The 2014 Presteigne Festival (21-26 August 2014, Presteigne, Powys, UK) is this year supported by a significant grant from the Adam Mickiewicz Institute - a national cultural institution aiming to strengthen Polish cultural impact and to benefit international cultural exchange. Pursuing its mission, the institute has been instrumental in presenting Polish culture around the world at leading concert halls, galleries, theatres, clubs and festivals. The roughly four thousand projects carried out by the institute so far include major cultural events such as POLSKA!YEAR in the UK, the International Cultural Programme of the Polish EU Presidency, the I, CULTURE Orchestra and the Witold Lutosławski Centenary in 2013.
For over a decade, the Institute has been operating the culture.pl website, which provides daily information on the most exciting Polish cultural events worldwide. It is the biggest and most comprehensive source of knowledge about Polish culture - in addition to event listings for Poland and beyond, it boasts a wealth of artist biographies, reviews, essays, synopses and profiles of cultural institutions.
The AMI launched its Polska Music programme in 2011. Polska Music actively supports performances of Polish classical music worldwide, aiming to increase its popularity across the globe. As well as initiating international stage productions and concerts, commissioning new work and nurturing contemporary composers, Polska Music also promotes recordings, books and events. Polska Music has collaborated with a host of high-profile partners around the world, including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, English National Opera, Royal Opera, Berliner Festspiele, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Lincoln Centre, Salle Pleyel, Deutsche Grammophon and Sony Classical.
Polska Music has supported Presteigne's commission for Paweł Łukaszewski's new Requiem, which is to be premiered on Sunday 24 August 2014 at 7.45pm by soprano Rachel Nicholls, baritone Christopher Foster, the Joyful Company of Singers and the Presteigne Festival Orchestra under Festival Director George Vass.
The festival's Polish theme also embraces Anglo-Polish composer Andrzej Panufnik's centenary, plus important works by Penderecki, Lutosławski, Górecki, Bacewicz and music by young Polish composer Maciej Zielinski.
Composer-in-residence Stephen McNeff's chamber opera Prometheus Drowned - a rather dark piece exploring the strange circumstances surrounding the death of Percy Bysshe Shelley at Livorno in 1822 - will be paired with Airborne by Cecilia McDowall, as part of Nova Music Opera's UK tour.
There's also a seventy-fifth birthday tribute to John McCabe, music from Welsh composers celebrating the Dylan Thomas centenary and a strong crop of commissions from Lynne Plowman, Toby Young, Hilary Tann, Daniel Kidane and, of course, Stephen McNeff.
All this takes place in a small, intimate Welsh town in the border marches region, attracting visitors from far and wide.
Posted: 13 August 2014
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