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

‘The Story So Far ….’   An intriguing programme, taking us on a journey through the music that has been important to Catrin Finch from the start of her career up to the present.

Tuesday 4 July, 7.30 pm
St Cenydd’s Church, Llangennith
Catrin promo shot

CATRIN FINCH, HARP

Tuesday 4 July, 7.30 pm
St Cenydd’s Church, Llangennith

Accompanied by Gordon Back, sixteen-year-old Keila Wakao, first prize-winner at the Menuhin Competition 2021, plays sonatas by Beethoven and César Franck (his romantic A major Sonata), plus some exciting virtuoso showpieces.

Wednesday 5 July, 7.30 pm
ST PETER’S CHURCH, NEWTON
Keila playing violin

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

Wednesday 5 July, 7.30 pm
St Peter’s Church, Newton

Tour of Artists’ Studios in North Gower 10.00 am - 3.30 pm and with lunch break. Transport provided.

A great opportunity to visit the studios of painter Beth Marsden, stained glass artist Catrin Jones and ceramicist Micki Schloessingk in their rural north Gower surroundings. The tour also includes an art display in beautiful Cheriton Church.

Thursday 6 July, 10.00 am - 3.30 pm
Around North Gower
Landscape Study © Beth Marsden.

TOUR OF ARTISTS’ STUDIOS IN NORTH GOWER

Thursday 6 July, 10.00 am - 3.30 pm
Around north gower

Joined by theorbo player Daniele Caminiti, leading violinist Rachel Podger performs Italian masterpieces from the golden age of the Baroque violin.

‘There is an unfailing eloquence to everything Rachel Podger does.’

Friday 7 July, 2.30 pm
ST CATTWG’S CHURCH, PORT EYNON
Promo shot

RACHEL PODGER, VIOLIN and DANIELE CAMINITI, THEORBO

Friday 7 July, 2.30 pm
St Cattwg’s Church, Port Eynon

With theorbo player Daniele Caminiti, violinist Rachel Podger performs little-known sonatas by Frescobaldi and other Italian masters of the seventeenth century - early music which still sounds new, daring and fantastic.

Friday 7 July, 7.30 pm
St Illtyd’s Church, Ilston
Promo shot

RACHEL PODGER, VIOLIN and DANIELE CAMINITI, THEORBO

Friday 7 July, 7.30 pm
St Illtyd’s Church, Ilston

One of the Gower Festival’s remits is to support the best of local talent.

Come and hear the wonderful Mumbles A Cappella in an exciting programme. You will be entertained and surprised!

Saturday 8 July, 1.00 pm
ST PETER’S CHURCH, NEWTON

Presenting
MUMBLES A CAPPELLA YOUTH CHOIR

Free admission for this event
Saturday 8 July, 1.00 pm
St Peter’s Church, Newton

Acclaimed Welsh pianist and Festival patron Llŷr Williams makes a welcome return to Gower with a wonderful programme of music by Liszt, Schumann and Brahms. A fascinating evening of contrasting styles.

Saturday 8 July, 7.30 pm
ST PETER’S CHURCH, NEWTON
Promo shot

LLŶR WILLIAMS, PIANO

Saturday 8 July, 7.30 pm
St Peter’s Church, Newton

‘A seemingly unlikely combination of instruments that works real magic.’

Following the enormous success of their appearance at the 2019 Gower Festival, Huw and Oliver embark on a new musical tour, from Albinoni to the present day.

Monday 10 July, 7.30 pm
St Hilary’s Church, Killay
Promo shot

HUW WIGGIN, SAXOPHONE and Oliver WASS, HARP

Monday 10 July, 7.30 pm
St Hilary’s Church, Killay

Local composer and popular lecturer on music Chris Weeks considers the lasting appeal of Gower and of the sea around it to musicians and visual artists.

Tuesday 11 July, 7.30 pm
St Mary’s Church, Pennard
Chris promo shot

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

Tuesday 11 July, 7.30 pm
St Mary’s Church, Pennard

A firm favourite with Gower audiences, the Carducci Quartet play a programme of music by Haydn and Dvořák, two of the greatest masters of the string quartet repertoire.

Wednesday 12 July, 2.30 pm
St Mary’s Church, Rhossili
promo shot

CARDUCCI STRING QUARTET

Wednesday 12 July, 2.30 pm
St Mary’s Church, Rhossili

The Carducci are joined by the gifted young Welsh mezzo-soprano, Angharad Rowlands, in a performance of Gareth Walter’s fine song-cycle Cân y galon (Song of the Heart). String quartets by Beethoven and Shostakovich complete the programme.

Thursday 13 July, 7.30 pm
St Rhidian & St Illtyd’s Church, Llanrhidian
Elias Quartet image

CARDUCCI STRING QUARTET
and ANGHARAD ROWLANDS, MEZZO SOPRANO

Thursday 13 July, 7.30 pm
St Rhidian & St Illtyd’s Church,
Llanrhidian

A wide-ranging programme from the brilliant twenty-year-old virtuoso pianist
from New York. ‘A phenomenal technician, with a mature musical
understanding.’

Friday 14 July, 7.30 pm
St Paul’s Church, Sketty
Maxim Lando, playing the piano

MAXIM LANDO, PIANO
1st prizewinner,
VENDOME PRIZE 2022

Friday 14 July, 7.30 pm
St Paul’s Church, Sketty

“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.”

TBA
TBA
Festival information

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

Join with church, chapel, male-voice and community choirs for hymn-singing in the spacious acoustic of Capel Y Crwys.

Everyone is welcome. A rousing conclusion to the 2023 Festival.

Saturday 15 July, 6.00 pm
Capel Y Crwys, Three Crosses

CYMANFA GANU

Saturday 15 July, 6.00 pm
Capel Y Crwys, Three Crosses

“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.”

TBA
TBA
2023 Gower Festival

Book your tickets online

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

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

2023 gower festival venues

Map of Gower festival venues

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

St George’s Church, Reynoldston

ST GEORGE’S CHURCH,
REYNOLDSTON SA3 1AA

It is believed that the village and its church were founded by the Norman Reynald de Breos and unusually, for churches before the c14th (and in Wales!), was dedicated to St George. By 1866 it was described as ‘in a dreadfully dilapidated condition’ and demolished. A new Victorian Gothic style church was opened in 1867 on the original foundations but with a longer and wider nave. The stone came from old red sandstone quarries on Cefn Bryn with Welsh slate on the roof. The cost was £1500 with contributions from the Talbots of Penrice, the Bensons of Fairy Hill and the Woods at Stouthall.

CLOSE X
All Saints church

All Saints’ Church,
Oystermouth Sa3 4bz

All Saints was probably built on the site of a Roman villa or mansion (inn) or even a military/naval base. It is suggested that St Illtyd established the original church as early as the C5th but the first recorded reference dates from 1141. The oldest parts are the large Norman Tower (to protect the Anglo-Normans from Welsh attacks!) and the Early English Lady Chapel. By 1800 the church was described as ‘notoriously poor’ but during the C19th fortunes changed with rapid population increase as Oystermouth grew into a busy fishing, trading and tourist centre. The church was enlarged in1860 and again between 1915 - 1937 when the architect was Leonard William Bernard.

CLOSE X
St John Gowerton church

Church of St John The Evangelist,
Gowerton SA4 3EA

The Gothic-style church with bellcote was designed by the Brecon architect, J B Fowler and built in 1880-82 on land donated by John Dillwyn Llewelyn of the nearby Penllergare estate. The original Welsh name of the hamlet, Ffosfelin had been changed to Gower Road (before becoming Gowerton) reflecting the English speaking population who arrived after the two railways and the establishment of the Elba steelworks and coalmines. Anglicans had to walk either to Penclawdd or across the marshes to Loughor. The church has walls of local Pennant sandstone with green Bridgend stone external dressings and Bathstone interiors. St John’s was generously endowed by both the Dillwyn Llewelyn and Wright families.

CLOSE X

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 a minimum of £15 per household.

You can join in one of four ways:

♦ Contact Mrs Anne Pope, 10 Vowley View, Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire SN4 8HT

♦ Email: friends@gowerfestival.org

♦ Download a Gower Festival application form

♦ Pick up an application form at any festival venue.

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