Belgian refugee concert in Aberystwyth 1915

A fundraising concert given by Belgian refugees who came to Aberystwyth in the First World War was remembered on its centenary in July 2015 in a very special lecture by Dr Rhian Davies, Artistic Director of the Gregynog Festival. The original Fête of 21 July 1915 marked 85 years of Belgian national independence and the programme at the Coliseum Theatre in Aberystwyth included vocal, instrumental and choral music by the distinguished musicians whom the Davies sisters of Gregynog had helped to come and live in Aberystwyth. The centenary lecture took place in the very same space on the exact centenary and was part of a programme of events that complemented the ‘EuroVisions: Wales through the eyes of European visitors, 1750-2010’ exhibition. Dr Davies gave an illustrated talk about the many concerts that took place in Wales, as well as mentioning some of the painters who were also among the refugees. The ‘EuroVisions’ exhibition shows some striking artworks by Continental Europeans who came to Wales to seek refuge from both World Wars, including an Aberystwyth landscape by Valerius de Saedeleer. It has since gone on tour and is due to open at Bangor’s brand new venue Storiel in April 2016, and in the meantime can also be enjoyed virtually here  http://eurovisions.bangor.ac.uk/

‘EuroVisions’ is the fruit of a major AHRC-funded project ‘European Travellers to Wales, 1750-2010’ that brings together researchers at Bangor University, Swansea University and the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies in Aberystwth, more details here: etw.bangor.ac.uk

 

 

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