Brecon Baroque Festival 2012

(Friday 26 October – Monday 29 October 2012 )

Rachel Podger’s Brecon Baroque Festival, described by The Guardian newspaper as “going from strength to strength” is a long weekend celebration (26-29 October 2012) of authentic period music performed by a roster of international stars.  This year’s Festival celebrates music from Monteverdi to Mozart with Rachel Podger, soprano Sian Winstanley, bass Giles Underwood, oboist Alexandra Bellamy, cellist Alison McGillivray and tenor and choral director, Julian Podger.  These soloists are supported by a cross-section of prize ensembles including Brecon Baroque, Trinity Baroque, Quintessential Sackbut & Cornett Ensemble and the Brecon Cathedral Lay Clerks.  The weekend’s celebrations also include Festival Eucharist at Brecon Cathedral and the popular, annual Baroque Ball.

Commenting on this year’s Festival, artistic director Rachel Podger said: “After a summer of sporting brilliance, what better way to break yourself gently into winter with a weekend listening to some of the world’s finest musical athletes. It’s always a pleasure to welcome such a wealth of talent to Brecon for the weekend and we can’t wait for what promises to be a real gem of a Festival this year.

“Due to popular demand, not only will our big JS Bach concert be on Saturday night this time but we have also invited back some Festival favourites.  Julian Podger returns with Trinity Baroque to perform Monteverdi’s 1640 Vespers in the Cathedral and the lovely young Welsh soprano Sian Winstanley gives a solo song recital at Christ College Brecon.  So, don’t miss out, book your tickets soon for an autumn of pure gold.”

Friday 26 October at 7pm: Monteverdi Vespers 1640 – Brecon Cathedral

Following the success of Trinity Baroque’s performance of Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers, Julian Podger returns with his stunning six-strong vocal group to perform Monterverdi’s later 1640 Vespers with Brecon Baroque, QuintEssential Sackbut & Cornett Ensemble – an period ensemble described as purring excellence like a Rolls Royce engine – and Brecon Cathedral’s Lay Clerks.

Saturday, 27 October 2.30-4.30pm: Baroque Dance Worksho
Theatr Brycheiniog

Dance master, Peter Brock, gives dancers an opportunity to prepare for the Brecon Baroque Ball as he takes them through their paces.

Saturday, 27 October at 7pm: Cantatas & Concertos by JS Bach
Theatr Brycheiniog

The central concert of the Festival is dedicated to the cantatas and concertos of JS Bach – this evening promises to be a real treat.  Rachel Podger and Brecon Baroque perform Bach’s Violin Concerto in D (after BMV 1053) and his Concerto for Violin and Oboe in C minor with Alexandra Bellamy.  Bass Giles Underwood will sing Bach’s famous cantatas, Ich habe genug and Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen.

Sunday, 28 October at 11am: Festival Eucharist

Brecon Cathedral

Festival Eucharist in Brecon Cathedral sung by the Cathedral Concert with the Baroque String Ensemble of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

Sunday, 28 October at 3pm: English Song from Lawes to Linley
Chapel of Christ College Brecon

The exciting young Welsh soprano, Sian Winstanley, returns by popular demand after her stunning debut in 2011. She performs English songs from Lawes to Linley with Stephen Gordon, one of the UK’s most diverse guitarists, playing the theorbo and baroque guitar.

Sunday , 28 October at 7pm: The Baroque Ball
Theatr Brycheiniog

The Baroque Ball, an ever-popular feature of the Festival, is a chance to dress-up in period costume (not compulsory) and strut your stuff on the dance floor with a live baroque band. Peter Brock and his team will walk-through each dance to ensure everyone is able to keep up and enjoy the fun.

Monday, 29 October at 7pm: Mozart, Haydn and CPE Bach
Theatr Brecheiniog

The closing concert of the Festival is a Baroque feast with music from Mozart, Haydn and CPE Bach.  Rachel Podger and Sian Winstanley perform Mozart – his Concert Arias and the Violin Concerto in G major (K216) respectively; Scottish cellist Alison McGillivray performs CPE Bach’s Cello Concerto in A minor and combined ensembles including leading young local players will perform Haydn’s “La Passione” Symphony (no. 49) in F minor.

A staunch supporter and ambassador of South Powys Youth Music, Rachel directs Haydn’s La Passione following an afternoon workshop with the young people in the group. This is a unique opportunity for South Powys’ youngsters as they perform on-stage alongside Rachel.

Box Office: For full details of concerts, artists, venues and tickets visit or Theatr Brycheiniog Box Office on 01874 611622

Pilgrims restaurant at the Cathedral are serving a very special Venetian menu for the pre-concert supper. Do get in touch with Pilgrims to book a table (available from 5.00pm onwards, the concert is at 7.00pm) for this delicious looking authentic Italian treat. Booking advised: phone 01874 610610 or email

Brecon Baroque Festival

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