Welcome to the Gower Festival

We look forward to welcoming you to great concerts in a wonderful environment.

“We have a wonderful programme planned, with twelve concerts performed by brilliant International artists. Every concert will be a highlight and there is music for everyone!

We are keen to use as many churches of Gower as possible, both large and small. 
Early booking is advisable as some of the churches have limited capacity.

Please come and join us.”

Gordon Back
Artistic Director
Image of Gordon Back Artistc Director

gordon back

Artistic Director

It was fantasic to hear live music again in the very well attended 2022 Gower Festival.

For 2023 the individual concert times and locations are to be finalised and will appear on this website in due course as arrangements are confirmed.

2023 FESTIVAL

“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
President
Image of Sir Karl Jenkins, President

Sir Karl Jenkins CBE

President

“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.”

Llŷr Williams
Patron
Image of Llyr Williams, Patron

Llŷr Williams

Patron

“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.”

Catrin Finch
Patron
Image of Catrin Finch, Patron

Catrin Finch

Patron

2023 Provisional programme

In the first concert of their three-day residency in Gower, the London Conchord Ensemble perform Schubert’s much-loved ‘Trout’ Quintet alongside the Grand Septet in D minor by Schubert’s older contemporary Hummel, with its virtuoso writing for the piano.

ST PETER’S CHURCH, NEWTON SA3 4RB
Monday 4 July 7.30 pm
Catrin promo shot

CATRIN FINCH, HARP

Tuesday 4 July

Under the intriguing title 'Myths and Fairy Tales', the Conchord Ensemble play music by Rossini, Handel, Gluck, Britten, Engelbert Humperdinck and Messiaen, and will talk about it too. Enjoy the stories and the contrasts of style and instrumental colour!

ST GEORGE’S CHURCH, REYNOLDSTON SA3 1AA
Tuesday 5 July 2.30 pm
Keila playing violin

KEILA WAKAO, VIOLIN
and GORDON BACK piano
1st PRIZE, MENUHIN INTERNATIONAL violin COMPETITION 2021

Wednesday 5 July

A wonderful evening of serenade music for wind and strings. Martinu’s cheerful Nonet, with its echoes of the folk music of his native Bohemia. The lyrical Nonet by Louis Spohr, a romantic piece full of good tunes and good humour. And Beethoven’s ever-popular Septet. Don’t miss this opportunity.  

ALL SAINTS’ CHURCH, OYSTERMOUTH  SA3 4BZ
Wednesday 6 July 7.30 pm
Promo shot
Gower landscape by Glenys Cour

GOWER ARTISTS EXHIBITION
and TALK

Thursday 6 July, All Day

A lecture recital by the inspirational conductor and string-teacher David Watkin, throwing new light on Bach’s life and music. An award-winner for his Bach recordings, David’s talk will be wide-ranging, adventurous and fun.

ST MARY’S CHURCH, PENNARD SA3 2EA
Thursday 7 July 7.30 pm
Promo shot

RACHEL PODGER, VIOLIN and DANIELE CAMINITI, LUTE

Friday 7 July afternoon

A romantic evening of song by the outstanding young baritone James Atkinson, currently singing in WNO's production of Don Giovanni. His programme includes one of the greatest of all romantic song cycles, Schumann’s Dichterliebe
(A Poet’sLove), and songs by Rhian Samuel and Gerald Finzi. A high point of this year’s festival.

ALL SAINTS’ CHURCH, OYSTERMOUTH SA3 4BZ
Friday 8 July 7.30 pm
Promo shot

RACHEL PODGER, VIOLIN and DANIELE CAMINITI, LUTE

Friday 7 July evening

A firm favourite with Gower audiences, Pavel Kolesnikov is one of the most sensitive and original pianists of his generation. His typically imaginative programme includes music by Schubert, Fauré and Reynaldo Hahn.
An evening not to be missed.

ST PETER’S CHURCH, NEWTON SA3 4RB
Saturday 9 July 7.30 pm

Presenting
MUMBLES A CAPELLA YOUTH CHOIR

Free admission for this event
Saturday 8 July 1:00 p.m.

A firm favourite with Gower audiences, Pavel Kolesnikov is one of the most sensitive and original pianists of his generation. His typically imaginative programme includes music by Schubert, Fauré and Reynaldo Hahn.
An evening not to be missed.

ST PETER’S CHURCH, NEWTON SA3 4RB
Saturday 9 July 7.30 pm
Promo shot

LLŶR WILLIAMS, PIANO

Saturday 8 July

Andrey Lebedev, who delighted Gower audiences in 2018, returns with the brilliant young Polish accordionist, Bartosz Głowacki. Their programme has a Spanish/Latin-American flavour, including music by Rodrigo, Piazzolla, Villa-Lobos and Ernesto Nazareth.

ST CENYDD’S CHURCH, LLANGENNITH SA3 1HU
Monday 11 July 7.30 pm
Promo shot

HUW WIGGIN, SAXOPHONE and Oliver WASS, HARP

Monday 10 July

Widely praised for their ‘uplifting’, ‘perfectly judged’ performances, the Sitkovetsky Trio – Alexander Sitkovetsky (violin), Isang Enders (cello) and Wu Qian (piano) – make a welcome return to Gower. They will perform wonderful trios by Ravel (as recently issued on a much acclaimed CD) and Brahms.

ST PAUL’S CHURCH, SKETTY SA2 9AR
Tuesday 12 July 7.30 pm
Chris promo shot

TALK by CHRIS WEEKS,
‘Gower: the sea, music and images’

Tuesday 11 July

First prize-winner at the prestigious Leeds Piano Competition in September 2021, Alim Beisembayev makes his Gower debut performing Chopin’s Piano Sonata no. 2 ‘Funeral March’ and music by Haydn and Liszt.

ST PAUL’S CHURCH, SKETTY SA2 9AR
Wednesday 13 July 7.30 pm
promo shot

CARDUCCI STRING QUARTET

Wednesday 12 July afternoon

A rare opportunity to hear Sir Arthur Bliss’s lyrical Quintet for clarinet and strings alongside Brahms’s late masterpiece for the same instruments. The acclaimed Elias Quartet are joined by Robert Plane, principal clarinet of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales for over twenty years, and now Head of Woodwind Performance at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

ST RHIDIAN & ST ILLTYD’S CHURCH, LLANRHIDIAN SA3 1ER
Thursday 14 July 7.30 pm
Elias Quartet image

CARDUCCI STRING QUARTET
with ANGHARAD ROWLANDS, MEZZO SOPRANO

Thursday 13 July

The Elias Quartet perform two gems of the string quartet repertoire: Haydn’s Quartet in G, Op. 54/1, and Mendelssohn’s stormy Quartet in A minor, Op. 13, the young composer’s tribute to the late quartets of Beethoven.

ST CATTWG’S CHURCH,
PORT EYNON SA3 1NL
Friday 15 July 2.30 pm
Maxim Lando, playing the piano

MAXIM LANDO, PIANO
1st prizewinner,
VENDOME PRIZE 2022

Friday 14 July

An evening of Gower-influenced poetry and jazz featuring the well-known BBC Wales Presenter Nicola Heywood-Thomas, actor Siôn Tudur Owen and local star Mal Pope with music by the popular jazz pianist Geoff Eales and his Trio.

REYNOLDSTON VILLAGE HALL SA3 1AA
Saturday 16 July 7.30 pm

Become a friend

Benefits of becoming a Friend of the Gower Festival are summarised below, but include the advance booking for concerts, much appreciated as many concerts, particularly at smaller venues, sell out quickly.

download a form

An evening of Gower-influenced poetry and jazz featuring the well-known BBC Wales Presenter Nicola Heywood-Thomas, actor Siôn Tudur Owen and local star Mal Pope with music by the popular jazz pianist Geoff Eales and his Trio.

REYNOLDSTON VILLAGE HALL SA3 1AA
Saturday 16 July 7.30 pm

CYMANFA GANU

Saturday 15 July

An evening of Gower-influenced poetry and jazz featuring the well-known BBC Wales Presenter Nicola Heywood-Thomas, actor Siôn Tudur Owen and local star Mal Pope with music by the popular jazz pianist Geoff Eales and his Trio.

REYNOLDSTON VILLAGE HALL SA3 1AA
Saturday 16 July 7.30 pm
2023 Gower Festival

Book your tickets online

Tickets will be on sale in April with priority booking for Friends of the Gower Festival

update

After the disappointments and frustrations of having to cancel the Gower Festivals of 2020 and 2021, we are pleased to announce a Garden Party for the Friends of the Gower Festival, in thanks for their continuing and loyal support during 2020 and 2021.

An invitation has been sent to all Friends.

Plans for Gower Festival 2022, which will take place 4th to 16th July, are already well advanced, but confirmation of the details needs to await information on any restrictions that may be in place at that time.

PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE 2019 FESTIVAL

The London Conchord Ensemble playing with two Glenys Cour paintings displayed on easels behind them. The larger monochrome picture, also from the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery collection, is by Catrin Webster.

London Conchord Ensemble
GLYNN VIVIAN ART GALLERY, SWANSEA SA1 5DZ

Wednesday 3 July 6.45pm
Flautist Daniel Pailthorpe with Daniel Rowland, Simone van der Giessen and Thomas Carroll playing Mozart’s flute Quartet in C.

London Conchord Ensemble
GLYNN VIVIAN ART GALLERY, SWANSEA SA1 5DZ

Wednesday 3 July 6.45pm
Oboist Emily Pailthorpe with string-players Daniel Rowland, Benjamin Roskams, Simone van der Giessen and Thomas Carroll playing Mozart’s rarely heard Quintet for Oboe and Strings in C minor.

London Conchord Ensemble
GLYNN VIVIAN ART GALLERY, SWANSEA SA1 5DZ

Wednesday 3 July 6.45pm
Gower-born Thomas Carroll, cellist of the London Conchord Ensemble. 

London Conchord Ensemble
GLYNN VIVIAN ART GALLERY, SWANSEA
SA1 5DZ

Wednesday 3 July 6.45pm
Well-known artist Glenys Cour with Sir Karl and Lady Jenkins along with our Artistic Director Gordon Back looking forward to the concert honouring her ninety-fifth birthday. 

London Conchord Ensemble
GLYNN VIVIAN ART GALLERY, SWANSEA SA1 5DZ

Wednesday 3 July 6.45pm
Writer Cathy Ace and her audience enjoying an indulgent cream tea in Rhossili, where her latest novel is set.

Cathy Ace
WORM’S HEAD HOTEL, RHOSSILI SA3 1PP

Friday 5 July 3.00pm
Cathy Ace discussing her work as a crime writer against the dramatic backdrop of the Worm’s Head.

Cathy Ace
WORM’S HEAD HOTEL, RHOSSILI SA3 1PP

Friday 5 July 3.00pm
The author with The Wrong Boy at its fictional location. 

Cathy Ace
WORM’S HEAD HOTEL, RHOSSILI SA3 1PP

Friday 5 July 3.00pm
A Gower Festival audience, outside St Peter’s Church, Newton, enjoying convivial company (and possibly a drink) during the interval.

Llŷr Williams
ST PETER’S CHURCH, NEWTON SA3 4RB

Saturday 6 July 7.30pm
Llŷr Willams introducing the music he is about to play, in this case Poulenc’s Les Soirées de Nazelles, a sequence of musical portraits of the composer’s friends. 

Llŷr Williams
ST PETER’S CHURCH, NEWTON SA3 4RB

Saturday 6 July 7.30pm
Llŷr Willams playing Liszt’s Ballade No 2 in B minor. 

Llŷr Williams
ST PETER’S CHURCH, NEWTON SA3 4RB

Saturday 6 July 7.30pm
A wonderful setting for some wonderful music. 

Llŷr Williams
ST PETER’S CHURCH, NEWTON SA3 4RB

Saturday 6 July 7.30pm
Live Music Now duo Jessica Robinson and Llywelyn Ifan Jones taking us on a journey through Welsh Art Song.

Live Music Now
SILOAM BAPTIST CHURCH, KILLAY SA2 7AL

Monday 8 July 2.30pm
Combining fine acoustics with an intimate atmosphere, the church of St Rhidian & St Illtyd’s at Llanrhidian has long been a favourite venue for string quartet concerts. Here the Carducci Quartet are in afternoon rehearsal.

Carducci Quartet
ST RHIDIAN & ST ILLTYD’S CHURCH, LLANRHIDIAN
SA3 1ER

THursday 11 July 7.30pm
Members of the Anglo-Irish Carducci Quartet: violinists Matthew Denton and Michelle Fleming, viola-player Eoin Schmidt-Martin and cellist Emma Denton.

Carducci Quartet
ST RHIDIAN & ST ILLTYD’S CHURCH, LLANRHIDIAN 
SA3 1ER

THursday 11 July 7.30pm
Sixty years after its post-war reopening, the civic church of St Mary in Swansea makes an impressive setting for the final concert of the2019 Gower Festival. Côr Caerdydd and the Chamber Orchestra of Wales are conducted by Sir Karl Jenkins.

Sir Karl Jenkins
Seventy-fifth Birthday Gala
ST MARY’S CHURCH, SWANSEA SA1 3LP

Saturday 13 July 7.30pm
Sir Karl Jenkins making his St Mary’s Church conducting debut. 

Sir Karl Jenkins
Seventy-fifth Birthday Gala
ST MARY’S CHURCH, SWANSEA SA1 3LP

Saturday 13 July 7.30pm
Mezzo-soprano Olivia Gomez singing the Pie Jesu from Sir Karl Jenkins’ Requiem, with members of Côr Caerdydd.

Sir Karl Jenkins
Seventy-fifth Birthday Gala
ST MARY’S CHURCH, SWANSEA SA1 3LP

Saturday 13 July 7.30pm
A hug for Catrin Finch from Sir Karl Jenkins after her performance of Tros y Garreg (Crossing the Stone) from his Harp Concerto which was written in 2002 at the behest of HRH the Prince of Wales and composed for Catrin, at that time the Royal Harpist.

Sir Karl Jenkins
Seventy-fifth Birthday Gala
ST MARY’S CHURCH, SWANSEA SA1 3LP

Saturday 13 July 7.30pm
Members of Côr Caerdydd performing The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace, the most widely played of all Sir Karl Jenkins’ works.

Sir Karl Jenkins
Seventy-fifth Birthday Gala
ST MARY’S CHURCH, SWANSEA SA1 3LP

Saturday 13 July 7.30pm
Photographs courtesy of: Huw Richards and Mike Wilson (Cathy Ace Event)

PRE-FESTIVAL CHURCH TOUR 2021

Sunday 28 June

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.

Price: £15 per person.

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 info@gowerfestival.org

St Mary’s Church, Pennard
St Mary's Church, Pennard
St Nicholas’ Church, Nicholaston
St Nicholas’ Church, Nicholaston
St Cattwg’s Church, Port Eynon
St Cattwg’s Church, Port Eynon

2022 gower festival venues

Map of Gower festival venues

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The Story of the Gower Festival

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.

Friends of the Gower Festival

We have some wonderful concerts arranged for the 2023 Gower Festival.
Festival Friends have priority booking.

Benefits of becoming a Friend

  • ➢ Advance booking for concerts. This benefit is much appreciated by Friends as many concerts, particularly at smaller venues, sell out quickly.
  • ➢ Regular Festival email updates.
  • ➢ Acknowledgement in the Festival programme.
  • ➢ Opportunities to help with the running of Festival events and to attend the Society’s Annual Meeting.

Annual Membership costs: £15 per household.
You can join in one of four ways:

Gower Festival Friends 100 Club

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.

  • ➢ 1st Prize per draw £100
  • ➢ 2nd Prize of £50
  • ➢ 3rd Prizes of £25 (the number of 3rd prizes is dependent on the number of tickets sold per year).
    Last year the 100 Club raised over £600 for the Gower Festival - a significant contribution towards the cost of a concert.

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:

  • ♦ Contact Mrs Anne Pope, 10 Vowley View, Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire SN4 8HT
  • ♦ Email: friends@gowerfestival.org
  • ♦ Pick up an application form at any festival venue, or download an application form.

useful links

Gower Festival secretary at info@gowerfestival.org
Friends of Gower Festival secretary: friends@gowerfestival.org

Information about Swansea and Gower including, walks, what's on, accommodation:
www.visitswanseabay.com/
‍destination/gower-peninsula
Swansea Classical Guitar Circle: www.swanseaguitars.co.uk