For more than forty years the Gower Festival has been bringing music of the highest quality to this area of south west Wales. Once again, during the first two weeks in July, at a different venue each evening, we are inviting internationally acclaimed musicians to play in the superb acoustic and atmosphere of our ancient churches.
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“Following a highly successful 2019 Festival, we have a new and exciting programme for 2020. We have music for everyone from Poetry and Jazz, to the outstanding Menuhin School Orchestra and the celebration of Beethoven’s 250th anniversary with four concerts from internationally acclaimed artists. I look forward to seeing you!”
“It is a privilege for me, as President, to be able to welcome you to the Gower Festival, my ‘local’ festival, having been raised on the beautiful Gower Peninsula. There is an exciting programme for you to enjoy, with concerts in the historic churches of Gower.”
Sir Karl Jenkins CBE
“The Gower Festival represents the best of the British summer festival tradition, great music for friendly and appreciative audiences in the most beautiful surroundings. I always look forward to returning with much anticipation.”
“Performing at the Gower Festival on many occasions has always been a special experience for me. I am therefore thrilled to be invited to be a Patron of this outstanding Festival.”
In the Avalon Suite, an evening of Gower influenced Poetry and Jazz featuring Melanie Walters and Bob Pugh (subject only to filming schedules) with music by popular jazz pianist Geoff Eales.
Poetry and Jazz
KING ARTHUR HOTEL,
REYNOLDSTON SA3 1AD
The inspirational young musicians of the Menuhin School Orchestra make a welcome return to Gower, performing an attractive programme of music for strings.
Mozart, Divertimento in D, K138
Tchaikovsky, Serenade in C, Op. 48
Elgar, Serenade in E minor, Op. 20
Bartok, Divertimento (1939)
The Yehudi Menuhin School Orchestra
ALL SAINTS’ CHURCH,
OYSTERMOUTH SA3 4BZ
The school founded by Yehudi Menuhin in the 1960s has produced many of today’s most admired musicians.
This afternoon’s concert introduces us to some of the musical stars of tomorrow, playing solo and ensemble pieces.
Stars of the Menuhin School
ST CATTWG’S CHURCH,
PORT EYNON SA3 1NL
A song recital by leading Welsh bass-baritone Neal Davies and pianist Sholto Kynoch, director of the Oxford Lieder Festival, promises to be one of the highlights of this year’s festival. Their varied programme includes Schumann’s Liederkreis, Op. 24, and a selection of Welsh folk songs.
and Sholto Kynoch
ALL SAINTS’ CHURCH,
OYSTERMOUTH SA3 4BZ
Making their debut in Gower, the versatile Elysium Brass Quintet perform pieces ranging from baroque to jazz by a wide range of composers - from Henry VIII, our most musical monarch, to George Gershwin and Glamorgan-born Gareth Wood.
Capel y Crwys,
Three Crosses SA4 3PU
A firm favourite with Gower audiences, Pavel Kolesnikov has been widely praised for the sensitivity of his playing and the originality of his choice of music. This evening’s programme includes Beethoven’s ‘Tempest’ Sonata in D minor, Op. 31/2, Schubert’s Sonata in C minor, D958, and works by Liszt and Scriabin.
ST PETER’S CHURCH,
NEWTON SA3 4RB
Following the popular success of his concerts at the 2018 Festival, everyone will look forward to hearing Andrey Lebedev again this year, playing music with a Spanish theme in the intimate surroundings of St Illtyd’s, Ilston.
ST ILLTYD’S CHURCH,
ILSTON SA2 7LD
The dynamic Sitkovetsky Trio - Alexander Sitkovetsky (violin), Isang Enders (cello) and
Wu Qian (piano) - perform an all-Beethoven programme to mark the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth. Their concert includes the serene ‘Archduke’ Trio, Op. 97, Beethoven’s greatest work in this form.
ST PAUL’S CHURCH,
SKETTY SA2 9AR
One of our brightest rising stars and a recent winner of the BBC Young Musician of the Year Award, Martin James Bartlett offers an intriguing programme of piano music associated with the romantic themes of love and death. It includes music by Bach, Beethoven, Schumann, Rachmaninoff and Gershwin.
Martin James Bartlett
ST CENYDD’S CHURCH,
LLANGENNITH SA3 1HU
A rare opportunity to hear Sir Arthur Bliss’s lyrical Quintet for clarinet and strings alongside Brahms’s late masterpiece, the Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op. 115. The acclaimed Elias Quartet are joined by Robert Plane, principal clarinet of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. The concert opens with two string fantasias by Henry Purcell.
Elias Quartet and Robert Plane
ST RHIDIAN & ST ILLTYD’S CHURCH,
LLANRHIDIAN SA3 1ER
The Elias Quartet perform two gems of the string quartet repertoire: Haydn’s G major quartet, Op. 33/5, one of his wittiestpieces, and Beethoven’s E minor quartet, Op. 59/2, a romantic work with a sparkling finale.
CHURCH OF ST MARY THE VIRGIN,
RHOSSILI SA3 1PL
A concert in memory of the late Brian Clarke, a valued member of the Gower Festival committee and a friend to many. A programme of music which particularly appealed to Brian will feature Sir Karl Jenkins, John Anderson, Tom Carroll, Ros Evans and Côr Ysgol Gyfyn Gŵyr amongst others.
Gordon Back and friends
CHURCH OF ST JOHN THE EVANGELIST,
GOWERTON SA4 3EA
It is with deep regret that we have taken the decision to cancel this year’s Gower Festival, for the first time ever, in response to the worst public health crisis in a generation. The safety of our Festival-goers, artists, partners and the wider community has to be our priority in relation to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.
A big thank you is due to our sponsors and supporters, and to all who have helped in preparing for this year’s Festival.
We wish you and your families well in these difficult and trying times.
We have already started to plan Gower Festival 2021, which will take place 5th to 17th July.
A feature of the Gower Festival is that we take advantage of the superb acoustics of the ancient and interesting Churches of Gower, matching the music with individual Churches.
This year we offer a pre-Festival guided tour of three Gower churches, each with its distinctive history and features: St Mary’s, Pennard, St Nicholas’, Nicholaston and St Cattwg’s, Port Eynon.
After cars are parked at St Mary’s Church, Pennard, we meet inside the church at 2pm for the first of our talks. We then proceed by coach to St Nicholas’ Church, Nicholaston, especially rich in its interior decoration. The tour will end in St Cattwg’s Church, Port Eynon where we shall enjoy a cream tea. The coach will return to Pennard by 6pm.
To reserve your place, please download the form below and post it, with a cheque payable to Gower Festival Society, to Valerie Beynon, Myrtle Cottage, Reynoldston, Swansea SA3 1AD.
Enquiries may be made to Valerie Beynon, by telephone on 01792 391025 or by Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Gower Festival has its roots in the long, hot summer of 1976 when Jonathan Beecher, an Oxford cellist, brought a student orchestra and a handful of professional soloists to perform an astonishing series of thirty-one concerts in Gower churches during the last two weeks of August. So many events packed into a fortnight may have been over-ambitious. But the idea of holding a music festival in Gower churches was such a good one that it led to the formation of the Gower Festival Society and in due course to the appointment of John Fussell MBE, Swansea's Director of Music and City Organist, as Artistic Director of the enterprise. More than anyone else, it was John who established the high standards of musical performance and well-chosen repertoire which have characterised the Gower Festival ever since.
We have some wonderful concerts arranged for the 2020 Gower Festival.
Festival Friends have priority booking.
Annual Membership costs: £15 per household.
You can join in one of four ways:
Don’t miss your chance to support the Gower Festival Society and win cash prizes for yourself!
There are three prize draws per year - July, November and March.
The cost of a share is only £12 per year - that’s just £1 per month. You may take out more than one share if you wish.
You can join in one of three ways: