PENARTH Pier Pavilion is set to take centre stage as the opening venue for Vale of Glamorgan Music Festival in May this year.

Other concerts during the festival, which runs for over a week from May 8 until May 17 and aims to celebrating contemporary music in concerts and gigs in Cardiff and the Vale, are also planned to be held at the Pavilion

With an international outlook, the festival has a reputation for its commitment to celebrating the work of living composers the world over, often introducing the work of composers little known to UK audiences as well as performers coming to Wales and the UK for the first time. Existing work is presented alongside world and UK premieres – works designed to become classics of the future.

The stars of the festival are also the venues across Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan where the concerts take place.

Concert halls, studios, castles and churches in city, countryside and sea landscapes will all create the perfect backdrop and atmosphere to the music being performed.

This year will see performances amongst others of the London Recorder Quartet I Flautisti who have reinvented the recorder for the twenty-first century and Belgium’s Quatour Tana who have kicked away the trappings of the traditional string quartet to become a quartet for the twenty-first century, the only European ensemble to play from computer screens and iPads instead of traditional scores.

The female singing trio Juice Ensemble will also perform a concert called “Literary Connections” ranging from Shakespeare to spam.

A celebration of the work of two British composers’ lies at the heart of the 2014 Festival - : Sir John Tavener (who died whilst the programme of the festival was being finalised) and Tarik O’Regan. Both composers are renowned particularly for their choral works.

A variety of Sir John Tavener’s works will be performed throughout the festival from solo works to large scale iconic orchestral pieces. With nearly 100 works behind him, Tarik O’Regan is an unstoppable force in today’s musical world. His music has the ritual grandeur of the English choral tradition, coloured by minimalism and draws on a musical language that has caught the ear of a large audience.

Festival visitors will be able to hear eleven UK premieres throughout the festival and the world premiere of a new choral work by composer Gabriel Jackson.

Many of the composers featured will also be visiting the festival to hear some of their works performed and to talk about their inspirations.

A new element to the festival will be music by a range of today’s younger voices, including student composers from Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and a special performance of a work by a young Chinese composer Xiao Ying will also be performed in a concert with BBC National Orchestra of Wales at BBC Hoddinott Hall.

There is a Celtic flavour to the programme and performers, underlined by the visit of Chamber Choir Ireland under choral conductor Paul Hillier and Irish-born Gerard McChrystal’s saxophone recital. Welsh composer Huw Watkins’ Flute Concerto will also be performed by BBC National Orchestra of Wales with Adam Walker who is just 25 and became principal flute of the LSO in 2009 aged just 21.

The festival for 2014 will also mark the beginning of new partnerships with St David’s Hall and Welsh National Opera.

As part of their new ventures with the festival Welsh National Opera’s Chief Executive and Artistic Director, David Pountney will talk about his role as opera stage director, festival curator, librettist and commissioner of new opera. He is joined by young Russian composer, Elena Langer, for an insider’s guide to the collaborative process of creating new opera. .

There will also be festival appearances by pianist Clare Hammond in a lunchtime concert and performances by Denmark’s Ensemble Midtvest Denmark where its reputation for cutting-edge programmes has enthralled audiences.

Festival Performances and events will take place at Penarth Pier Pavillion, Dyffryn House in St Nicholas, Ewenny Priory, Fonmon Castle and All Saints Church, Penarth. The Cardiff venues include the Norwegian Church, St David’s Hall, Dora Stoutzker Hall at Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and BBC Hoddinott Hall at Wales Millennium Centre.

Full information on festival events is available from . Tickets are available from or by calling 0844 8700 887.