About us

The spectacular coastline of Cardigan Bay in West Wales is the perfect backdrop for one of the finest music festivals in the UK – MusicFest Aberystwyth. Since 1986, we have hosted the exciting fusion of a world-class music festival and a summer school, attracting an international rostra of artists, teachers, students and audience alike.

We are back.

For 2021, we are committed to provide you with the world-class MusicFest experience that you have grown to love. Although we are not able to host our summer school in-person, we are following our 2020 success with a digital summer school experience and we are working hard to provide a selection of courses online with our internationally renowned tutors. This year we are also excited to present a blended concert experience with a mixture of special online and in-person events featuring international artists including Guy Johnston, Tom Poster and Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective, Solem Quartet, and Yshani Perinpanayagam, plus a specially commissioned digital installation and our popular fringe events throughout Aberystwyth.

Meet the team

Nathan James Dearden

Nathan James Dearden

Associate Artistic Director

Nathan James Dearden is a composer of concert music and mixed media, conductor, teacher and arts advisor, whose work has been described as “hauntingly beautiful” (Media Wales), and performed and featured by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Tippett Quartet, National Youth Orchestra of Wales, Grand Band,  Fidelio Trio, and Hebrides Ensemble. Originally from South Wales, Nathan has also carved a career as a sought-after arts advisor and animateur, working with National Youth Arts Wales, MusicFest Aberystwyth, Chamber Music on Valentia and Beyond Borders. Formerly a House Manager at the BBC-flagship venue, St. George’s Bristol, he also spent six years curating and managing the International Concert Series at Royal Holloway University of London.

Joan Rowlands

Festival Manager

David Campbell

David Campbell

Artistic Director

David Campbell is internationally respected as a fine clarinetist and teacher.

After spending eleven years in Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ chamber ensemble, ‘The Fires of London’ as well as playing regularly with the London Sinfonietta, London Mozart Players and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, David has more recently forged a career centred around solo repertoire and chamber music. His playing has taken him to over forty countries to work with as a soloist with leading orchestras and playing with string quartets and larger ensembles. David is passionate about music education and is currently Head of Woodwind at Westminster School and a Visiting Lecturer at City University in London and also teaches a few students at Kings College School, Wimbledon. He has been Artistic Director of MusicFest Aberystwyth since 2001 and has tutored at courses in Harrogate, Dartington, York University, the Johann Strauss School of Music in Malta and Domaine Forget Academy in Quebec.