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Music, Welsh and Rumantsch in Switzerland

Performance for Broadcast on Rumantsch Radio and Television.

Peryn Clement-Evans (Clarinet); Oliver Wilson(Viola); Anne Denholm (Harp); Jonathan Rimmer (Flute) & Sara Lian Owen (Soprano). Performance in the Graubunden’s Canton School.

The joint performance with Corcanti Chur and Cor Rumantsch in front of school pupils, teachers, families and the public was a very memorable occasion.  The whole event was recorded for Rumantsch Television and Radio.

The highpoint was a performance of Gareth Glyn’s arrangement of the Welsh national anthem with the youth choirs of  Graubünden’s Canton School.  Our musicians performed a cross section of chamber music from Wales including music by William Mathias, Hilary Tann, music from Wales bardic tradition, Cerdd Dant (arr. Sioned Webb) and the well-known song Lisa Lan.

Discussion about living through Welsh and Rumantsch

Moderated by the presenter from Radio and Television Rumantscha, Victoria Haas, there was discussion sparked by searching questions from the young people concerning the support to the Welsh language, status of the Welsh language as one of the two official languages in Wales, bilingualism in Wales and comparing its status with that of Rumantsch as one of the four official languages in Switzerland.

_MG_1046A Rumantsch pupil, Peryn Clement-Evans & Victoria Haas (Presenter for Radio e Televisiun Rumantscha) discussing living through Rumantsch & Welsh as minority languages.
A Rumantsch pupil, Peryn Clement-Evans & Victoria Haas (Presenter for Radio e Televisiun Rumantscha) discussing living through Rumantsch & Welsh as minority languages.

Then to close, performances together (us and the choirs) of entrancing Rumantsch folk songs in special arrangements for the project by the composer and bassoonist Gion Andreas Casanova of music by his father, Gion Balzer Casanova.

Composers son and father: Gion Andrea Casanova & Gion Balzer Casanova

Music at the Heart of Education.

Graubunden’s Canton School has a brilliant team of 7 music teachers including Christian Klucker, ambassador for our project and Gion Andreas all of whom work so hard with the young people through singing and music throughout the school.  Speaking with the school’s Director, I came away with the strong impression of how important the school sees music in helping it and its staff to prepare its young people for life.

The music facilities for approximately 2,000 pupils in the school are fantastic.  We suspect that at least one or two of the conservatoires and music faculties in Britian might be jealous of the number of the pianos and rooms dedicated to music.

Ymarfer terfynol yn Chur: Anne Denholm a Sara Lian Owen
Final rehearsal in the school: Anne Denholm & Sara Lian Owen

Thanks to the Director, Gion Lechmann and Deputy Director, Philippe Benguerel of the Canton School for their support.  Thanks to Werner Cariget and his pupils for their work preparing questions for the discussion and to Mike Evans for instant translation.  Mike’s the only person we know who speaks Welsh and Rumantsch!

We must thank especially the ambassador for the project, Christian Klucker (conductor of Incantanti and Music Teacher at the School) who has worked so hard to ensure the success of the visit.  We were especially thankful to him and Erica and their family and neighbours Beatrice and Andreas for the welcome, hospitality and for looking after us.

Working with Chur’s Young Musicians

With the assistance of our interpretors, Toni, Kurt and Karin, we had a lot of fun working with the young instrumentalists (Guitar, recorders, flute, saxophone, clarinet, violinis, violas, cello) from  Musikschule Domat/Ems, Felsberg.

Preparing to rehearse...
Preparing to rehearse…

Ensemble Cymru’s musicians led on activities to warm up the body, to develop the sense of rhythm and to develop the ability to breathe well and to support the sound effectively.  Then onwards to work on Gareth Glyn’s arrangement of Ar Hyd y Nos (All Through the Night) for the Ensemble and the young musicians.  The conductor of the orchestra, Ursin Widmer joined us on the second day to conduct a performance at the close of the two days with the children and young people.

Sibilla Stoltz (centre) and Anne Denholm (right)
Sibilla Stoltz (centre) and Anne Denholm (right)


We were very grateful to Sibilla Stolz (the orchestra’s Coordinator) for driving us around in the bus (and her husband Rico) and for organising the 2 workshops. We are also thankful to Anita Jehli (head of the school) and her office for enabling us to work with the school’s students and to Kathrin von Cube (Head of Strings), Bettina Marugg (Head of Flute Ensemble) and to Ursin Widmer (Orchestra Director) for working with the children and young people in preparation.

Biggest thanks go on behalf of the Ensemble: Peryn(Clarinét), Sara (Soprano), Oliver (Viola), Jonathan (Flute) and Anne (Harp) to the children and young people for being such fun to work with.

Jonathan Rimmer (Flute) and Oliver Wilson (Viola) working with the orchestra.
Jonathan Rimmer (Flute) and Oliver Wilson (Viola) working with the orchestra.


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Switzerland at last

Helo Zurich !
Hello Zurich !

After swapping planes and almost losing our baggage in Gatwick this is Jonathan Rimmer, Oliver Wilson, Sara Lian Owen and Anne Denholme just arrived in Zurich’s main Station on the way to Chur, Graubünden.  This is an exciting project with a community that speaks Romansch one of Switzerland’s 4 official languages.

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Tour Preview November 2015

This is a taste of Ensemble Cymru before its tour around Wales November 2015 – recorded in Theatr Bryn Terfel, Pontio Bangor.
Thanks to performers Sara Lian Owen, Nia Bevan, Mary Hofman, Sara Roberts, Heather Bills for allowing us to get a preview peak and listen!

Thanks to our friends at Pontio, Bangor for letting us try out their shiny new and amazing theatre space before their first season ever.

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The story of Peter and the Wolf

“As the plucky hero of our story, the tale begins with Peter…

The young boy lives with his grandfather in a clearing in the forest, but one day Peter decides to leave the safety of the clearing and wander into the forest. Leaving the gate open behind him, one of ducks follows Peter out.

“Peter warns the little bird and she jumps into a tree”

The duck swims out into a pond but soon gets into a quarrel with a little bird. However their bickering is ended when Peter’s cat comes along. Peter warns the little bird and she jumps into a tree before the cat has a chance to get her claws in!

“Peter’s grandfather notices that the boy has snuck out”

Soon, Peter’s grandfather notices that the boy has snuck out and dashes into the forest to get him back, scolding Peter for going out alone, “what if there’d been a wolf out there?” he asks the boy. Continue reading The story of Peter and the Wolf

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Ensemble Cymru travels to Vienna for ClassicalNEXT

Ensemble Cymru will be flying the flag for Wales at the ClassicalNEXT event in Vienna, Austria this May. More than 1,000 music companies, individuals and exhibitors from over 40 different countries attended last year’s event with even higher numbers expected to turn out for the 2014 show.

We’ve put together three distinct packages to illustrate the different services Ensemble Cymru can offer. An overview of each package is outline below and if you’d like to register your interest and find out more about the possibility of working with Ensemble Cymru, please complete this form. Continue reading Ensemble Cymru travels to Vienna for ClassicalNEXT

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Double success for Ensemble Cymru talent

It’s been a remarkable week for two of Ensemble Cymru’s young stars, Collette Astley-Jones and Llinos Elin Owen, as they celebrate clinching exciting new jobs!

Llinos’s Story

Ensemble Cymru, Resident Ensemble at Bangor University and Venue Cymru, gave Llinos her first job as a professional bassoonist more than ten years ago. During this time, Llinos has been a regular feature in the Ensemble’s concerts, most recently performing on the Pedr a’r Blaidd (Peter and the Wolf) national tour.

Now Llinos has an impressive new credit to add to her growing CV as she has just landed the job of sub principal bassoonist with the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, the orchestra for Birmingham Royal Ballet. Continue reading Double success for Ensemble Cymru talent