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Swansea’s iconic festival is back

It’s not just Cardiff who is host to major music events; thanks to Swansea’s International Festival, it too has its own distinctive part to play.

This month, the Swansea International Festival welcomed a host of talented Welsh and International musicians and artists to showcase their work. At the heart of this year’s festival was a performance by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Chorus of Wales, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Aberfan tragedy. With music, dance, theatre, cinema and talks this colourful and diverse festival will be running until 15 October 2016. 

On 15 October, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony Orchestra will be closing the curtain on this year’s festival. A world-renowned Russian orchestra, it’s recognised as one of the most prestigious. Alongside them in the final week, Sinfonia Cymru will give an exclusive performance on Wednesday 12 October. A young, chamber orchestra from Wales, it’s made up of professional musicians at the early stages of their careers.

What makes this festival so distinctive to others is that it offers young people opportunities to make their voices heard. Recently there was a chorus of disapproval, when plans were made by the County Council to cut music funding to schools completely. The world famous composer, Karl Jenkins from Swansea has lived a life full of music, understands the importance of the service. In open letter, it read that these cuts were not justified and were proposed by people outside of music, who don’t see its benefit. 

Wynne Griffiths, Friends Chairman of the West Glamorgan Youth Music agreed and said: “There’s no substitute for real music.” He added, “The funding goes to the families, who without it, will not be able to fund their musical education. Young musicians are trained and nurtured from a young age, it takes years for them to become accomplished musicians.”


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