St Asaph music festival lands world premiere


Staff reporter (Rhyl Journal)

A MUSIC festival is celebrating a coup after landing the world premiere of a new work by a composer from Anglesey inspired by the earliest surviving Welsh poem.

The BBC National Orchestra of Wales will perform Gareth Glyn’s new orchestral work, based on Y Gododdin, in which the 7th century bard, Aneirin, tells the story of a famous battle.

The work will be performed at the North Wales International Music Festival in St Asaph Cathedral in a concert sponsored by the Pendine Park care organisation on Saturday, September 27.

Glyn, 62, previously worked with Oscar-winning film director Danny Boyle to provide one of the musical arrangements for the spectacular opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

He says his new work, commissioned jointly by the festival and T? Cerdd or Music Centre Wales - will be played at the final concert of this year's festival - being supported by the Welsh Arts Council - on Saturday, September 27.

Ann Atkinson Artistic Director said: "To have a composer as talented as Gareth living and working in North Wales is wonderful and I’m sure our audience will be excited and thrilled by his new work.

"We are indebted to T? Cerdd for the support in commissioning this exciting new piece piece which will be a highlight of this year's festival."

The composer has lived on Anglesey for many years after being educated in Cardiff and at Ysgol Maes Garmon in Mold, before graduating in music from Merton College, Oxford.

He was thrilled to learn from festival organisers that the concert will be transmitted live on Radio 3.

Aneirin’s poem tells of the men of Gododdin’s muster to battle and subsequent heavy defeat fighting the Angles of Deira and Bernicia at a place called Catraeth, now known as Catterick in North Yorkshire.

Glyn said: “I want the piece to do justice to Aneirin’s masterpiece, which is after all the oldest known Welsh poem we have, as well as commemorating the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One."

Tickets for the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, conducted by Alexandre Bloch on Saturday, September 27, at 7.30pm – are available by calling the Box Office on 01745 850197 or visiting the Scala Cinema and Arts Centre, Prestatyn.

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