Gregynog Festival 2019:Vision
Gregynog Festival, Wales’s oldest classical music festival, returned in June with its traditional combination of beautiful summer events in idyllic Mid Wales locations. The season celebrated the vision of the Davies family – Gwendoline and Margaret Davies and their brother David, 1st Baron Davies – for a better world rooted in culture and peace following the First World War.
2019 marked 100 years since Gregynog Festival’s first Artistic Director, Henry Walford Davies, became first Gregynog Professor of Music at Aberystwyth University, 1919-26, and first Director of the National Council of Music for Wales, 1919-41: appointments that were funded by Gwendoline and Margaret Davies. The season also celebrated the anniversaries of two foundations sponsored by David Davies: the Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth University and the Temple of Peace and Health in Cardiff.
Highlights in the historic Music Room at Gregynog, near Newtown, included the Odysseus Piano Trio (Friday, 28 June, 7.30pm) whose concert paid tribute to the Aberystwyth Trio appointed by Walford Davies in 1919 as the first resident chamber ensemble at any University in the world. The Trio gave free weekly concerts to students and townspeople and even shared the platform with Béla Bartók when he made his UK début at Aberystwyth in March 1922.
Gregynog also hosted A Nocte Temporis, directed by the tenor Reinoud Van Mechelen, in a beautiful programme of arias by Bach (Saturday, 29 June, 7.30pm). Flemish tenor Van Mechelen and French Baroque ensemble A Nocte Temporis, featuring the flautist Anna Besson, are the rising stars of the early music world and this was their début appearance in Wales.
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