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.

About a year ago I, and the MusicFest Aberystwyth Board, made the reluctant decision to cancel the concert programme and run a reduced series of summer school classes online, in the belief that all would be back to normal, ready for the 2021 festival.

Despite the lockdowns and huge sacrifices made by so many people since March 2020 the COVID pandemic is still with us, although many are starting to enjoy some glimpses of normal life as the lockdown measures are slowly eased. However, we need to proceed cautiously, or we could easily be back to square one.

This year’s Digital Summer School will offer: a new Flute Course with Karen Jones, a Saxophone Course with Kyle Horch and Lars Lien, a Clarinet Course with Robert Plane and myself, a Mindfulness Course with Carola Emrich-Fisher, two Vocal Pedagogy courses with the inimitable Dr Ron Morris from Brisbane, Principles of opera conducting with James Henshaw and Guests, Performing Welsh Trad with Patrick Rimes of Calan and an exciting new course The Composer’s Toolkit with sessions covering a variety of different compositional disciplines, led by Nico Muhly, Jo Thomas, Jordan Rees and Simmy Singh.

The concerts in this year’s festival will have a mix of ‘live’ events and streamed content, including concerts from Tom Poster and Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective with tenor, Karim Sulaymann and the Solem Quartet, which will be streamed on a large screen at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre. The ‘live’ indoor performances will be given by international harpist, Catrin Finch, the brilliant, young pianist, Yshani Perinpanayagam and international cellist, Guy Johnston, who will play all of Bach’s cello suites. Local musicians including the strings of Philomusica and the brilliant young violinist, Thomas Mathias will play in the Arts Centre and there will also be performances in the bandstand on the seafront by local groups, throughout the week.

We hope that Aberystwyth Arts Centre will be buzzing again with audience members keen to hear ‘live’ music and MusicFest Aberystwyth 2021 keeps the flame burning brightly through to July 2022 when, hopefully, the festival can relaunch a full, in-person Summer School and a Festival Concert Programme to be proud of.

David Campbell

Artistic Director, MusicFest Aberystwyth

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Digital Summer School

A selection of specially designed online courses for you to collaborate and learn with one of our internationally renowned tutors and likeminded musicians. We have a range of exciting courses for you to book NOW.

International Music Festival 2021

Your MusicFest is back for 2021. A blended concert experience with a mixture of special online and in-person events featuring some of your favourite international artists. Something for everyone, with classical favourites to new music from Wales.

Bursaries & Support

Musicfest Aberystwyth welcomes bursary students from all over the world and prides itself on offering high-quality, intensive training for music students, graduates, and music professionals. We do not wish finance to be a barrier to attending our Summer School so our bursaries (funds towards the cost of fees) are available to help students, graduates and young musicians attend our courses