A grand finale for the Llandeilo Festival of Music


This year’s Llandeilo Festival of Music is set for a grand finale with a performance of In Memoriam, composed by renowned conductor Eilir Owen Griffiths.

Eilir Owen Griffiths

As part of the continuing commemoration of the sacrifices of World War 1, the Festival, to be held between the 15 – 22 July and sponsored by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, will close with the first performance of the complete version of the work.  In Memoriam was commissioned by the then High Sheriff of Dyfed, Professor Medwin Hughes, DL, and received  its premiere during the Concert of Remembrance held in Carmarthen last November. 

In Memoriam comprises 15 movements featuring the words of Hedd Wyn, Ann Franck and Nelson Mandela, intertwined with some of Wales’s best-loved hymns and excerpts from the traditional Latin Requiem Mass including Sanctus, Agnus Dei, Benedictus, Cofutatis Maledicus, Pie Jesu and Libera Me. As well as featuring such well-known references, In Memoriam also includes new writing, including a poem entitled Penbleth written for the composer by poet T. James Jones. 

The work, conducted by the Eilir at the Llandeilo Fawr Festival, will be performed by Gary Griffiths, Baritone; Rhodri Prys Jones, Tenor and Soprano, Hannah John, both former students of University of Wales Trinity Saint David.  Award winning choir, Cantorion Eilir Owen Griffiths, will perform alongside orchestra, the British Sinfonietta.

The Festival, which describes its programme as “Beautiful music, performed by great artists in an idyllic hill-top setting, is a well-established and popular event in the region’s cultural calendar and has attracted high profile performers over the years.

Festival organiser, Julia Jones, commented: “The Llandeilo Fawr Festival is delighted to have been afforded the privilege of including the first performance of the completed version of this significant and exciting new work in its 2017 programme. This is an outstanding example of what can be achieved through the sort of imaginative and constructive cooperation which our partnership has the rich potential to deliver”.

Eilir Owen Griffiths is an award winning composer and course director of the UWTSD’s Welsh medium performance course - the BA Perfformio – based at the Gate Arts Centre in Cardiff.  He is also a former student of the University’s Carmarthen campus.

“I’m delighted to have been invited to perform at the Llandeilo Festival”, says Eilir.  “It is a big thrill to perform In Memoriam with the performers who were with me at the premier last November.  It was a great honour to be commissioned to write this piece by the then High Sheriff of Dyfed to mark Armistice Day and it has been an exciting piece to compose.

“It’s a thought-provoking work that discusses many questions and looks at a range of themes including war, peace, hope, loss and faith.  The work concludes with an arrangement of the modern Welsh language hymn Breuddwydio or Dreams which encapsulates the main message of the piece” continues Eilir.

Eilir, who won best conductor in this Year’s Côr Cymru competition, is a celebrated conductor and has led many different choirs over the years, including Cardiff-based Côr CF1; Côr Godre’r Garth and the Cardiff Blues Choir, formed as part of the Codi Canu series on S4C back.  As well as having more than 15 years’ experience as a Musical Director and a composer, Eilir is also the Musical Director for Llangollen International Eisteddfod.  He has also won many awards for his work as a composer including ‘Tlws y Cerddor’ (Musician’s Award) at the National Eisteddfod in 2008 but says that In Memoriam is the most significant piece he’s composed to date.

Further Information

For further information, please email: press@uwtsd.ac.uk