Cowbridge Music Festival was started in 2010 by Mary Elliott-Rose and Sam Edwards. They saw our town with its beautiful medieval church and vibrant community as the ideal setting for such a venture and thought that a festival of the finest chamber, vocal and instrumental music would be a great addition to its musical life.
It takes place in the early autumn when holidays are over and we are back at work and school, a good time for some of the finest musicians of Wales and the rest of Europe to descend upon Cowbridge to brighten up our lives with two weeks of world-class music making.
The festival attributes its success to the generosity of a number of charitable trusts and especially to the continued support of the Arts Council of Wales. With the loyal support of local businesses, the Friends’ Association and Cowbridge Rotary Club, as well as countless enthusiastic audience members, we go from strength to strength. From a festival of three concerts over a week we have grown into a fortnight of music which, while the emphasis is still on the very best in classical music, now includes folk and jazz as well as our very successful Community Outreach Programme. Each year brings something new and our horizons are always expanding. In 2016 we added afternoon concerts for 6-18 year-old musicians and 2017 sees the beginning of the CMF Chamber Music Seminar, an evolution of the master classes into something even more useful for advanced students.
One of our most cherished aims is to make great classical musical completely approachable, enjoyable and entertaining, never ‘high-brow’ or elitist. We make sure our concerts are always welcoming – occasions for friends to meet, enjoy first class music and chat over a glass of wine in the interval. The informal atmosphere of our main venue, Holy Cross Church, makes it easy to remove the barrier between the audience and performers.
The festival became a registered charity in 2011 and is now run by five trustees with the help of several dedicated volunteers. Since the beginning, Mary and Sam have been joined by Andrew Elliott, Eluned Pierce and Tessa Shellens. All look forward to welcoming you at the next festival.