Swansea Festival of Music and the Arts 2012

Monday 23 July 2012, 10:00

James McLaren James McLaren

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Details of the 2012 Swansea Festival of Music and the Arts have announced details of its programme of events.

Held throughout the city from 4-20 October, the annual celebration of arts culture brings a range of genres and themes.

At Brangwyn Hall there are three high-profile events:

On 6 October you can catch BBC National Orchestra of Wales, conducted by Owain Arwel Hughes, with works by Vaughan Williams and Daniel Jones, with Elgar's Cello Concerto performed by Julian Lloyd Webber.

Julian Lloyd Webber

Julian Lloyd Webber

Celebrating their 80th anniversary this year, the London Philharmonic Orchestra is conducted by Vassily Sinaisky with young violinist Chloe Hanslip in a programme of Prokofiev, Mendelssohn and Sibelius on 13 October.

Lastly, bringing an end to the festival on 20 October, the St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra with their conductor Vladimir Altschiler, and featuring much-admired pianist Freddy Kempf, will perform works by Stravinsky, Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky.

Chloe Hanslip

Chloe Hanslip

Brangwyn Hall is also the venue for the festival's four recitals:

Both a pianist and composer - and winner of eight Gramophone Awards - Stephen Hough is widely regarded as one of the most important and distinctive pianists of his generation. His recital on 9 October will include the world première of his own work Sonata No 2 (Notturno Luminoso), which is a commission from the Swansea Festival and Lakeside Arts Centre, University of Nottingham.

On 15 October the talented Wayne Marshall gives an organ recital. As well as being an internationally-admired organist Wayne has a multi-faceted career as a conductor and concert pianist and is recognised for his work in music-theatre and his gift of improvisation.

Bass-baritone Neal Davies, accompanied by pianist James Southall, will perform songs by John Ireland, Ibert, Finzi, Schumann and Wolf on 16 October. Past winner of the Cardiff Singer of the World Lieder Prize, Newport born Neal is much In demand on both the concert and opera stage where he excels in a wide-ranging repertoire. As well as the song recital on 16 October, Neal performs with Welsh National Opera (WNO) as Don Alfonso in Cosi fan tutte on 12 October.

On 19 October, the BBC Singers, with their conductor David Hill and organist Iain Farrington, perform Power and Glory: Music for the Royal Court, a compilation of choral music, written for key royal occasions throughout five centuries, which they present in celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Formed in 1924, the BBC Singers perform all over the UK and abroad.

WNO perform three operas between 10 and 13 October:

Handel's Jephtha features Robert Murray in the title role of the distraught father caught in a terrible trap. Diana Montague is his wife Storge and Welsh soprano Fflur Wyn is their daughter Iphis. Fflur appeared at the opening ceremony of the National Eisteddfod last year before going to Mexico City Opera to sing the Governess in The Turn of the Screw, and then performing with Côrdydd at last year's festival.

Puccini's La Bohème is a new production by Annabel Arden which is set in the elegance of Edwardian Paris and features Giselle Allen as the tragic Mimi, Alex Vicens as her lover Rodolfo and popular Welsh baritone David Kempster as Marcello.

Mozart's Così Fan Tutte - a story of fickle young love - features Elizabeth Watts as Fiordiligi and Cora Burggraff as Dorabella, the two girls whose loyalty is tested by their sailor fiancées.

Jazz is provided by the Darius Brubeck Quartet in A Kind of Brubeck (14 October). Darius Brubeck is the eldest of jazz pianist Dave Brubeck's sons.

Festival organisers have announced that there will be no festival next year. "With Swansea's own jewel in the crown of the city - the Brangwyn Hall - undergoing extensive refurbishment and restoration during 2013, the main venue for the festival's orchestral and recital concerts will be unavailable," they say.

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