As musicians living in Penarth, David and I saw a golden opportunity to start a chamber music festival, for the many music-lovers in the community, to draw visitors to come to spend a weekend in the “garden-by –the sea” and for ourselves – as a musician it’s a rare treat to play to a “home crowd”! 5 years ago, when the Penarth Pier Pavilion was nearing completion, we visited the gallery and thought what a wonderful space this would be for chamber music concerts – a beautiful acoustic, unparalleled views over the Bristol Channel, ice cream and fish and chips at hand – what more could we ask for! We have now added the beautiful venue of All Saints Church, and are looking forward to presenting our 5th festival in July 2018.

We aim to bring top class chamber music concerts, given by musicians on the international stage to Penarth. We have had many memorable moments – visits by some fantastic musicans including Elias and Endellion String Quartets, Gould Piano Trio, Malin Broman, Laura Samuel, Tom Dunn, Alasdair Beatson as well as extraordinary performances by our “locals” Rebecca Evans, Robert Plane and Lesley Hatfield to name but a few. We aim to not only provide concerts for knowledgeable music lovers, but also introduce great works to new audiences and young people (through our free ticket scheme), and through our Family and Relaxed concerts, provide opportunities for first experiences of the wonderful world of chamber music.

Alice Neary and David Adams

Alice Neary

Alice Neary, Penarth Chamber Music Festival

Principal cello of BBC National Orchestra of Wales

David Adams

David Adams, Penarth Chamber Music Festival

Leader of the orchestra of Welsh National Opera, member of London Bridge Trio

Welcome to the 2018 Festival

Welcome to the Penarth Chamber Music Festival 2018! This is our 5th festival and we are thrilled to be returning to Penarth Pier Pavilion and All Saints Church to present another exciting programme of events. Against a backdrop of stunning seascapes, our concerts will feature a distinguished mix of musicians, each bringing their own sound, approach and character to our programme. With free tickets for 8-25 year olds (supported by CAVATINA Chamber Music Trust) we hope to offer something to suit all tastes, and to see you there!

The chamber music classics - Brahms and Mozart Piano Quartets, Mendelssohn and Schumann piano trios, Mozart and Dvorak string quintets, need little introduction. Works by Fanny Mendelssohn and Donald Tovey might be less familiar; Fanny, adored sister of Felix Mendelssohn, wrote her epic piano trio just before she died and it is full of imagination, virtuosic sparkle and originality. Donald Tovey was a great scholar, teaching generations how to appreciate Beethoven, and his wonderfully rich music is just beginning to be rediscovered. We are also exploring some contemporary music; Welsh composer Huw Watkins is currently Composer In Association with BBCNOW and his string trio is a dynamic and beautiful gem. Don’t miss Das Buch by The Latvian composer Peteris Vasks, a piece for solo cello full of extremes of emotion and spellbindingly beautiful sounds- you won’t believe your ears!

Penarth Chamber Music Festival

Schoenberg’s name used to strike dread into audiences and promoters, but his work is now much more appreciated for its originality, intensity and beauty. We are performing his first important work, Verklarte Nacht a romantic masterpiece, based on the poem by Richard Dehmel read by Rebecca Evans - it should be on your ‘bucket list’ so don’t miss this chance to hear it live. The extraordinary, intense String Trio was written at the end of Schoenberg’s life and is packed with energy, expression and beauty - this rarely heard and spectacular feat of composition and performance will be in the ‘Candlelit Concert’ on Saturday night. James Lea, professor at RWCMD, will be introducing these works in a pre-concert talk on Saturday, to help reveal the secrets of these expressionist masterpieces.

We are especially grateful to Rebecca Evans for joining us in 3 programmes this year, after last year’s unforgettable Shepherd On The Rock!

We are delighted to have Lenny Sayers leading us through our ‘Family Concert’ at All Saints Church on Saturday morning and Saturday afternoon is the chance for our local young musicians to shine in the ‘Young Musicians Showcase’. The ‘Relaxed Concert’ on Friday will include the highlights of the festival programme in a supportive environment, a concert for people with special needs to relax and enjoy chamber music with their families and carers. We also have a coffee concert with Ravel and Debussy and a salon concert featuring tangos and lighter music to enjoy with a cup of tea before our finale on Sunday evening.

View programme of events

The Festival

World class concerts against a backdrop of stunning seascapes. Our distinguished musicians bring the international stage to Penarth.


The Artists

Our distinguished musicians bring the international stage to Penarth.

Artistic Directors

David Adams and Alice Neary


Rebecca Evans