The annual Gregynog Festival begins today with a special focus on the links between Wales and Ireland.
The festival, which is supported by the Welsh Government, includes a star-studded line up of Irish musicians and speakers who will travel to locations throughout Mid Wales, including the historic Gregynog Hall near Newtown, for events between 16 and 26 June.
This year’s line-up has a strong focus on folk as well as classical music and sees Jordi Savall and Hespèrion XXI with Martin Hayes, Mahan Esfahani, The Irish Consort, Ailish Tynan and Iain Burnside, The Fidelio Trio, Chamber Choir Ireland, Daniel Grimwood, Ensemble Nevermind, Finghin Collins, The Goodman Trio and Aoife Ní Bhríain all strolling down Gregynog’s green carpet.
Also as part of the Festival, The official harpist to the Prince of Wales, Anne Denholm, is to bring a series of free “Irish Coffee” concerts to communities in Powys. She will be performing 3 free public events in Newtown, Montgomery and Brecon in Powys as part of this year’s Gregynog Festival which takes place between 16 and 26 June at venues throughout Mid Wales.
The programme, presented in partnership with Live Music Now and funded by Arts Council Wales and the Welsh Government, takes music into communities to highlight the benefits of music and to encourage people, young and old to get involved.
The Gregynog Festival is also supporting the Welsh Government’s programme, Cymru’n Cofio Wales Remembers 1914 – 1918 to commemorate the centenary of the arrival of Irish prisoners to Fron-goch near Bala.
Cabinet Secretary for the Economy and Infrastructure, Ken Skates, said:
"The Gregynog Festival is our oldest classical music festival which was launched by the pioneering Davies sisters – and I’m pleased to see it continuing to raise the profile of home-grown and international talent and brining classical music alive to everyone in the area.
“Ireland has been selected as one of Wales’ key overseas markets for our tourism industry and make a significant contribution to our economy. Around 134,000 visitors per year come to Wales from Republic of Ireland and spend around £30 million. I wish the organisers and performers best wishes for a successful 2016 event.”
This year’s festival is also a special occasion for Artistic Director, Dr Rhian Davies, who celebrates 10 years as curator. She said:
“This is a very special year for me as it marks a decade since I took over the mantle of the Gregynog Festival, a festival that has always been close to my heart as someone who was born and brought up in Newtown and attended the concerts as a child”
said Dr Davies.
“The past decade has seen us continue to develop and grow the festival, inviting the finest international musicians of our time to make Wales and UK debuts so that we can all enjoy music-making of the highest quality right here in Mid Wales’ most beautiful locations.”
Tickets and further information on the Festival are available through www.gregynogfestival.org and 01686 207100.