A GLOBALLY renowned pianist from Wrexham will take centre stage at a virtual concert at a top festival.

Llyr Williams, a former pupil of Ysgol Hooson in Rhos and Ysgol Morgan Llwyd in Wrexham, will perform works by Beethoven, Chopin and Schubert on a stunning new Steinway piano for the Wales International Piano Festival.

It will be the first time the classical music star has appeared at the festival which is held every four years, organised by Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias (William Mathias Music Centre), which has bases in Denbigh and Caernarfon.

Despite 18 months of logistical setbacks caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2021 festival has attained a full complement of competition entrants.

This year the festival takes on a hybrid format with the evening concerts pre-recorded and streamed online, while competitions and other events will happen live at Galeri Caernarfon.

The Llyr Williams concert has been recorded in advance and will be streamed online on the October 15 to open the festival.

Music lovers will be able to buy tickets to watch the virtual recital on the festival’s website www.pianofestival.co.uk which will be available to view for 24 hours.

According to Llyr, from Pentrebychan, he inherited a love of opera from his father, Gwynne, and was going to performances before the age of seven which is when he began piano lessons.

By the age of 11, he had passed Grades one to eight all with distinction and went on to read music at Queen’s College Oxford where he gained a First-Class Degree and as awarded the Gibbs Prize in Music for his outstanding performance in his final exams.

He then went on to study, at a postgraduate scholar, at the Royal College of Music receiving the Academy’s highest academic award, the Diploma of the Royal Academy of Music.

Llyr is now a globally acclaimed performer and a specialist in Ludwig van Beethoven works with several of the composer’s complete sonata cycles under his belt. He has performed at iconic venues including Carnegie Hall, New York, and Wigmore Hall, London.

His affinity with Beethoven’s music fits in perfectly with the Wales International Piano Festival 2021’s central theme, paying homage to Beethoven and his considerable legacy. Llyr’s programme will include Beethoven’s Sonata Opus 31, no 3 (The Hunt), and Frédéric Chopin’s majestic ‘Funeral March’ Sonata.

Iwan Llewelyn-Jones, the festival’s Artistic Director, said: “Llyr is an extraordinary musician and a consummate performer and we are delighted to welcome him to the 2021 festival.

The concert was recorded at Bangor University’s Powis Hall with Llyr performing on the magnificent new Steinway concert grant piano recently purchased by the university.

After recording, Llyr described the Steinway as remarkable: “It really draws out all the different colours of the music.”

For more details about the festival timetable, to order tickets or find out how to sponsor a note visit www.pianofestival.co.uk