Welcome to the 2020 online Festival

We feel very strongly that live music is the life blood of music lovers and musicians. Since the Covid -19 crisis started there have been some extraordinary recordings and video montages on the internet showing wonderful resourcefulness and creativity. Alice and I are incredibly lucky in that we can make music together at home - but an essential ingredient is missing - an audience. A very fortunate casual conversation with sound engineer Andrew Smillie led to us being involved in the brand new Penarth Sounds local radio station broadcasting a weekly Chamber Music Hour on Wednesday evenings. Andrew very kindly agreed to broadcast the whole festival on the radio and suddenly live concerts, not just recordings, became a possibility again!

As well as being broadcast on Penarth Sounds we will also live stream via our new YouTube channel. We’ve tried to include as much live content as possible, with local musicians Lesley Hatfield, Robin Green and Robert Plane joining us to perform (whilst observing social distancing), to try to get as close to a concert feel as we can. We have also been very fortunate that those festival musicians who cannot travel to Penarth have agreed to send us exclusive recordings made from their homes especially for this festival. These will form part of the live concerts and make for a richer and more cohesive programme.

These recordings include Mathilde Milwidsky performing Ravel Violin Sonata with pianist Petr Limonov, a full recital based on the American Songbook by Tom Poster with violinist Elena Urioste, Bach Eb Cello Suite from Kate Gould and several others as well.

Penarth Chamber Music Festival

Other highlights over the weekend include Lenny Sayers presenting an interactive Family Concert on Saturday morning. This will include a piece made from contributions created by participants from a Creative Workshop held via Zoom! There will also be an opportunity to play along with a brilliant new piece, The Cool Camel, so have your instruments at the ready. The parts, for all abilities, for you to practise are available here on this website alongside an audio track.

Our local talented young musicians are appearing in the Young Musicians Showcases having made recordings exclusively for us and James Lea will be delving further into the music of Mozart and Schulhoff with a live streamed Discovering Music event featuring live examples from Lesley, Alice and David.

Rebecca Evans, our wonderful patron, has agreed to be interviewed and tell us about her favourite recordings on Flat Holm Island Discs. Probably a very safe place to be at the minute!

Our 4 evening recitals have kept loosely to the themes of our original plans with Beethoven and Hungarian music being a common thread throughout the weekend. We are sad not to be able to honour Beethoven’s anniversary year with more of a spectacle but there will be one surprise item, so keep your eyes peeled! However we are pleased to be unexpectedly exploring some lesser known works. The wonderful Schulhoff duo and Schumann’s 6 canonic studies have turned out be particular unexpected pleasures for us.

We hope you’ll keep these times free, sit back, turn up the volume and enjoy some live music. We hope there will be ‘Festival feel’ and look forward to seeing you there!

We are very grateful for the support offered by the Vale of Glamorgan Council Heroes Crisis Grant Fund and our private donors for making this event possible. We are not selling tickets but would be very grateful for any further donations.

Alice Neary and David Adams

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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

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