
"a unique atmosphere, in which setting and music complement each other perfectly - the ideal way to spend a summer's evening"
In the autumn of 1967, the first steps were taken to hold a midsummer festival in the medieval church of St Michael and All Angels in Lower Machen, Newport, Wales.
Then, as now, Lower Machen was a rural idyll with an incomparably beautiful small church blessed with a perfect acoustic. Lower Machen has given the festival its heart and character.
Small-scale chamber concerts of the highest quality have been the cornerstone of the Lower Machen Festival. We’ve been privileged to offer performances by classical pianist John Lill, classical guitarist John Mills, classical pianist Lucy Parham, the Feinstein Ensemble, Welsh harpist Hannah Stone, clarinettist and conductor Michael Collins, Welsh pianist Llyr Williams, vocal ensemble Voces 8, the Carducci String Quartet and many more.
We’ve also combined the best of emerging talent with national and internationally renowned musicians. International artists have worked with young ensembles and musicians in concerts, masterclasses and educational projects to create new music. Highlights include international solo cellist Leonid Gorakhov performing alongside the current BBC young musician Laura van der Heijden with up and coming musicians from Wales in the Welsh Chamber Players. Another exciting collaboration saw Royal Harpist Hannah Stone and emerging operatic baritone Gary Griffiths performing a work written especially for the occasion by Welsh composer Lisa Mears.
Although the central focus for the festival is Lower Machen, we’ve held varied events in venues across the locality. It’s been terrific to have so many children and families enjoy our concerts and workshops at the Riverfront, Newport. For the 2017 festive season, the Lower Machen Chorale sang for patients and staff at Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr and for residents and staff at Parklands care home. Many of you attended the wonderful launch event of last year’s 50th festival at St David’s Hall, Cardiff.
Our festival has an amazing team of community volunteers who join together to help make the festival such a success from designing and creating floral displays for the church and marquee, to manning the box office and providing hospitality.
Thank you so much to all our friends, funders, supporters and contributors.
If you are interested in performing for, supporting or volunteering with Lower Machen Festival we would love to hear from you.