jazz-from-hell-lrThe life and work of music legend Frank Zappa was celebrated as well as  showcasing the work of young composers. The iconic American bandleader, songwriter, composer and film director was remembered in a series of events at Bangor Music Festival 2015 (4 – 8 March) The theme for this year was ‘Crossover and Multimedia’ with each concert having a connected educational project that involved a number of local schools as well as the city’s university students.

The Festival also feature premieres of works by five young composers, Katherine Betteridge, Ellie Davies, Sioned Eleri Roberts, Dan Song and Hedd Thomas, together with new pieces by established composers, Pwyll ap Siôn and Owain Llwyd.

The revered Apollo Saxophone Quartet opened the festival, leading the way for Thursday’s events of a performance of a transcript of Zappa’s 1975 UK trial and a screening of a film entitled ‘Summer ’82’ on Frank Zappa’s life and music. That was followed by a concert by Decibel, including a festival commission by Pwyll ap Siôn. An art installation, entitled Receive and Return, by Christine Mills and Carlos Pinatti was housed in Bangor’s Deiniol Shopping Centre for a month prior to the start of the Festival. To accompany the installation, five new compositions with the concert taking place during lunchtime on Friday, March 6. The evening was concluded with a jazz performance featuring the Bourne Davis Duo. Saturday, March 7, saw a performance by the North Wales Camerata. The Festival closed with the awarding of the William Mathias Composition Prize for a piece for flute, clarinet, piano and electronics during the Rees/Roche/Pestova evening concert on Sunday, March 8.

At a glance:

Education in 2015

Wednesday 4 March 2015
Pre-concert Reception
Apollo Saxophone Quartet

Thursday 5 March 2015
Reading from ‘The Real Frank Zappa Book’
Showing of ‘Summer ’82 – When Zappa Came to Sicily’
Q&A Skype session with The Zappa Trust
Pre-concert Talk

Friday 6 March 2015
BBC NOW Composition Lab
Bangor New Music Ensemble: Receive and Return
Conducting Masterclass
Improvisation Workshop
Matthew Bourne & Steve Davis

Saturday 7 March 2015
Bangor New Music Ensemble: Receive and Return
Composition Workshop
North Wales Camerata

Sunday 8 March 2015
William Mathias Competition Prize Workshop
PRS Surgery
Panel Discussion