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A Celebration Of Music And The Arts 2-17 October 2015

A Celebration Of Music And The Arts 2-17 October 2015

Swansea International Festival, formerly the Swansea Festival of Music and the Arts, takes up the challenge of exploring new territory, new programming and, most importantly - the chance to reach new audiences - while continuing to meet the needs of the Festival’s long-standing loyal audiences. 14 Sep 2015

A Celebration of Music and the Arts –   2-17 October 2015

With diverse events including Strictly Swing, with Michael Roach and the Buck Clayton Legacy Band who bring 1940’s music for you to jive, swing and waltz the night away to; Minima, one of the leading bands in Europe in accompanying silent film, who perform live to screenings of the classic 1925 silent film The Phantom of the Opera and Alfred Hitchcock’s first major silent movie The Lodger; Classic Buskers with Neil Henry in Musical Magic, where music and magic combine in a crazy and riotous way to introduce children to classical music, and Sinfonia Cymru, whose pop-up pub event Quartet, provides music, comedy and fun, there is certainly something to suit all ages and tastes.

The tradition of bringing major world-class orchestras to Swansea continues to be much in evidence, with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra performing the first of the Festival’s three orchestral concerts on 3 October, when their principal conductor, Edward Gardner and celebrated German pianist Lars Vogt present a programme of Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture (Fingal’s Cave,) Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.9 K271 and, in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Sibelius, his Symphony No.5. Over the nine decades since the City of Birmingham Orchestra’s inaugural concert in 1920 the CBSO has grown into a 90-piece ensemble with a worldwide reputation.

For their concert of Weber, Beethoven and Brahms on 14 October, all-time Festival favourites the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, are conducted by their principal guest conductor Jac van Steen with the brilliant Welsh pianist Llŷr Williams, playing Beethoven's 4th Piano Concerto, which is considered to be one of the central works of the piano concerto

Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, which was founded in 1870 and acquired its current name in 1915, will provide the Festival with an exhilarating finale on 17 October with Wagner’s Overture Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and Beethoven’s Symphony No.3 (Eroica), conducted by their principal conductor Michael

Sanderling and featuring the exceptionally gifted Swansea-born cellist Thomas Carroll who will be performing Elgar's Cello Concerto in E minor - which ranks among one of the composer’s finest works

Welsh harpist, Catrin Finch, performs music from her new album Tides when she appears, along with her guest artists, at the Taliesin on 11 October as part of a tour to mark the first time her own compositions have appeared as a body of work on stage and on record, while at the George Hall, one of today’s most

renowned baroque ensembles, Florilegium, will be joined by popular Swansea-born soprano Elin Manahan Thomas for Father, Son and Godfather which features the works of both JS and CPE Bach and Georg Telemann.

There are many Festival ‘first-timers’ for 2015, and among them are Trio Apaches, a talented young trio featuring Matthew Trusler (violin), Thomas Carroll (cello) and Ashley Wass (piano) - making their Festival debut performing the appealing music of Beethoven’s Trio in B flat Op 11 and, in an arrangement by Sally Beamish, Debussy’s La Mer. Amsterdam’s incredible Calefax Reed Quintet, in a first visit to both the Festival and Wales, perform the premiere of young Carmarthen composer, Christopher Bowman’s Festival commission. This unique line up of oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bass clarinet and bassoon breathe new life into classical music in a diverse programme. BBC Music Magazine’s ‘Rising Star’, the young pianist Clare Hammond, plays the breath-taking music of Sibelius, Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Scriabin, and the infectious rhythms of the 9-piece Fitkin Band come to Wales for the first time in one of only three UK performances this year. Graham Fitkin is one of Britain’s most exciting and innovative composers. His latest work, Disco! is a joint commission between Swansea International Festival and Cheltenham Music Festival.

Welsh modern-day folk hero Max Boyce needs no introduction when he brings his inimitable music and humour to the Grand Theatre, while Viva Verdi is an evening of Verdi opera favourites performed by Swansea City Opera, with soprano Angharad Morgan, tenor John Hudson and a chorus of singers, in this tribute to one of the world’s greatest operatic composers. At Swansea Jazzland, Memphis born singer/songwriter Charlie Wood performs his unique mix of jazz, blues, traditional r&b and popular music along with his band.

Two different forms of dance are present at the Festival this year. The Award-winning Ballet Cymru has a brand new sparkling music score set to one of the best loved of fairy-tales, Cinderella, in which they cleverly combine circus elements with the finest classical dance to create a world of wonder and magic. The Shobana Jeyasingh Dance is one of the UK’s leading contemporary dance companies drawing on many forms of dance for their exciting, adventurous and experimental work. They bring their much acclaimed Material Men and Strange Blooms to the Festival.

For Patagonia 150 at the National Waterfront Museum on 2 October, primary school children from across Swansea explore the experiences of the first Welsh settlers in Patagonia who set sail 150 years ago to create a community where they could protect their language and culture. This will be the culmination of an education project, led by composer Stacey Blythe and artist Keith Bayliss, and organised by the Festival and the City and County of Swansea’s Education Effectiveness Service.

Based on Michael Morpurgo’s best-selling children’s story, I Believe in Unicorns is brought to life in an enchanting production which is being staged at the Taliesin Arts Centre for the Festival. Set in a library full of books it tells the tale of the power of books and the bravery of a young boy called Tomas. This enchanting interactive show sparks the imagination of both young and old and is a delightful family show.

Budding young film-makers between the ages of 16-22 years are invited to make their own short film for My Swansea - A Short Film Competition for Young People. Capture what Swansea means to you in no more than three minutes in any way or form you like – drama, documentary, live-action, and animation, silent or musical.

Visual art during the Festival includes Divisible Remainder - a new collection of works by Swansea based photography/installation artist Ryan K Moule at the Mission Gallery, and Red Oxide - in which Mike Hill explores decay, regeneration and the ephemeral nature of natural forms at the Oriel Ceri Richards. Pontycymmer-born artist, novelist and journalist, Molly Parkin, exhibits her vibrant abstract canvases at the Galerie Simpson. With a varied career including making hats and bags for Biba, working alongside Mary Quant and being fashion editor of Harpers & Queen, at 83 years Mary is as bohemian and vivacious as ever.

If you would like to take a Sunday evening stroll around Swansea then join Swansea artists Jason & Becky in a walk with a difference for their Interactive Audio Walk with a carefully constructed soundtrack to enhance what you see.

For Achieving Goals, Kevin Johns interviews leading figures from the world or sport and the performing arts to give a fascinating insight to the mental and physical qualities required to achieve success. There is an evening with Iolo Williams, when the BBC SpringWatch presenter takes us on a wildlife tour of his Welsh homeland - from mountain top to seashore – in Welsh Rarebit and the Festival Lecture this year will be given by composer, writer and musician Philip Clark when he discusses the classical music concert experience in the 21st century.

Another innovation for 2015 is the introduction of four free Lunchtime Specials - talks and presentations by writers, musicians and artists including Swansea’s Karen MacKinnon, Director and Curator of Artes Mundi; Tracey McNulty, Head of Cultural Services of the City and County of Swansea; Andrew Nixon of Power Dobson Architects, and the screening of an interview with Welsh artist Osi Rhys Osmond, filmed in the week before his untimely death earlier this year.

Swansea International Festival is delighted to be involved in Swansea’s Purple Flag Weekend. Swansea is justly proud of being the only city in Wales to be awarded the coveted Purple Flag status, awarded to town centres in recognition of their major progress in raising the standards of its night-time economy and providing a safe night out in town centres for everyone. During the Purple Flag Weekend (2 & 3 October),Ryan Moule discusses his Festival exhibition Divisible Remainder at the Mission Gallery, while artists are invited to Swansea’s first Bring Your Own Beamer event at the YMCA. Also at the YMCA are Lantern Making Workshops in readiness for the Lantern Parade from Victoria Park to the Brangwyn Hall on 3 October.

Full details are available on the Festival website www.swanseafestival.org with box offices open from 21 July 2015. A Festival Diary is available free of charge from admin@swanseafestival.org

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