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Cowbridge Music Festival has unveiled plans for its 2023 Young Artist programme, which showcases the talents of Wales’ emerging musicians. The young string quartet, Quartet Draig, will be the festival’s Young Ensemble for 2023.
Quartet Draig, comprising violinists Elliot Kempton, and Anna Holmes, violist Ben Norris and cellist Tabitha Selley, formed while studying together at the Royal Welsh Academy of Music & Drama. Over the summer, the quartet will receive coaching from festival co-artistic directors Rosalind Ventris and Joseph Fort, as well as Welsh violist Matthew Jones, who serves as head of chamber music at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.
These sessions will culminate in a performance at the festival on 21 September, in which the ensemble will perform Dvořák’s American Quartet, Howard Blake’s A Month in the Country, and Am Awan, the quartet’s own compilation of Welsh folk tunes.
Speaking about the programme, festival artistic directors Joseph Fort and Rosalind Ventris said: ’We believe in providing a platform where promising artists can flourish, learn, and share their artistry with a wider audience. Through our 2023 Young Artist programme, we are offering performance opportunities, masterclasses, coaching sessions, and mentorship to empower these musicians with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their musical careers. We are also proud to showcase their exceptional musicianship and invest in the future of classical music.’
During its time at the RWAMD, Quartet Draig won the Albion Quartet and the Bridgewood & Neitzert prizes, and was also nominated to represent the college in the 2021 Cavatina Intercollegiate Competition at the Wigmore Hall. In summer 2021 the quartet took up a place as the young quartet in residence at the ESTA Summer School Conference, giving a recital and also performing alongside the Bingham String Quartet.
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