18 / 04 / 2019


22-30 June 2019

Neuadd Gregynog - Gregynog Hall

Neuadd Gregynog – Gregynog Hall. Credit Gŵyl Gregynog Festival

Gregynog Festival, Wales’s oldest classical music festival, returns in June with its traditional combination of beautiful summer events in idyllic Mid Wales locations. The season celebrates the vision of the Davies family – Gwendoline and Margaret Davies and their brother David, 1st Baron Davies – for a better world rooted in culture and peace following the First World War.

2019 marks 100 years since Gregynog Festival’s first Artistic Director, Henry Walford Davies, became first Gregynog Professor of Music at Aberystwyth University, 1919-26, and first Director of the National Council of Music for Wales, 1919-41: appointments that were funded by Gwendoline and Margaret Davies. The season also celebrates the anniversaries of two foundations sponsored by David Davies: the Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth University and the Temple of Peace and Health in Cardiff.

Launching the season, Dr Rhian Davies, the Festival’s Artistic Director, said:

“We’re delighted to be returning to Gregynog with chamber and early music concerts that are perfect for summer evenings in the Music Room. As an alumna of Aberystwyth University, I’ve always been fascinated by Walford Davies’s aim ‘to further the expression of Welsh nationality in music’, which included appointing the first county music organiser in Wales to Montgomeryshire and making peripatetic instrumental tuition available to adults and young people alike. Other trailblazing initiatives for the nation such as the Department of International Politics and the Temple of Peace would also not have been realised without the generosity of the Davies family, and that’s why the theme of this year’s Festival is Vision.”

Highlights in the historic Music Room at Gregynog, near Newtown, include the Odysseus Piano Trio (Friday, 28 June, 7.30pm) whose concert pays tribute to the Aberystwyth Trio appointed by Walford Davies in 1919 as the first resident chamber ensemble at any University in the world. The Trio gave free weekly concerts to students and townspeople and even shared the platform with Béla Bartók when he made his UK début at Aberystwyth in March 1922.

Gregynog also hosts A Nocte Temporis, directed by the tenor Reinoud Van Mechelen, in a beautiful programme of arias by Bach (Saturday, 29 June, 7.30pm). Flemish tenor Van Mechelen and French Baroque ensemble A Nocte Temporis, featuring the flautist Anna Besson, are the rising stars of the early music world and this will be their début appearance in Wales.

The Davies family’s interests in peace and European culture are explored in an afternoon programme of talks at Gregynog by Dr Jan Ruzicka (Saturday, 29 June, 2.30pm) and Craig Owen (Saturday, 29 June, 4.00pm). Jan is the Director of the David Davies Memorial Institute at the Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth University, while Craig is the Head of Wales for Peace at the Temple of Peace and Health in Cardiff.

The Festival’s opening and closing concerts take place in Aberystwyth to highlight the Davies family’s philanthropic connections with the town. The chamber-folk band VRȉ (Patrick Rimes, Jordan Price Williams and Aneirin Jones) performs at the National Library of Wales (Saturday, 22 June, 7.30pm), and the organist Meirion Wynn Jones gives a recital at Bethel Chapel (Sunday, 30 June, 2.30pm). VRȉ’s début CD Tŷ Ein Tadau is currently receiving rave reviews in publications from fRoots to the Guardian (‘revisiting Welsh traditional music in beautiful new ways’), while Meirion extends the long line of distinguished organists and composers associated with Bethel’s fine organ, including Walford Davies himself who gave the inaugural recital in 1924.

There is a second opportunity to hear VRȉ at Pontcadfan in Llangadfan (Sunday, 23 June, 2.30pm) with tickets including a delicious afternoon tea at Cwpan Pinc. The Festival’s Artistic Director, Dr Rhian Davies, also gives two lectures about Walford Davies’s impact on Welsh music at the National Library of Wales (Friday, 28 June, 1.00pm) and Gregynog (Friday, 28 June, 6.00pm).

Gregynog Festival’s Box Office opens on Monday, 18 March when tickets and full information will be available from and 01686 207100. For all the latest news, you can also join the mailing list via the website and follow the Festival’s Facebook page and Twitter accounts, @gregynogfest and @MorfyddOwen100.


Gregynog Festival 2019: Vision

Season events


Saturday, 22 June 2019, 7.30pm

Drwm, National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth

VRȉ, Tŷ Ein Tadau

Tŷ Ein Tadau, the début CD from chamber-folk string trio VRȉ (Patrick Rimes, Jonathan Price Williams and Aneirin Jones), is receiving rave reviews from

the Guardian and fRoots. Catch them while you can in an intimate acoustic concert to open the 2019 Festival season.


Sunday, 23 June 2019, 2.30pm

Pontcadfan, Llangadfan

VRȉ, Tŷ Ein Tadau

Another chance to hear VRȉ, this time in the former chapel that has become a popular recent Festival venue. Afternoon tea at Cwpan Pinc is included in the

ticket price.


Friday, 28 June 2019, 1.00pm

Drwm, National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth

Rhian Davies, Walford and Wales

 A lecture that considers Walford Davies’s ambition ‘to further the expression of Welsh nationality in music’ and his visionary initiatives that were bankrolled by the ‘boundless generosity’ of Gwendoline and Margaret Davies.


Friday, 28 June 2019, 6.00pm

Senior Common Room, Gregynog

Rhian Davies Walford and Wales

 Another opportunity to hear the Artistic Director’s introduction to the season curation, this time as a pre-concert talk at Gregynog.


Friday, 28 June 2019, 7.30pm

The Music Room, Gregynog

Odysseus Piano Trio

Core classical repertoire and music by Welsh composers associated with the Aberystwyth Trio, the first resident chamber ensemble at any University in the world.


Saturday, 29 June 2019, 2.30pm

Senior Common Room, Gregynog

Dr Jan Ruzicka, Considering all the peoples of the world as one’: David Davies and international politics

The Director of the David Davies Memorial Institute considers how the world’s first Chair of International Politics came to be founded at Aberystwyth University in 1919.


Saturday, 29 June 2019, 4.00pm

Senior Common Room, Gregynog

Craig Owen, David Davies and the Temple of Peace

A lecture by the Head of Wales for Peace to mark 80 years since the Temple of Peace and Health opened in Cardiff to commemorate the men and women of all nations who died in the Great War.


Saturday, 29 June 2019, 7.30pm

The Music Room, Gregynog

Reinoud Van Mechelen, tenor, director

A Nocte Temporis

Erbarme dich, an all-Bach programme of arias for tenor, flute, cello and harpsichord, performed by the multi-award-winning Flemish tenor and French Baroque ensemble.


Sunday, 30 June 2019, 2.30pm

Bethel Chapel, Baker Street, Aberystwyth

Meirion Wynn Jones, organ

Music by Walford Davies, William Mathias and other Aberystwyth composers who have played the Chapel’s fine Frederick Rothwell organ over the years.