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Ensemble Cymru’s season finale celebrates chamber music from Wales and beyond

Ensemble Cymru will bring their sublime 2016-17 Concert Series to a joyful conclusion with their Wales-wide tour this May. Showcasing the finest chamber music from Wales and across the world, including music by Welsh composer Hilary Tann and the famous Mozart Flute Quartet, this tour is a must-see for music lovers!

Continue reading Ensemble Cymru’s season finale celebrates chamber music from Wales and beyond

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Chance to shine for budding Aberystwyth musicians

Chamber music group, Ensemble Cymru together with Ceredigion Music Service have launched a new ‘Chamber Academy’ at Aberystwyth Arts Centre where aspiring local musicians will have the opportunity to take part in masterclasses by some of the country’s leading classical music performers.

Continue reading Chance to shine for budding Aberystwyth musicians

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Ensemble Cymru’s trade mission to China

Blog by Peryn Clement-Evans, Ensemble Cymru’s Artistic Director.

“After two years of talking about how Ensemble Cymru might be able to work with Chinese musicians and composers, I’m delighted to say we’re now finally taking our first concrete step towards realising it…

Continue reading Ensemble Cymru’s trade mission to China

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The Men Behind the Music – Emma’s blog

With thanks to Emma Lancastle for the following blog.

During their February Tour, Ensemble Cymru, are examining a varied programme of chamber music for Clarinet, Violin and Piano. Some of the greatest classical music has been created in times of grief and hardship, and the programme presented by the Bangor-based company explores the works of some famous names, and some lesser-known composers, towards the end of their lives. Continue reading The Men Behind the Music – Emma’s blog

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Ensemble Cymru in Switzerland

As part of our International Cultural Exchange Ensemble Cymru has been invited to perform on the final day of the 11th Welsh Alpine Championships in Champéry in the Canton of Valais (Wallis) in Switzerland.

We will be performing at the  closing event of the competition in the presence of the British Deputy Head of Mission and Consul General in Switzerland, Richard Ridout, MBE.

Photo caption: (L to R) Sara Lian Owen, Peryn Clement-Evans, Anne Denholm (photo credit Timothy Ellis) 

The programme will be a broad range of music from Wales including music of Grace Williams in the 40th year since her death.

Valais has a shared Celtic history with Wales and apparently the names Valais (Wallis) and Wales come from the same word.

Performers:

Anne Denholm –Harp (our new principal harpist and official harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales)
Sara Lian Owen – Soprano (originally from Bangor in North Wales)
Peryn Clement-Evans – Clarinet

Ahead of the trip to Switzerland, Ensemble Cymru’s Artistic Director and principal clarienttist, Peryn Clement-Evans said:

“We’re excited to be invited to perform at the Welsh Alpine Championships and to be making new friends in the canton of Valais in Switzerland.   We were approached some time ago by Ray Pritchard, a Welshman living in Switzerland and we’re hugely grateful to him and the community of Champéry for making our visit possible.”

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Ensemble Cymru’s terrific trio set for February tour

Chamber music virtuosi, Ensemble Cymru, are set to embark on their first tour of 2017 – with dates planned across Wales.

Award-winning musicians including violinist Florence Cooke, pianist Richard Ormrod and Ensemble Cymru’s Artistic Director and Principal Clarinettist, Peryn Clement-Evans, make up the trio for the February tour which promises to showcase a discerning programme of chamber music.

One of classical music’s most prolific and influential composers, Mozart, and his Sonata in Bb major will feature in Ensemble Cymru’s upcoming concerts. The chamber trio will also perform an energetic suite written by the highly original 20th Century French composer, Darius Milhaud, plus Béla Bartók’s Eastern European folk-inspired Contrasts will feature in this diverse and exciting February programme.

Talking ahead of the tour, Ensemble Cymru’s Artistic Director and clarinettist for the concerts said:

“We’re all on a bit of high after our Big Give Campaign in December which raised an amazing £12,000.  On behalf of all at Ensemble Cymru I just want to thank everyone who donated so generously. It’s really given us boost for our upcoming tour of Wales in February. Music I’m really looking forward to playing as the clarinettist is a piece which the great jazz clarinettist Benny Goodman asking his friend Bela Bartok to compose.  There’s a lot of folk traditions and dances from Hungary and Rumania and something to watch out for is when the music asks our violinist Florence to re-tune two strings of her violin enabling her to create a really exciting Eastern European folk sound!”

The tour starts on February 1st and tickets are currently on sale at venues across North Wales including Venue Cymru, Llandudno (2&4 February) Holyhead’s Ucheldre Centre (1 February) Galeri, Caernarfon (3 February) Pontio, Bangor (5 February) Neuadd Dwyfor in Pwllheli (6 February) and Capel Gad in Cilcain near Mold (7 February) plus Aberystwyth Arts Centre (12 February) and Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff (15 February). Please see our events page for a full schedule of venues plus dates and concert times. Booking is advised.

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Royal harpist joins Ensemble Cymru for new season launch this autumn

Chamber music champions, Ensemble Cymru, will welcome a very special guest as part of the launch of their brand new 2016-17 Concert Series. Anne Denholm, official harpist to HRH the Prince of Wales will be performing as part of the quartet for the first of Ensemble Cymru’s concerts taking place in venues across Wales this October and November.

Launching at Bangor’s Pontio on Sunday 30th October, Ensemble Cymru will go on to tour venues across Wales including Venue Cymru, Llandudno, Galeri in Caernarfon, Neuadd Dwyfor in Pwllheli, Holyhead’s Ucheldre Centre, Capel Gad in Cilcain near Mold, and finishing in Aberystwyth Arts Centre on 27th November.

Anne Denholm
Anne Denholm

As part of the Ensemble’s mission to showcase the finest chamber music from Wales and across the world, the programme for the October and November tour features an exciting international mix of pieces including sonatas from the Baroque and early Classical periods by Vivaldi and C.P.E Bach. Also included in this programme will be the lively Capriccio by Franz Poenitz and Deialogau (Dialogues) by the treasured Welsh composer Mervyn Burtch.

Speaking ahead of the tour, Anne, originally from Carmarthenshire in West Wales said:

“It is always a joy to travel and perform in Wales – it still feels like home! I have had an exciting and inspiring time working with Ensemble Cymru so far, and I am really looking forward to rehearsing and performing the varied programme we have curated for this Autumn’s series of concerts across Wales – there is something for everyone!”

Ensemble Cymru’s principal clarinettist and Artistic Director, Peryn Clement-Evans will be performing as part of the quartet this autumn alongside harpist Anne Denholm, also Johnathan Rimmer on flute and Pwllheli-born bassoonist, Llinos Elin Owen.

For full details of the tour dates please visit our Events Page. Tickets are on sale now at each of the venues.

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We want to get to know you…

Artistic Director, Peryn Clement-Evans, invites you to join us for a cuppa and a chat.

The 2016/2017 Season is about to start and Ensemble Cymru want to get to know you, our supporters, better. We thought a cuppa and chat was a good place to start.

Over the next six months, we will be organising informal ‘cuppa and a chat’ drop-ins in venues across Wales. The purpose, is to get to know you better; to find out what’s important to you and how you would like to see the Ensemble make a difference. In addition, we would like to know your ideas on how to develop the Friends of Ensemble Cymru.

Event Details

Details for the first of these events are as follows:

Venue Cymru Café, Llandudno
Monday 10 October 2016 at 2.30pm

Cilcain Shop and Post Office
Tuesday 11 October 2016 at 10.30am

Mold Garden Centre and Woodworks Café
Tuesday 11 October 2016 at 2.30pm

Please do let us know if you are able to join us by sending an email to Angharad@ensemble.cymru

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Ensemble Cymru’s harp-stopping season finalè tours Wales

Ensemble Cymru’s final offering in their Coffee Concert series will see the harp take centre stage in a programme of stunning chamber music performed by a seven-piece ensemble, featuring a string quartet and an awarding winning harpist from Switzerland.

The North Wales based chamber music group’s May tour will draw together music from French and Welsh composers performed by top flight instrumentalists from Wales, and further afield.

Elisa Netzer, a rising star on the harp in her native Switzerland, will join some of the Ensemble’s home grown talent including violist Sara Roberts from Anglesey, and the Ensemble’s Artistic Director, Peryn Clement-Evans who lives in Bangor.

Speaking ahead of her debut in Wales with the Ensemble, Elisa said:

“As I prepare to travel to Wales for this tour, I can’t help but think what a privilege it is to get to perform a programme I love, in a country that loves my instrument so much. I can’t wait to explore again the great power of chamber music: complete strangers coming together and understanding each other perfectly through music.”

The programme presents an evocative mix of music including one of the most stunningly beautiful pieces ever written, Introduction and Allegro by Ravel, which perfectly demonstrates the expressive range of the harp. Music by Debussy and Jean Francaix will also be showcased alongside pieces by Welsh composers such as Port Talbot-born Christopher Painter and John Metcalf, the founder of the Vale of Glamorgan Festival.

The Wales-wide tour will be calling at the venues in Aberystwyth, Cardiff, Mold, Caernarfon, Llandudno, Holyhead and Pwllheli this May. Full listing below and for more information please visit our events page.

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Music, Welsh and Rumantsch in Switzerland

Performance for Broadcast on Rumantsch Radio and Television.

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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.

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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.