Red Violin

'A fascinating festival...eclecticism rules'
The Times

'I am happy to support this exciting and innovative violin festival and wish it all success'
Honorary President Ida Haendel

Artistic Director

Red Violin / Ffidil Goch

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Lord Menuhin, Madeleine Mitchell and Red Violin festival on youtube:

Red Violin

Latest News September 2023:

Red Violin Limited is excited to announce the next extensive eclectic international Red Violin festival throughout Leeds, 11–19.10.24. This will be in partnership with the Leeds International Concert Season, Leeds University, Leeds Conservatoire, Opera North In Harmony, the Jewish and Asian communities, and other organisations.

Plans include a concert by the Youth Symphony of Ukraine and other events at the university, new works for multi violins and for young violinists by Dr Shirley Thompson OBE and the U.K. Premiere of Intonations by Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer on The Violins of Hope which survived Auschwitz, Leeds Walking Tours (with violin soundtrack) and much more to be announced.

Chairman Michael Beverley DL, (former Chair of Opera North and the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestras) and founder board members Stephen Barter (former Chair City of London Festival) and Madeleine Mitchell are sad to announce the death of board member Nicholas Snowman OBE (former CEO Southbank Centre) whose support and enthusiasm for Red Violin Leeds was greatly valued.

The Red Violin is the brainchild of internationally acclaimed soloist Madeleine Mitchell, who created the original festival in 1997, celebrating the violin across the arts over 10 days. October 2007 saw the return to Cardiff of this highly individual event devoted to 'everything violin'. Both major festivals had packed houses and created new audiences, with extensive national media coverage. Red Violin featured the fiddle in concerts, exhibitions, films, workshops, talks and an educational programme for all ages, in an inclusive and eclectic festival staged throughout Cardiff in collaboration with St David's Hall, Wales Millennium Centre, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Chapter Arts, Cardiff University, The Norwegian Church, Live Music Now, Arcata, RSA, Royal Music Colleges in London, Glasgow and Cardiff, Welsh Jazz Society and the BBC.

Star performers included the young Latvian violinist Baiba Skride in Stravinsky Violin Concerto for the BBC, one of the country's most distinguished baroque soloists, Brecon-based Rachel Podger, and Artistic Director Madeleine Mitchell herself - 'one of Britain's liveliest musical forces' (The Times) - performed the world premieres of 2 works in her remarkable collaboration with percussion group Ensemble Bash - FiddleSticks and launched her latest CD of popular 'Violin Songs' featuring Elizabeth Watts, winner of Cardiff Singer of the World 2007 Song Prize, in a recital at St David's Hall. Other Red Violin events included charismatic folk fiddling, mesmerizing Indian Carnatic violin, jazz violinists in informal settings and brilliant young violinists from some of the leading UK music colleges and the Yehudi Menuhin School as well as outreach settings.

The Red Violin was launched by the unveiling of 'Big Ffidil' a unique 'sounding' model violin devised by Madeleine Mitchell, in the WMC main foyer installed by composer Stuart Jones (who supervised the RPS Award-winning Virtual Orchestra at the South Bank Centre), followed by a Welsh Assembly Senedd performance for multi violins based on a theme by Menuhin, with slides of 'Le Violon Rouge' by Dufy and other violin paintings by Picasso etc. Events continued for 9 days, in a whole range of formal and informal Cardiff venues all brought together by Madeleine Mitchell to explore the magic and versatility of the violin.

The fiddle is said to be the closest to the human voice, and this was explored in local schools prior to the festival with an educational programmes entitled The Violin Sings / Canu'r Ffidil with Madeleine and baritone Jeremy Huw Williams. Children were encouraged to play violins, sing and create their own Red Violin paintings for public display.

Red Violin was supported by ACW, ACE, RCM, Britten Pears, Alwyn and Hinrichsen Foundations, Asian Music Circuit, Ty Cerdd, Friends of Red Violin and all the venues.

Contact the Red Violin

Please contact the Red Violin office:

Advisory Board - Ivan Hewett (Chief Music Critic Daily Telegraph), Dr George Kennaway

Consultant - Charles Beare OBE