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Festival set for stunning opening

Created on 06/06/2012 @ 16:29


As Britain recovers from its incredible long weekend of celebrations, mynewtown throws the spotlight back onto a big local Festival that promises something special in just over a week’s time.
Gregynog Festival’s opening weekend is packed full of top class music-making and sets the scene for the following fortnight. Look no further for an outline of what’s to come.
With Venezia as its theme for 2012, what better Festival curtain-raiser than one of Italy’s best loved pieces of music, Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons which is performed by “the prince of Baroque violin”, Pavlo Beznosiuk (pictured) and the Avison Ensemble in Gregynog Hall’s lovely music room on Saturday 15 June at 7.30pm.
This brilliant series of four violin concertos, paints a vivid picture of each season from languid summer afternoons to ice-cold winters. There are special features in the music to listen out for - a barking dog, singing birds, a drunken haze following autumn’s harvest, the hunting season, and the sounds of rain, to name a few. For Pavlo Beznosiuk and the Avison Ensemble the music is intensely expressive and technically very demanding, so audiences can expect to be on the edge of their seats in the middle of a storm one minute and drifting off in the summer sunshine the next. A concert not to be missed.
On Saturday, 16 June, there is a whole day of music at Gregynog. At 2.30pm, singer Marta Rodrigo and lute player Andreas Martin make their only UK appearance this year when they perform music by the 17th-century Venetian composer, Barbara Strozzi alongside music by Monteverdi, Frescobaldi, Caccini and Piccinini. This duo enjoys a formidable reputation all over the world and their music-making is described as “heartbreakingly beautiful.”
In the evening, there is the chance to hear multi award-winning Venetian pianist Alessandro Taverna who will take his audience on a musical tour of Venice with a recital entitled ‘City of Water’. Taverna has just returned from Italy where he won the prestigious Giuseppe Sinopoli Prize and in 2009, he was also bronze medallist at the Leeds International Piano Competition. BBC Radio 3 will be recording this recital for future broadcast, so it promises to be a real treat.
As if the weekend’s programme wasn’t mouth-watering enough already, on Sunday, 17 June at 2.30pm, the world’s finest madrigal group La Venexiana comes to Gregynog.   This is the group’s Welsh debut and their only UK appearance this year. When the five singers and continuo player were last in the UK, at London’s Spitalfields Festival in 2011, the Daily Telegraph described the concert as “a taste of heaven.” Now heaven comes to Newtown.

So, don’t miss out on the Festival’s dazzling opening weekend - log on to the Festival website ( or call the Box Office now (Tel: 01686 207100) to secure tickets.