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Presteigne Festival to go digital

By Karen Compton | Mid Wales | Mid Wales entertainment | Published:

The Presteigne Festival has been cancelled for the first time in its 38 year history.

Presteigne Festival to go digital

However, the organisers have managed to arrange an exciting alternative to the 2020 Festival comprising Presteigne Digital.

It will be a series of specially-filmed mini-concerts to be streamed via the Presteigne Festival website, and there will also be a Winter Festival Weekend and the Festival Orchestra’s first commercial recording project for the Resonus label, highlighting past Presteigne commissions.

Presteigne Digital, which runs from August 24 until 27, will be available to view at any time after that.

It will feature performances from the Carducci Quartet, Amy Dickson, Christopher Good, Clare Hammond, Tim Horton, Mathilde Milwidsky, Bradley Smith, Oliver Wass and members of Nova Music Opera in repertoire which was to have been featured at the 2020 Festival .

There will also be six newly commissioned works from Martin Butler, Amelia Clarkson, Ninfea Cruttwell-Reade, Robin Haigh, Joseph Phibbs and Emma-Ruth Richards, contemporary British pieces and music by Beethoven, Britten, Janáček and Schubert.

The programme for the first ever Presteigne Winter Festival Weekend will be announced in mid-August.

A nine-event celebration of string and vocal chamber music supported with literary and music talks, similarly comprises content originally programmed for the 2020 Festival.

All events, which are planned to take place from November 27 until 29, coinciding with the first Sunday of Advent, will be given to a small, socially distanced audience at St Andrew’s Church.

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Artistic Director George Vass said: “The Festival is extremely grateful to many of its grant funders and individual patrons for agreeing to maintain financial support at this difficult time.

“These alternative projects, and the 2021 Festival, would be impossible to realise without their understanding. Irrespective of this generous assistance, ticket income so vital to our organisation could be reduced by as much as £24,000. Finances and the Festival’s future are delicately poised.

“Many freelance artists are struggling financially due to the effects of COVID-19. In arranging the activities outlined above, the Presteigne Festival is now able to guarantee much needed performance or cancellation fees for all the artists who had been engaged to appear at the 2020 Festival.

“Whilst this imposes considerable financial stress on the organisation, artists and composers are at the very core of our activity; without them the Festival would be nothing at all – we have to support them all we can.”

Plans are currently being made for the 2021 edition, which will run from August 26-30 next year, visit www.presteignefestival.com for more information.

Karen Compton

By Karen Compton
Chief Reporter

Reporter on the Mid Wales Journal.

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