Wednesday, 26 August 2009

40 Years Young - Vale of Glamorgan Festival, 6 to 12 September 2009

This year the Vale of Glamorgan Festival celebrates its 40th birthday with a special focus on music for the harp and works by four Welsh composers.

The Festival was formed in 1969 by its present artistic director, John Metcalf. It takes place every year, with performances in a variety of venues situated in and around the Vale and Cardiff. The Festival has gained a reputation as one of the most adventurous and unique in Britain.

The Vale of Glamorgan Council is one of the main backers for the Festival. The Council offers regular advice and support, and has recently demonstrated its ongoing commitment to the Festival with a three-year funding agreement, with a 15 per cent increase in funding.

This summer Powerplant and Juice, two young ensembles at the forefront of their field, will be dazzling audiences. Powerplant will be performing their electrifying multimedia show driven by energetic live percussion on the 11 September 7.30pm at the Tythe Barn, St Donats Arts Centre. Juice is an amazing all-female vocal trio with razor sharp tuning and purity of tone that pushes the voice to its limits. The vocal ensemble will be performing on the 9 September at 7.30pm at Art Central, County Library, King Square Barry.

The harp plays a starring role in this year’s festival with Catrin Finch, Wales’s pre-eminent harpist, centre-stage in an exuberant final concert at St Augustine’s Church, Penarth on Saturday 12 September, at 7.30pm. Performing alongside Catrin are the youthful orchestra Sinfonia Cymru who combine diversity and excellence to create a unique platform for young players beginning their musical careers.

Resident artist, Eleanor Turner, winner of the 2007 Cardiff European Harp competition, will be working with the local community in association with Live Music Now Wales! appearing in two concerts on the 6 September, 6.30pm at Fonmon Castle and the 8 September, 7.30pm at Ewenny Priory Church. Playing alongside Eleanor Turner will be the award-winning Solstice Quartet, recent first prize winners of the prestigious Royal Overseas League competition.

There’s a strong contingent of new music from Australia. The BBC National Orchestra of Wales gives a concert entirely of UK premieres of important new works created by Australians Ross Edwards, Brett Dean and Paul Stanhope on the 10 September from the BBC Orchestra’s new home at the BBC Hoddinott Hall, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay.

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