Friday 27th to Sunday 29th September 2019

This summer, to celebrate their 50th anniversary year, The Fitzwilliam String Quartet will bring a weekend of world class chamber music to the iconic rural location that is Hay on Wye. Nestled beneath the Black Mountains and beside the River Wye, the famous ‘town of books’ is where beauty and culture meet, making it the perfect backdrop for this exciting festival of chamber music.

About the festival…

In this the fifth year of the festival, the quartet are delighted to announce that they will be joined by pianist Anna Tilbrook and The Dragonfly Trio to play works by Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, Borodin, Elgar, Suk and Dohnanyi.  Concerts will take place in St Mary’s Church and the characterful, intimate venue that is Richard Booth’s Bookshop, both of which are in Hay on Wye.  On the Saturday afternoon there will also be a screening of John Bridcut’s film Elgar: The Man Behind the Mask with Diana McVeagh in Richard Booth’s Cinema and throughout the weekend there will be wonderfully informative study sessions on the works being performed with writer, lecturer and broadcaster Richard Wigmore.

On the Sunday this exceptional weekend of music will culminate with a unique and extraordinary experience when the quartet will be joined by Music Painter, Maryleen Shiltkamp and Peter Florence in a unique multi arts event ‘Shostakovich Inspired! in Theatr Brycheiniog | Brecon Theatre involving music, live art and words. Maryleen will paint live, on stage, in response to the Fitzwilliam String Quartet’s performance of Shostakovich’s 10th String Quartet. The quartet will also play Shostakovich’s 11th String Quartet and there will be readings from the composer’s letters and memoirs. Music painting is an exciting new performance art, combining live music with artistic creations on canvas. The live painting on stage will literally illustrate the shapes, the musical movement and the colour of sound.

The Black Mountains Chamber Music Trust 

 Following the success of the Hay Chamber Music Festival over the last four years, which has been run under the auspices of Hay Music Trust, the Black Mountains Chamber Music Trust has been set up to run the Fitzwilliam at Hay Chamber Music Festival. The trust exists to promote for the benefit of the public the enjoyment, appreciation and knowledge of music through the organisation, promotion and support of a high quality annual festival of chamber music in and around Hay-on-Wye, and to promote education and public benefit through talks, classes and other associated events, including events in schools and centres concerned with dementia and mental health. The festival is mounted in close collaboration with the Fitzwilliam String Quartet but also aims to include other performance groups (especially young players starting out on their careers).