Former royal harpist to perform in St Asaph

Reporter:

Rebecca Cole

A stellar line-up of world class performers has been unveiled by an international music festival.

Among the highlights of the North Wales International Music Festival at St Asaph Cathedral between September 26 and October 3 will be the supremely talented former royal harpist, Hannah Stone.

News that Hannah had been signed up was revealed at the festival's launch event at Glyndwr University's OpTic Centre on St Asaph Business Park.

This year's programme will also include the renowned Japanese pianist Noriko Ogawa, Australian guitarist Craig Ogden, vocal ensemble Stile Antico and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

The audience at the launch event was also entertained by 16-year-old violin prodigy Xander Croft, from Greenfield, near Holywell, the gifted 14-year--old harpist, Elin Bartlett, from Rhos, near Wrexham, and Cor Meibion Trelawnyd, the male voice choir of which Ann Atkinson is also music director.

This year the festival - supported by the Arts Council of Wales - is working in partnership with Glyndwr University to mark the International Year of Light.

The world-leading technology and science complex at the OpTic centre will also support the festival's groundbreaking education project, entitled The Power of Light, which explores the concept of light through music as well as poetry, visual art and science. It's also partly funded by the Colwinston Charitable Trust

Ann Atkinson said: "It's all very exciting because I think we’ve got a great theme for this year, the theme of light, with it being the UNESCO Year of Light.

"Everything fell into place really rather well when you think of all the composers who were inspired by light and the idea of the light and how it affects the way you see certain things. It's certainly given us lots of possibilities with programming.

"The theme of light will flow like a strand through all of the week and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales will be among the high points in a programme of world class concerts.

"They will be playing the Helios overture by Nielsen which has the sun going down over the Aegean which is rather beautiful.

"As well as the brilliant Hannah Stone, we'll have Craig Ogden, the Australian guitarist who will be marvellous, as will the lovely Latvian violinist, Baiba Skride.

"Other highlights will include the fantastic Noriko Ogawa, Stilo Antico, the North Wales Only Boys Aloud and Elin Manahan Thomas.”

Mick Card, head of business development and funding and the manager of the OpTIC Centre, said Glyndwr University was proud to be associated with the popular festival, which celebrates its 43rd anniversary this year.

“The festival is one of the jewels in the crown of classical music and brings so many people to St Asaph, so we are thrilled to be working even closer together.”

“The OpTIC Centre will be celebrating the International Year of Light throughout 2015 – given our standing in the arenas of high technology, science and solar research – so it was a natural fit for both organisations,” Mr Card added.

For more information about this year's line-up and to book tickets go to: www.nwimf.com

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