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BBC Radio Cymru’s Tudur Owen to face Ensemble Cymru’s ‘Chamber Music Challenge’

As part of a special programme for Radio Cymru, comedian and presenter, Tudur Owen, will face one of the biggest challenges of his career when he joins six professional Ensemble Cymru musicians for a one-off live performance at Pontio Bangor, on 12 November.

Siwrnai Siambr Tudur Owen (Tudur Owen’s Chamber Journey) will air on Radio Cymru at the following times:

  • Part 1: Monday 11 December, 12:30pm
  • Part 2: Monday 18 December, 12:30pm

The two programmes will be repeated on Boxing Day (December 26th) 8pm – 9pm

Visit Radio Cymru’s website for more programme information

Wales’s leading chamber music group, Ensemble Cymru, challenged the well-known Welsh comedian and presenter to learn a piece of chamber music and then perform it live, in front of an audience. As someone who relishes a challenge, Tudur Owen was keen to accept and has undergone a crash-course in chamber music over the last few months with Ensemble Cymru’s Principal Percussionist, Dewi Ellis Jones.

Describing himself as an “amateur drummer with a very big ‘A’”, Tudur Owen admits he may have, “bitten off more than I can chew” as he prepares for his debut as a chamber music percussionist as Tudur explains:

“It that took me by surprise as it was far more complicated than I had imagined just because it was new territory for me. I’m used to bars of 4 / 4 timing or 3 / 4 timing, but here all the bars were different lengths, and I just thought someone was making fun of me.”

Luckily, the Ensemble’s Dewi Ellis Jones has been on hand to help Tudur get on track, “Once Dewi told me it was AS important to listen to the music as it was to count the bars, then it all clicked.”

Ensemble Cymru’s Artistic Director, Peryn Clement-Evans says he has discovered some similarities between chamber music and comedy from working with Tudur, as Peryn said, “What’s been interesting is finding the common ground between the two art forms. They are both similar in the way the space is set up and how comedy and chamber music relies on that link, or close relationship with the audience.”

Peryn continued, “It’s been brilliant to have Tudur come in as part of the Ensemble and for him to bring chamber music to the attention of his audience – it means we’re hopefully extending the reach of chamber music and enabling more people to enjoy it.”

Radio Cymru presenter, Tudur Owen, admitted he knew little about chamber music before embarking on this project with Ensemble Cymru which is part of a programme for Radio Cymru, due for broadcast in December. However he has been bitten by the chamber music bug and is now keen for more people to experience it as he says, “As with any form of entertainment, if you appreciate quality and good music, then of what I’ve gathered and of what I’ve heard, chamber music will have something that will suit you.” 

Ensemble Cymru are currently performing dates across Wales with their 15 Year Anniversary Tour. Tudur Owen will become an honorary member of the Ensemble for one day only when he joins the musicians in a prelude concert at Pontio, Bangor on Sunday 12 November at 2:15pm before the main Ensemble Cymru concert at 3pm. Entry to the prelude concert is free with the purchase of a ticket to the main Ensemble Cymru concert.  Please visit our event page for more information or to book tickets please contact Pontio 01248 38 28 28