The Orchestra performs at Aberystwyth Arts Centre as part of the Gregynog Festival.
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The catchment of the Gregynog Festival, Wales’ oldest music festival, stretches from Aberystwyth to the Shropshire Borders. This concert, part of the Festival’s War season in 2014, combines George Butterworth’s Rhapsody: A Shropshire Lad, inspired by the poetry of A. E. Housman, with tone-poems by two major twentieth-century Welsh composers, Morfa Rhuddlan by Morfydd Owen (first wife of the Freudian psychoanalyst Ernest Jones, who died two months before the Armistice, aged 26) and Luxor by Ian Parrott (Gregynog Professor of Music at Aberystwyth University, 1950-83, who served in Egypt during the Second World War).
F. S. Kelly’s Elegy in memoriam Rupert Brooke caused a sensation when it was broadcast by BBC Radio 3 on Armistice Day 2010 and is the Australian composer’s finest work, written in response to the poet’s burial on Skyros a year before his own death on the Somme.
The programme is completed by two Belgian composers with Welsh connections: Joseph Jongen, who holidayed in Bethesda as a First World War exile in 1916, and David van de Woestijne, born in Llandinam in 1915 as the son of refugee parents who came to Mid Wales thanks to the philanthropy of Gwendoline and Margaret Davies, the Festival’s founders.
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