ONE of the world’s best pianists has revealed how he was inspired to become a professional musician by the founder of the North Wales International Music Festival.
Appropriately, virtuoso Llŷr Williams will be one of the star attractions at this year’s event at St Asaph Cathedral between September 20-27.
Llŷr, from Pentrebychan, near Wrexham, has played in many of the world’s best venues, including Carnegie Hall but says the cathedral has unique acoustic qualities which make playing there a joy.
Llŷr, 37, a former Royal Academy of Music scholar, will be performing on the opening night of the festival, on Saturday, September 20.
He said; “I have been honoured to appear at the festival a number of times and I do like St Asaph cathedral.
"I will be performing Haydn’s Sonata in C major, Schubert’s Four Impromptus D899, a selection from Années de pèlerinage Book 1 by Liszt and Schumann’s Carnaval.
“It’s an extensive programme offering a little something for every lover of classical music. I’m sure it will be a concert that people will enjoy and take something from.”
Llŷr spent a number of years living in London before deciding to return to Pentrebychan, the village near Wrexham where he grew up..
He said: “I prefer it and like the peace and quiet. I’m close to Manchester airport and yet can enjoy the countryside.
“I practice every day usually for around six or seven hours. It depends what concerts I am doing at the time. I need to get it right and work at it really hard."
By the age of 11, when he was a pupil of Wrexham’s Ysgol Morgan Llwyd, he had passed Grades one to eight all with distinction and went on to read music at Queen’s College Oxford where he gained a First-Class Degree and as awarded the Gibbs Prize in Music for his outstanding performance in his final exams.
He then went onto study, at a postgraduate scholar, at the Royal College of Music receiving the Academy’s highest academic award, the Diploma of the Royal Academy of Music.
North Wales International Music Festival’ Artistic Director Ann Atkinson is delighted to be welcoming Llŷr Williams back to St Asaph.
She said: “I know Llŷr’s Saturday evening concert will be one of the highlights of the Festival and will be eagerly awaited by our supporters and classical music lovers from across North Wales. I know it’s a concert I am really looking forward to.”
Other star attractions include with the young Chinese classical guitarist, Xuefei Yang, the Tippett String Quartet, pianist David Owen Norris, and Mid Wales Opera.
For tickets call the Box Office on 01745 850197 or visit the Scala Cinema and Arts Centre, Prestatyn.
For more information about the North Wales International Music Festival at www.nwimf.com.