Some highlights from the Festival of 2018
Back by popular demand for a second year – A group of up and coming young singers, post graduate music students from University of Wales Trinity St David’s gave a superb concert of arias, duets and choruses from favourite operas: music by composers such as Verdi, Puccini, Mozart and Offenbach.
They are a trio of the most wonderful voices with an extremely accomplished pianist. They presented the music with a great sense of fun and many witticisms.
Tenor Freddie Jones
Soprano Chloë Morgan
Bass-Baritone Emyr Wyn Jones
Pianist Llyr Simon
These are the musical stars of the future.
Rising Stars Concert
Each year the festival offers the opportunity to hear some of the UK’s most prodigiously talented young musicians. It was at this concert that Sheku Kanneh-Mason was first heard in Tenby – that was in 2014, two years later he won the BBC Young Musician 2016 competition. Sheku’s future as the most outstanding cellist of his generation now seems assured.
The Festival is pleased to welcome once again the winners of the International competition held at Gregynog every year. The competition is as important to young musicians as the BBC Young Musician Competition. Previous winners have included cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and violinist Charlie Lovell-Jones. Charlie can often be heard on BBC Radio 3 and on Classic FM, as can Sheku Kanneh-Mason who, in addition played at the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle together with Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano, who also performed at Tenby Arts Festival at the start of her career.
This year the overall winner was Willard Carter -cello (bottom left). Huw Boucher – harp, won his instrumental section while Julian Trevelyan – piano, won the accompanist prize and is already a distinguished soloist in his own right. He is seen here playing with the Orchestre de Paris.
Monday afternoon had a distinctly maritime theme with a talk about the Franklin expedition to find the North West passage dramatically titled Death in the Ice and another about the history of sea charts; Here be Monsters
Whilst in the evening we were treated to a wonderful concert by pianist Viv McLean, a regular at the Wigmore Hall,London and on Radio 3. His programme included compositions by Schubert, Bach and Beethoven, finishing with his signature piece Rhapsody in Blue by Gershwin.
In Concert –
Ellis Thomas – piano
A concert from one of the recent Gregynog Competition winners who played in one of our Rising Stars concerts. Chloë’s flute playing was breathtakingly beautiful. Chloë was accompanied on the piano by Zoe Smith.
Ellis Thomas, also 17, lives in Llandudno, North Wales. Ellis has performed the Mendelssohn Piano Concert no.1 with the St. John’s Festival Orchestra and a Bach keyboard concerto with the Welsh Chamber Orchestra. This season he is performing the Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with the Junior Royal Northern College of Music Symphony Orchestra. Ellis has been prize winner at a number of competitions and festivals throughout the country. He is also a violinist and was co-leader of the National Youth Orchestra of Wales for the orchestra’s 2017 summer tour.
Josephine Hammond ‘s talk about The Suffragettes marked the centenary of women’s right to vote.
Josephine told the story of the brave women who defied convention and sometimes their own families to fight for the vote. Many of them also gave up their lives in the struggle. She included many of the women of Wales who joined the WSPU including Lady Rhondda, probably the most prominent among them.
Later there was a superb concert featuring the recorder as you had never expected it to sound. It featured a completely new type of recorder “the Eagle’ hence the title of the concert Flight of the Eagle. The recorders were played by Piers Adams of Red Priest fame..
Welsh Quilts and Blankets
a talk and display by Jen Jones was immensely popular. Jen’s obsession with quilts was triggered by those in her family’s home in Massachusetts but it was not until she arrived in Wales in 1971 that this obsession came into its own. Her enthusiasm was inspiring. There was also a display of quilts made by the Narberth Quilting group.
Another highlight of Wednesday was the concert entitled Songs of the Great War. It played to a packed house and all joined in enthusiastically with songs such as Keep the Home Fires Burning, Mademoiselle from Armentières and Goodbye-ee led by Patricia Hammond and Matt Redmond.
On Thursday the main highlight has to have been George Hancock’s talk on Wine. It proved a most popular and lively event. With some delectable wines to taste there was much discussion as to the best way to taste them and which ones were the best.
In their regular Thursday evening slot was
Tenby’s very own traditional Welsh choir, ever popular with festival goers, returned again this year with a sparkling concert to delight all music fans.
Friday saw an excellent talk about the First World War from the perspective of one family from Wales. From Pembrokeshire to Passchaendale and Perth was given by Professor Tony Curtis reminding us all of the debt we owe to our forefathers 100 years ago.
The Festival Grand Finale
An evening of romantic music from the beautiful city of Vienna, home to the Strauss family and birthplace of the waltz, evoking the magic and music of Vienna and transporting audiences to the banks of the dreamy Danube River. We enjoyed an enchanting evening of singing and soaring violin melodies from some of the most popular Viennese composers including Kreisler, Lehar, Kalman and Johann Strauss, as well as operettas such as ‘The Merry Widow’, ‘Die Fledermaus’ and ‘The Gypsy Baron’.
Echoing the wonderful voices of the era and including songs by Richard Tauber, a carefully selected cast of tenor, soprano, violin and piano accompanist performed this amusing and entertaining evening hosted by the charismatic Artistic Director of Swansea City Opera, Brendan Wheatley, who introduced the music of the Viennese greats in his own inimitable style.
Soprano Angharad Rees
Tenor Alberto Sousa
Enquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Winners of the Window Dressing Competition
First Prize Paul Sartori Charity Shop
Second Prize Gift of Glass
Third Prize The Card Shop
Congratulations to all who took part – a magnificent effort.
And special congratulations to our winner and runners-up.