Kaleidoscope of Colour for Celebration at Cherished Hall; as the Swansea Festival of Music and the Arts Commemorates the 75th Anniversary of the City's Brangwyn Hall, We Speak to Composers, Musicians and Conductors with Links to the Building and Find out about an Illuminating Project

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), October 3, 2009 | Go to article overview

Kaleidoscope of Colour for Celebration at Cherished Hall; as the Swansea Festival of Music and the Arts Commemorates the 75th Anniversary of the City's Brangwyn Hall, We Speak to Composers, Musicians and Conductors with Links to the Building and Find out about an Illuminating Project


STANDING in the middle of Swansea city centre, Brangwyn Hall has staged concerts by world renowned musicians for the past 75 years.

Named after the eminent mural artist, Sir Frank Brangwyn, the venue houses what are considered by many, including the artist himself, to be among his finest works.

The 18-panel series on the history of the British Empire, which took seven years to complete, were originally commissioned by the House of Lords to commemorate the dead of World War I in the Royal Gallery at the Palace of Westminster.

However, the resultant profusion of vegetation, animal life and people brought to life in sumptuous colour, representing the extent of the Empire which the fallen had sought to protect, proved too exuberant a memorial for the Lords and they were rejected in 1930. Offers came from all over the world for these magnificent panels but they were eventually installed throughout Brangwyn Hall in Swansea.

This week, to mark the hall's milestone birthday, arts project Locws International commissioned artists Robert Bermingham and Richard Robinson to create a temporary installation as part of the Swansea Festival of Music and the Arts.

Using the famous panels as their inspiration, the artists transformed the entrance windows to Brangwyn Hall into a giant kaleidoscope of light and colour which will be visible both inside and out, day and night.

Each of the three windows corresponds to one of the panels and, by using the same vibrant colour palette as the originals, Bermingham and Robinson have created a bold design of coloured vinyl pasted directly onto the windows.

Meanwhile, a concert on October 10, taking place at the hall, will also celebrate the 75th anniversary.

It will feature the world premiere of the final work of the late composer Alun Hoddinott who, fittingly, was inspired to write music after seeing his first live concert performance there.

"The Brangwyn Hall was the scene of one of my very first solo performances when I was still an undergraduate at university. I remember standing on the stage looking out into a seemingly endless space and launching into Non piu Andrai from The Marriage of Figaro and immediately being struck by how warm and flattering the acoustic was. Subsequently I have performed and recorded there on many occasions, most notably Jenufa with Sir Charles Mackerras and Trial By Jury with Richard Hickox and it is always a great pleasure to perform there." - International bass baritone Neal Davies.

"I always look forward to playing in the Brangwyn Hall. We have such an enthusiastic and loyal audience there and the hall itself provides a wonderful setting and sound for all our programmes. Last season's Swansea highlight for me was probably Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra. This coming season has lots for audiences to look forward to, including Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique with our principal conductor, Thierry Fischer, and a night of Tchaikovsky with Walter Weller. …

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Kaleidoscope of Colour for Celebration at Cherished Hall; as the Swansea Festival of Music and the Arts Commemorates the 75th Anniversary of the City's Brangwyn Hall, We Speak to Composers, Musicians and Conductors with Links to the Building and Find out about an Illuminating Project
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