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Welcome to the twelfth annual Conwy Classical Music Festival. I hope very much that you will find plenty to interest you in this year’s wide-ranging programme, and that you will support the festival in order to keep music live.

As you will see from the programme, the festival once again draws on the rich vein of talent which we have here in North Wales, as well as featuring established artists from further afield.  It is a particular pleasure this year to welcome Amyn Merchant back to lead the orchestra and take the solo part in Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto.  Amyn appeared regularly at the festival when he was based in Manchester, and many will remember him from those days. He then went on to become leader of the second violins in the BBC Symphony Orchestra, which meant that he was unable to take part in our festival because of commitments at the Proms. Now that he is Leader of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra – and we heartily congratulate him on his appointment  – he is able to join us once again this year.

Last year, Dr. Goronwy Wynne gave a very interesting talk on Mendelssohn’s visit to North Wales in August, 1829. This year we celebrate that visit by including in the programme performances of all those works which Mendelssohn was composing at the time of his visit - excluding the Reformation Symphony, for which we haven’t the space or resources!  He visited Conwy and sketched the Castle and town, having arrived, he says in his journal, the wettest he had been in his entire life! Details of the Mendelssohn pieces to be performed will be found at the appropriate places in the programme.

The festival is dedicated to providing opportunities for the local community and visitors alike to enjoy quality music in beautiful surroundings. It is one of the largest music events in Wales to be funded solely by audience donations and sponsorship - there are no set admission charges - ensuring that the festival is totally accessible and inclusive. Please do join us. You will be made very welcome.

Chris Roberts, Director