Top 12 festivals in Britain - Visit Britain, 2012
Top UK opera and classical music festivals of the season - The Telegraph, 2011
Top 5 best-kept secrets among festivals worldwide - Gramophone, 2010
One of the oldest and most progressive Welsh music festivals - Classical Music, 2009
Online booking for the 2013 Festival is now open
Go to ticket booking page
Telephone booking by credit or debit card is also now available. The line is staffed between 6pm and 8pm weekdays, or you can leave a message and your contact details at other times. Call 01686 207100.
Gregynog Festival 2013: Great Britten
Gregynog Festival is the oldest extant classical music festival in Wales. Set in the beautiful countryside of rural North Powys, Gregynog Festival features performances by the world's leading musicians in intimate historic locations.
Each year the Festival takes a different theme as the starting point for its curation. Gregynog Festival 2013 has been curated on the theme of Great Britten to honour the centenary of the birth of Benjamin Britten and the composer’s appearance at Gregynog Festival 1972 with Peter Pears and Osian Ellis.
The Festival season – which has just gained a prestigious Britten Award from the Britten-Pears Foundation at Aldeburgh – brings together some of the finest artists in the world to interpret seven centuries of Great British music from Dowland and Purcell to composers who visited Gregynog such as Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Holst and Britten himself.
Making Festival débuts this season are the Academy of St Martin in the Fields with tenor Andrew Kennedy and horn player Timothy Brown (29 June, 7.30pm), the Ricercar Consort of viols from Belgium (22 June, 4.15pm) and the German early music specialists Harmonie Universelle (21 June, 7.30pm). Other star soloists include countertenor Iestyn Davies and lutenist Thomas Dunford (22 June, 7.30pm); keyboard virtuoso Mahan Esfahani (22 June, 2.30pm); and 'Queen of Harps' Catrin Finch (29 June, 2.30pm). Nicholas Daniel appears with the Britten Oboe Quartet (28 June, 7.30pm) and the highly-regarded choral group Tenebrae, directed by Nigel Short, gives the Festival's closing concert of music by British composers associated with the original Gregynog Choir (30 June, 2.30pm).
2013 also marks the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Festival by Gwendoline and Margaret Davies and the centenary of the poet R. S. Thomas who was Rector of Manafon, three miles from Gregynog, between 1942 and 1954. The season opens with a rare opportunity to spend an afternoon at Plas Dinam, the childhood home of the Davies sisters, in the company of their biographer Trevor Fishlock and the poet Menna Elfyn (20 June, 2.30pm). The Thomas centenary is marked with a day of events in Manafon, including a guided walk around the village with talks by the poet's biographers Tony Brown and M. Wynn Thomas (27 June, 2pm and 6pm) and a concert by the 'cellist Guy Johnston (Manafon Church, 27 June, 7.30pm).
Building on the highly successful events which it has promoted in community venues in recent years, Gregynog Festival returns to the beautiful Georgian town of Montgomery with a concert by The Tallis Scholars (Montgomery Church, 23 June, 2.30pm). Their programme includes the first modern performance of a Mass by the medieval Welsh composer John Lloyd which conductor Peter Phillips regards as "a major event". The Festival also revisits the village of Kerry, near Newtown, with a workshop and concert by the leading specialists in West Gallery music, The Mellstock Band (Kerry Church, 24 June, 2.30pm and 7.30pm).
Festival events in Aberystwyth and Cardiff include a screening of Night Mail and other films with soundtracks by Britten and Grace Williams (Y Drwm, National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, 25 June, 12.45pm) and a concert of music by Britten and his American contemporaries to be given by the outstanding New York-based Escher String Quartet (National Museum Cardiff, 26 June, 6pm).
The Festival also extends its calendar to the autumn with a Gala Centenary Recital by the fine Welsh pianist Llŷr Williams on the exact date of Benjamin Britten's 100th birthday, 22 November 2013 (National Museum Cardiff, 7.30pm). Apart from the Music Room at Gregynog, the Reardon Smith Theatre at the National Museum is one of the few venues in Wales at which Britten is known to have performed and Llŷr's recital provides a fitting climax to our Great Britten season by recalling the composer's appearance there in 1967.
Postal booking for the Festival began on 18 February and you can download the booking form opposite. Online booking via the Festival website has also now been open since 18 March.
Gregynog is 15 minutes from Newtown, less than an hour from Shrewsbury, 1.5 hours from Birmingham and 2 hours from Manchester and South Wales. Join us to experience wonderful music-making in really special surroundings.