Past Events


Hay Chamber Music Festival 2017


The Fitzwilliam String Quartet:

Alan George, Marcus Barcham-Stevens, Sally Pendelbury, Lucy Russell

The Fitzwilliam String Quartet was welcomed with great enthusiasm when they returned at the end of March for the Third Hay Chamber Music Festival weekend. Once again, they were joined for the opening concert at St Mary's Church by their friends Marcia Crayford, Susie Mészáros and Moray Welsh of Dragonfly. The programme began with Bruckner's Intermezzo in D minor for String Quintet, a work quite new to me. This was followed by Schubert's magical String Trio in B flat and the concert ended with a splendid performance of the Brahms's two viola String Quintet in G major, received with loud applause by the audience.For the second year the Fitzwilliam String Quartet brought friendliness, joy and wonderful music to Hay for their Fitzwilliam Festival Weekend.


The Dragonfly String Trio:

Moray Welsh, Marcia Crayford, Susie Mészáros

On Saturday some of us ate a delicious pre-concert dinner prepared specially by Booth's Bookshop Café, after which we went upstairs to the first floor of the bookshop proper for the concert. This is a perfect space for chamber music, and the Fitzwilliam Quartet presented another programme of 'something old with something new'. J.S. Bach's Three Contrapuncti from the Art of Fugue was followed by Alan Mills' Variations on a theme of C.P.E. Bach, and then Two Novelettes by Glazunov. The crowning glory was Schubert's great string quartet 'Death and the Maiden'. What a performance we were given, and what depths of emotion the Fitzwiliams reached!

On Sunday, returning to St Mary's, with several children and young people in the audience, we were given something completely different. The Fitzwilliams were joined by young musicians from Sinfonia Cymru for a sparkling performance of Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, followed by his Symphony No 29 and Haydn's Farewell Symphony No 45, with the musicians leaving the stage one by one. Such well-known and popular music has to be performed especially well, and, led by Lucy Russell's immaculate and sensitive phrasing, it certainly was. This light and airy, absolutely delightful concert was perfect for a Sunday afternoon, and brought the festival to a very happy conclusion.

Throughout the weekend the Fitzwilliams mingled with the audience and infected them with their love of the music they play. They are always so happy to be in Hay, and they delight in their audience. With their friends, they have created a festival which will surely attract more people, from far and wide, to listen to such interesting programmes, played with such feeling and dedication by these wonderful musicians.

Sue Norrington


Hay Chamber Music Festival Outreach Programme

In addition to the main programme of events, the Fitzwilliam String Quartet held a number of outreach activities. On Thursday, following a very successful encounter in 2016, they again held a session for the Family Place (see below) in the Bookshop Studio. On Monday, after their demanding weekend, they had more to give with a 30 minute performance for the whole of Hay Primary School followed by a lecture recital at Gwernyfed High School for GCSE students from a number of local high schools. This was an introduction to the string quartet and a tour through the sound world of the Baroque, Classical and Romantic styles including the GCSE set work of Purcell's Rondo from Abdelazar.

They concluded with afternoon tea at Cusop Village Hall with HayDay Café (see below) where their playing was very warmly and enthusiastically received by all.

The Family Place provides specialist and flexible therapeutic interventions for families.

Their central aim is to strengthen relationships between children and young people and their main carers by deepening understanding in a safe and therapeutic environment. With a deep understanding of the impact of developmental trauma on families and the challenges this presents, the team specialises in providing tailored interventions for foster and adoptive families and their support networks, alongside a range of other family issues. The service is available over a wide geographical area from their base in Hay.

The essence of HayDay is to provide a safe and supportive atmosphere where people who have a dementia or associated condition, and their carers, can enjoy socialising in a café setting and have the opportunity to have some fun. Their aim is to enhance the well-being and dignity of people with a dementia (and associated conditions) and their carers, and their aims are threefold:

* To provide an opportunity for people to meet in an everyday social setting.

* To enjoy each other's company, share information, have fun and take part in stimulating activities.

* To achieve an improvement in the quality of life for participants and enhance their social inclusion.

We are most grateful to Lucy, Alan, Marcus, and the newest member of the ensemble, cellist Sally Pendelbury, as well as to the musicians of Dragonfly - Marcia, Susie and Moray, and to the talented young people of Sinfonia Cymru, for all the pre-Festival preparation in addition to their wonderful playing 'on the day', and particularly for their generosity of spirit which has given us another wonderful musical experience.

The 2017 Hay Chamber Music Festival was supported by individuals as well as:

Mid Wales Music Trust

Kodaly Society of Wales

Hay Markets

Lindenleaf Charitable Trust


Thank you! - Diolch yn fawr!

Past Concerts

Key to venues:

B = Richard Booth's Bookshop, Hay-on-Wye

D = Dorstone House, Dorstone

St M = St Mary's Church, Hay-on-Wye

C = The Castle, Hay-on-Wye

L = Llanigon

T= The Mill, Talgarth


January (B) The Consone Quartet

February (B) 'Oriental Miscellay': Jane Chapman and Yu-Wei Hu


January (B) Rhiannon Llewellyn (soprano) and Laura Snowden (guitar)

February (B) André Pereira (violin) and Josh Salter (cello)

March - Festival (St M/B/St M) Fitzwilliam String Quartet / Dragonfly String Trio / members of Sinfonia Cymru

April (St M) Chris Brannick (percussion) and Sara Stowe (soprano)

June (St M) The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge

July (St M) The Solem Quartet

August (B) The Camilli String Quartet

September (D) Emma Abbate and Julian Perkins - Piano Duo

October (D) Jayson Gillham - Piano

October (St M) Marsyas Trio

November (St M) The Schubert Ensemble


January (St M) Rachel Podger - Baroque Violin / Chad Kelly - Harpsichord

February (St M) Duo Concertante - Nancy Dahn - Violin / Timothy Steeves - Piano

April - Festival (St M/B/St M) Fitzwilliam String Quartet / Dragonfly String Trio / Tom Wilkinson - organ / members of Sinfonia Cymru

June (D) The Rautio Piano Trio

July (D) Clare Hammond - piano

August (C) Enigma Duo: Katherine Thomas - harp and Laurence Kempton - violin

September (D) James Gilchrist (tenor) and Anna Tilbrook (piano)

October (St M) Voskesrenije Choir of St Petersburg

November (B) Dragonfly String Trio

November (B) Flauguissimo Duo (Hay Winter Festival opening event)

December (B) Ligeti String Quartet with Peter Florence


January (B) Maciek/James - Clarinet/Piano Duo

February (B) Newbold/Thomas - Flute/Harp Duo

March (B) Welsh National Opera Chorus Members

April - Festival (St M/B/D) Fitzwilliam String Quartet with Dragonfly and Friends

July (D) Lee/Baek - Violin/Piano Duo

August (C) Scherzo Brass Quintet

August (C) Flourish Wind Quintet

October (St M) St Petersburg Chamber Choir

October (St M) Edgar Speyer Concert - Jeremy Fisher - Piano / John Hymas - Violin / Hannah Grove - Soprano / Olivia Gomez - Mezzo-soprano

November (B) Zoltan String Trio

December (St M) Choir of Clare College, Cambridge


February (B) Sterling Trio - Flute, Clarinet and Keyboard

March (B) Fitzwilliam String Quartet

April (B) Dragonfly Ensemble

May (B) Tre Voci - Cello Trio

July (C) Flourish Wind Quintet

August (B) Jones/Maruri - Cello/Guitar Duo

September (B) Kiel Baroque Ensemble

September (D) Jayson Gillham - Piano

November (B) Crayford, Welsh, Meszaros (Dragonfly)

December (B) Tom Guthrie - Baritone / Johan Löfving - Guitar


February (B) Harmonie Musik - Wind Quintet

March (B) Michael Jones - Cello

April (T) Julian Boyce - Baritone

May (St M) Choir of Hereford Cathedral School

June (B) Wingate Ensemble - Flute and Strings

July (D) Tianhong Yang - Piano

September (B) Sian Winstanley - Soprano / Stephen Gordon - Guitar

October (B) Janacek Film with Castalia Quartet

November (D) Jayson Gillham - Piano

December (B) Mavron String Quartet


January (B) Cambrian String Quartet

February (B) Caird Oboe Quartet

March (B) Catherine Hughes - Welsh Folk Songs

April (L) Ivan Ilic - Piano

May (B) Fitzwilliam String Quartet

July (B) SILD - Estonian and Welsh Folk Music

August (B) Downes/Jefferis - Violin/Cello Duo

September (D) Gagliano Piano Quartet

October (B) Castalia String Quartet

November (B) Moray Welsh - Cello

December (B) Music for Viols and Voice


April (B) Sterling Wind and Keyboard Trio

May (B) Aquarelle Guitar Quartet

July (B) Castalia String Quartet

July (B) Thomas/Kempton - Harp/Violin Duo

August (B) Louise Thomson - Harp

September (B) Rory Russell - Guitar

October (B) Alexander/Newbold - Bassoon/Flute duo

November (B) Handel German Songs

December (B) Gagliano String Trio