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.
As you navigate the web site, clicking photographs will reveal further information.
Sadly, we have no alternative but to cancel this year’s Festival. This is due to many reasons including safety of performers and audience alike.
We are pleased and happy to announce that our wonderful artists all expressed the desire to be part of the 2022 Festival. In addition we will welcome back, as ‘artists in residence’, the brilliant London Conchord Ensemble.
Live music is returning to Gower and we’ll keep you informed!
Most of the outstanding artists originally booked for the 2020 Festival will be coming to perform for us in July 2021, promising a Festival as good and varied as ever. So that social distancing rules don’t limit audience numbers too much, the majority of the concerts will be given twice, once in mid-afternoon and again at the usual evening time. For the same reason we have to exclude the smaller Churches which would have a very limited seating capacity.
2021 Festival CANCELLED
“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.”
An evening of Gower-influenced poetry and jazz, featuring star actors Melanie Walters and Bob Pugh with music by popular jazz pianist Geoff Eales.
Poetry and Jazz
A song recital by leading Welsh bass-baritone Neal Davies and pianist Sholto Kynoch, director of the Oxford Lieder Festival, promises to be a highlight of this year’s festival. Their programme includes a song-cycle by Schumann and a group of Welsh folk songs.
and Sholto Kynoch
A concert in memory of Brian Clarke, valued member of the Festival Committee and friend to many. It will include music which particularly appealed to Brian, featuring among others oboist John Anderson, cellist Tom Carroll, soprano Ros Evans, composer Sir Karl Jenkins and Côr Ysgol Gyfyn Gŵyr.
Gordon Back and friends
A great favourite with Gower audiences, Pavel Kolesnikov is admired for the sensitivity of his playing and the originality of his choice of music. His latest CD, of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, has been widely praised in the press.
“The young British-based Russian makes this much-recorded music dance and sing. A voyage of rediscovery.” (The Sunday Times)
Following the success of his concerts at the 2018 Festival, everyone will look forward to hearing Andrey Lebedev again in 2021, playing music with a Spanish theme.
The dynamic Sitkovetsky Trio - Alexander Sitkovetsky (violin), Isang Enders (cello) and Wu Qian (piano) – include in their programme Beethoven’s serene ‘Archduke’ Trio, Op. 97, his last and greatest work in this form.
A lecture recital on Bach’s life and music, given by inspirational cellist and conductor
An award-winner for his Bach recordings, David Watkin’s music-making combines ‘huge commitment’ with naturalness and spontaneity, as if he had ‘just picked up his cello to play for pleasure’.
lecture recital on the music of J S Bach
One of our brightest rising stars and recent first prize winner of the Virtu(al)oso Global Piano Competition for Artist Relief, Martin James Bartlett offers an intriguing programme of piano music associated with the romantic themes of love and death.
Martin James Bartlett
A rare opportunity to hear Sir Arthur Bliss’s lyrical Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, preceded by Beethoven’s dramatic String Quartet in C minor, Op. 18/4.
The acclaimed Elias Quartet are joined by Robert Plane, principal clarinet of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
Elias Quartet and Robert Plane
Benefits of becoming a Friend
Advance booking for concerts, regular Festival email updates, acknowledgement in the Festival programme, invitation to any masterclasses held during the Festival an opportunities to help with the running of Festival events and to participate at the Society’s Annual General Meeting.
To join please see below.
friends of the Gower Festival
The Elias Quartet perform two gems of the string quartet repertoire: Haydn’s Quartet in G, Op. 33/5, a work both tuneful and witty, and Mendelssohn’s passionate Quartet in A minor, Op. 13, with its echoes of the composer’s Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture.
Information to follow
ticketing arrangements to be confirmed
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 2021 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: