Welcome to Penarth Chamber Music Festival 2022

We are so excited to be back with capacity audiences to experience the thrilling atmosphere of intimate chamber music concerts here in Penarth.

Our audience has been incredibly supportive over the last two very difficult years and we hope our programme this year can provide the buzz for which we’ve all been yearning! It spans the smallest group, a duo, to the largest we’ve ever had, a group of 14 for Strauss Four Last Songs, with our superstar patron Rebecca Evans CBE.

The festival opens with the touching and poignant Haydn String Quartet Op.54 no.2 closely followed by Schoenberg’s dramatic, beautiful and groundbreaking Chamber Symphony no,1 arranged by his dedicated student Anton Webern. Schumann’s Piano Quartet and Brahms Piano Quartet in G minor also feature this year, as well as a much postponed performance of Beethoven’s magnificent Septet, which we first tried to perform in 2020 - Beethoven’s 250th anniversary year. We are delighted that Laura Tunbridge, Professor of Music at Oxford University, and author of the wonderful Beethoven: A Life in Nine Pieces is joining us and giving an illustrated talk before this performance.

We are very proud of our late night concert programme on Friday night - “Book at Bedtime”- a concert with music based on fairy tales, presented with some readings and stories to prepare us for a good night’s sleep. More stories await on Saturday morning in the Family Concert “Set Sail from Penarth” presented and curated by the dynamic Lenny Sayers, featuring pupils from Evenlode Primary School and Pen y Garth.

Our outreach programme is as robust as ever with a Relaxed Concert, 2 Young Musicians Showcases, an outdoor concert at the end of the pier featuring CCVG Symphonic Brass and our new venture - a Young Artists Programme. This features 2 outstanding young musicians at the beginning of their careers, Florence Plane - Bassoon and George Strivens - French Horn. Both in their final year at the Royal Academy of Music they will be joining us for the week performing alongside our festival musicians.

We move to All Saints Church on Saturday where we will take advantage of the large space featuring Strauss’s ravishing sextet from Capriccio, alongside the Four Last Songs, and a rare performance of Brahms’ rich and wonderful Serenade in D in the version for nonet, an event not to be missed. On Sunday we have invited the Principal of Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Helena Gaunt to choose some of her favourite pieces to take with her if she was stranded on Flat Holm Island. The festival musicians will perform these works live whilst the audience enjoys coffee and a croissant.

Our Italian concert is dedicated to the memory of Martin Furber, one of the most dedicated and treasured supporters of the arts in Wales, a man of exceptional taste and a deep knowledge of music. Shortly before he died he sent us an idea with an Italian theme so we are honouring his memory with a programme of his suggested works. We are delighted to announce Rebecca Evans CBE and Carlo Rizzi will be joining us in this concert.

We continue this Italian theme with a performance of Tchaikovsky’s thrilling and romantic sextet Souvenir de Florence in the Festival Finale alongside Tchaikovsky’s favourite composer Mozart and his Russian compatriot Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.

The programme has been designed to thrill and excite you, allow time for reflection and maybe to even have some fun. We look forward to seeing you there!

History of the festival

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”! In 2014, 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 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 musicians including Elias and Endellion String Quartets, Gould Piano Trio, London Bridge Trio, and pianist Alasdair Beatson as well as extraordinary performances by our “locals” Rebecca Evans CBE, 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

Trustees

  • Rhys Taylor (chairman)
  • Geraint Talfan Davies
  • Samantha Maskrey
  • Catherine Porteus
  • Lisa Entwistle-Evans (treasurer)
  • Robert Fokkens
  • David Adams

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The Festival

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

Venues

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The Artists

Artistic Directors

  • David Adams and Alice Neary

Patron

  • Rebecca Evans CBE