Ahead of the start of the festival we asked the Festival Directors and some of the team to pick out some of the events they’re most looking forward to. Here are their selections:

Julius Drake, Co-Artistic Director: 

As you can imagine, there are many highlights for me in the Machynlleth Festival 2023 – the classical programme is completely chosen from artists I particularly admire!

However, if I had to choose one particular highlight from a Festival full of highlights, it would be the return this year of Elisabeth Leonskaja. In my opinion, Leonskaja is one of the greatest pianists playing concerts today, and the recital she gave in Machynlleth last year, of the last three Beethoven sonatas, was a truly unforgettable experience.

This year she returns with Schubert’s sublime sonata in B flat, and in the second half, at her request, I will join her for two of Schubert’s greatest piano duets, the Lebenstürme and the Fantasie in F minor. I am very honoured and also very excited!

Thursday 24 August, 7.30pm
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Dennis Jones, Co-Artistic Director:

The traditional Cymanfa Ganu to kick off the week has always been a wonderful occasion, where the audience have an opportunity to sing traditional hymns in harmony. Led by Alwyn Evans conductor, and Tudur Jones organist, this is the perfect way to start the Festival. It’s also a free event, although donations are gratefully received.

Sunday 20 August, 7.30pm
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Sally Marshall, Honorary Festival Director: 

One of the many highlights for me is an absolute gem of a lunchtime recital. Contrasts is perfectly curated by “Anthony Marwood and friends” and I am looking forward to hearing how the musicians explore the highly acclaimed acoustics of the Tabernacle in their programme. In particular the different characteristics of the registers of the clarinet, the chalumeau (low) clarion (middle) and altissimo (high). The clarinet and it’s sound has been a passion for me since growing up in the era of Jack Brymer and Gervase de Peyer and I would spend hours trying to achieve something resembling their sound in the not so perfect acoustic of the bathroom in my London home!! Much to the irritation of our neighbours!

Saturday 25 August, 1pm
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Sienna Holmes, Festival & Events Manager:

I’m particularly looking forwards to this year’s Hallstatt Lecture, for a very different slant on Welsh history. In what I understand will be one of Professor Geraint H Jenkins’ last public lectures, he’s going to be shining a light on Iolo Morganwg – usually known as a literary forger, but revealing him in his lecture as a passionate campaigner against slavery and war, a promoter or radicalism and perhaps someone very much ahead of his time.

Wednesday 23 August, 1pm
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William Norris, Marketing Consultant

I think one of the things I’m looking forward to most is the late-night Marimba concert.  I’m always captivated by percussion, but it’s often in a big orchestral concert and they’re usually tucked away at the back of the stage, so the chance to hear the marimba up close and personal in the Tabernacle is quite special. I love the deep resonant tones of the instrument, and also love how physical it is, with the player often getting quite a work out just getting from one end of the instrument to the other. Plus I know that Ji Hye is playing the Libertango, which is one of my favourite pieces – it’ll be a first hearing it on the Marimba though!

Friday 25 August, 10pm
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