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Festival set for ‘world-class’ opening

Created on 15/06/2012 @ 14:58


Newtown’s beautiful Gregynog Hall is teeming with musicians and visitors today (Friday, 15 June) in preparation for the eagerly awaited Gregynog Festival which opens at 7.30pm tonight.
Violinist Pavlo Beznosiuk and The Avison Ensemble perform Vivaldi’s famous Four Seasons in Gregynog’s famous music room – tickets have been selling fast for what promises to be a world-class opening concert but some are still available on or through the Box Office on Tel: 01686 207100.
The Festival runs until July 1 with a fantastic selection of musicians from across the world – united in celebration of all things Venetian. Madrigals, lute players, harpists, guitarists, pianists, harpsichord players, a viola da gamba and singers.
Gregynog Hall is the centre-piece of the Festival but there are also events at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff as well as in Kerry and Montgomery.
On Monday evening, the newly-appointed Royal harpist, Hannah Stone, gives a solo recital at Kerry Church at 7.30pm, inspired by the theme ‘Le Carnaval de Venise’. The recital is an important part of the Festival’s outreach programme which also sees a whole weekend of activity for the whole family to enjoy in Montgomery.
Each year, the Festival is curated on a special theme drawn from the history of Gregynog and music in Wales.
The 2012 Festival’s theme is Venezia, marking 100 years since the founders of the Gregynog Festival, Gwendoline and Margaret Davies, acquired their first Impressionist paintings of the city of Venice. These were once displayed in the Festival's principal performance space, the historic Music Room at Gregynog Hall, and now form the centrepiece of the collection at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff.
All this is possible because Gregynog Festival has been offered a three-year award from the Arts Council of Wales, reflecting the Council’s “confidence in the artistic vision” of the Festival as well as funding from the Welsh Government and the Colwinston Charitable Trust.
Nick Capaldi, Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Wales said: "Wales’ festivals attract thousands of visitors to Wales each year from across the globe. Our festivals are a wonderful showcase for Wales’s imagination and enterprise. Gregynog Festival is one of the jewels in the Welsh crown and a key date in the cultural calendar. The Arts Council’s funding for festivals rewards creative ambition and I’m delighted to see such a wide range of thrilling and exciting creative ideas.”