Every Spring Half Term, St Davids Cathedral plays host to some of the most talented musicians from across the globe, in music ranging from orchestral classical to Celtic folk. The St Davids Cathedral Festival perfectly mixes stunning music in an incredible setting with beaches, coastal walks and plenty of local eateries and shops all just a walk away. The 12th century Nave of the Cathedral is the main performance space, it’s breathtaking Irish oak ceiling and dramatic organ screen framing the musicians and adding an atmosphere that few concert halls could match.
Read below to see what’s on at the 2024 Festival! Tickets can be bought Here
Saturday 2nd March
7.30pm: St David’s Day Celebration with the Band of the Prince of Wales
Join us for this wonderful celebration of St David’s Day with the Band of the Prince of Wales and guest artists, Whitland Male Voice Choir and Only Boys Aloud West. Expect rousing Welsh anthems and hymns, performed in the stunning Cathedral of our Patron Saint. Tickets are free (registration required), but donations are much appreciated. All proceeds will be split between the Festival and the Army Benevolent Fund, a vital charity that does so much to support servicemen and women.
Friday 24th May
The 2024 Festival kicks off with a performance by the Festival Children’s Chorus, led by Mathew Wright MBE, Artistic Director of the Barnsley Youth Choir. Matthew is a member of the international jury representing the World Choir Games and in 2023 was appointed as a representative for Great Britain on the World Choir Council.
Join Vox Angelica and the Vicars Choral of St Davids Cathedral Choir for their annual late-night concert. Expect light-hearted songs and anthems, perfect for a late spring evening.
Saturday 25th May
The Cathedral Choristers ditch the cassocks and present a programme of their favourite popular and musical theatre songs. One not to be missed!
7.00pm: BBC National Orchestra of Wales
The BBC National Orchestra of Wales return for their annual performance at the Festival. Conductor Dinis Sousa leads the orchestra in William Mathias’ ‘Festival Overture’, in the composer’s 90th anniversary year. Violinist Inmo Yang joins the orchestra for Sibelius’ popular Violin Concerto in D minor. The programme concludes with a staple of the classical repertoire, Brahms’ 2nd Symphony in D Major. This annual performance is one of the highlights of every Festival programme, and this year’s promises to be no different.
Sunday 26th May
Choral Services: 11am Choral Eucharist, 4pm Choral Evensong
St Davids Cathedral Choir sing the services for Trinity Sunday.
7.00pm: Preseli Trio
The dynamic Preseli Trio join us from Santiago de Compostela in Spain, with strong links to Pembrokeshire. The trio, consisting of Soprano, Horn and Piano, are champions of contemporary composers and the work of Welsh composer Anthony Randall. Simon Lewis, the horn player, hails from Pembrokeshire, and named the trio after the rolling hills of our beautiful county. Join them for their debut UK performance, including the UK premiere of a new work by Galician composer Fernando Buide.
Monday 27th May
Join our fabulous choral scholars, Lucy Dunn, Alto, George Webb, Bass and Nathanael Laidlaw, Bass, in a recital of arias, art songs and lieder.
Choral Service: 5pm Choral Evensong sung by the Cathedral Singers
The Choir of Royal Holloway is now well-established as one of the leading collegiate choirs in the UK. This crack team of 24 choral scholars and director, Rupert Gough are known internationally for their highly engaging performances and vast catalogue of stunning recordings, particularly in collaboration with Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo. In their Festival debut, they present a programme of popular orchestral music arranged for chorus, including Vaughan Williams’ ‘Variations on a Theme of Thomas Tallis’, Ravel’s ‘Pavane une infante defunte’, and a new mass setting based on Peter Warlock’s ‘Capriol Suite’ by George Arthur. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear this wonderful choir in Britain’s smallest city!
Video link (to YouTube) – Ravel’s Pavane for choir: Ravel, arr. Gough - Requiem aeternam (youtube.com)
Tuesday 28th May
The winner of the annual Young Musician of Dyfed competition will perform in this morning recital. Full details to be released following the competition final in March.
Join clarinettist Emma Johnson, winner of the 1984 BBC Young Musician of the Year, and her orchestra in a programme of music celebrating the beauty of our natural world. Expect classics in the repertoire such as Mozart’s Ein Kleine Nachtmusik, and Paul Reade’s ‘Suite from the Victorian Kitchen Garden’ complimented by Emma’s own composition ‘Tree of Life’, inspired by a wish to say something about the climate emergency.
Wednesday 29th May
4.00pm: Choral Evensong live on BBC Radio 3
St Davids Cathedral Choir sing the office of Choral Evensong live on BBC Radio 3, on the eve of Corpus Christi. Please be seated by 3.45pm.
To round off the 2024 Festival in style, dynamic folk trio Alaw treat us to a concert full of soulful folk songs and toe-tapping melodies and dances. A joyful concert not to be missed!