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2018 Presteigne Festival

The programme for the 36th Presteigne Festival (23-28 August 2018) has a strong Baltic flavour. Important works by a range of Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian composers, among them Vladas Jakubėnas, Tõnu Kõrvits, Ester Mägi, Arvo Pärt, Raminta Šerkšnytė, Erkki-Sven Tüür and Pēteris Vasks, are included.

We celebrate important birthdays for two composers with long-held Presteigne Festival connections - Michael Berkeley and David Matthews - and the outstanding musical polymath Martin Butler joins us as composer-in-residence.

Our exploration of the world of contemporary British music continues with exciting commissions from a mix of established and emerging talent - Cydonie Banting (The Gate of Dawn, for solo piano), David Bednall (Regina caeli, for a cappella choir), Martin Butler (Concertante Dances, for piano and chamber orchestra), Gareth Moorcraft (a work for oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon and piano), Huw Watkins (Echo, a song-cycle for soprano and piano jointly commissioned with Carnegie Hall, New York) and, from 2017 Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize winner Manos Charalabopoulos, Two Poems for solo cello.

The Festival's successful relationship with Nova Music Opera continues to flourish; the company performs Joseph Phibbs' new chamber opera Juliana at the Festival - a co-commission with the Cheltenham Music Festival - inspired by August Strindberg's unsettling stage drama Miss Julie.

Performing artists include the Navarra Quartet, soprano Ruby Hughes, violinist Kristīne Balanas, pianists Huw Watkins, Joseph Tong and Martin Butler, a specially-formed Festival Ensemble, oboists James Turnbull and Ben Marshall, cellist Joanna Gutowska, the Choir of Royal Holloway conducted by Rupert Gough, and the ever-popular Festival Orchestra under artistic director George Vass.

A wonderful collection of supporting events will include exhibitions, a Nordic film feature, talks from Stephen Johnson, Ian Marchant and Peter Lord, poetry, and Well Thumbed, a fabulous one-man show from Terry Victor.

Information: www.presteignefestival.com

Posted: 10 August 2018

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