Artistic Director's introduction
Peter Sculthorpe is 80 this year. He is rightly acknowledged as Australia's most renowned living composer. At 40, the Festival is half his age and most of this year's composers and performers are much younger than this again. So, as we head to some of the most beautiful historic buildings in this part of South Wales for these contemporary concerts, our sights, though coloured by and honouring history, are very much on the future.
New music is for new audiences. If you're under 25, why not take our juice/ Powerplant challenge, which means hearing both in the same week – just when you thought it was safe to go out in Barry in the evening. Australia is often described as a young country and we feature two of its brightest talents – Paul Stanhope and Brett Dean, recent winners of the Takemitsu Prize and Grawemeyer Award respectively. These are arguably the most important composer awards in the world. By the time you read this I fear Australia will have won the Ashes as well. Again.
Wales has its own part to play and we're getting younger and more confident too. Ok, Michael Parkin is 60, but Guto Puw isn't, Sinfonia Cymru isn't and Catrin Finch certainly isn't. Another bright young star is harpist Eleanor Turner, who is this year's resident artist.
This music is amazing and so are the performers. From the fringes of Cardiff to the outskirts of Bridgend, our concerts come to you, and Eleanor Turner will also be out and about in venues where there are audiences who are not able to go to concerts. But if you are, why not come to some of these performances? You'll hear things you've never heard before.
John Metcalf, June 2009
This year, our resident artist is Eleanor Turner, winner of the Cardiff European Harp Competition in 2007. As well as performing in Festival concerts, Eleanor will be visiting communities around the Vale, taking music to older people and children, in association with Live Music Now!
Become a New Music Ambassador
The Festival's Artistic Director has recently received one of four inaugural Creative Wales Ambassador Awards from the Arts Council of Wales. The awards recognise artists' achievements, their standing in the arts in Wales and their capacity to push the boundaries of their art as form and as a point of contact with contemporary Wales.
We'd like to invite you to join in the spirit of this award by becoming one of our own New Music Ambassadors, bringing friends and colleagues along to the Festival events to hear the music of living composers. If you book 6 or more tickets for any of our concerts, we'll give you a 25% discount, and if you place your booking by 15 August, we'll print your name as a New Music Ambassador in this year's souvenir programme.
Friends of the Festival
The Friends are the Festival's loyal supporters, who contribute a subscription each year towards running costs. The first to hear about new plans and preparations for forthcoming Festivals, the Friends enjoy occasional special events and receptions. For further information or an application form, please call either of the Box Office numbers or pick up a Friends leaflet during Festival week.