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, we are inviting internationally acclaimed musicians to play in the superb acoustic and atmosphere of our ancient churches.
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“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.”
After two fallow years, we are very pleased to announce that the Gower Festival is set to resume ‘normal service’ in 2022.
Our programme is as below and includes the quality of International artists our audiences appreciate and have become accustomed to.
However the uncertainties of COVID still remain, and we will comply with all regulations and guidances which may apply at the time of the 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
“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 first concertof 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.
London Conchord Ensemble
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!
London Conchord Ensemble
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.
London Conchord Ensemble
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.
David Watkin: lecture, with music, on J S Bach
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.
JAMES ATKINSON, BARITONE
& SHOLTO KYNOCH, PIANO
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.
Pavel Kolesnikov, piano
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.
BARTOSZ GLOWACKI, ACCORDION & Andrey Lebedev, guitar
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.
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.
Alim Beisembayev, piano
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.
Elias Quartet and Robert Plane, clarinet
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.
An evening of Gower-influenced poetry and jazz featuring actor Bob Pugh (subject to filming schedules) and Mal Pope with music by the popular jazz pianist Geoff Eales and his Trio.
Poetry and Jazz
(Geoff Eales trio)
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.
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 2022 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: