A RENOWNED Hollywood pianist has hailed the acoustics of St Asaph Cathedral as among the best in the world.
Peter Donohoe has played the best concert venues on the planet and believes the home of the North Wales International Music Festival is a special place to perform.
The Manchester born virtuoso will be one of the star attractions at this year's event from September 20-28.
Peter will be performing at the festival - which is supported by the Welsh Arts Council - on Tuesday, September 24, and will be conducting a master class the following day.
Peter said: "I was attracted to the piano from a very early age as my mother played at home and I was then blessed with a good teacher, right from nursery school age.
“The acoustics at St Asaph are excellent and the audience very knowledgeable.
“It’s an exciting programme too. In the first half I’ll be playing the Opus 1 music of Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev and Bartók, three Russian composers and the second half will be the music of Schumann, Berg and Brahms, three German composers.”
The view about the excellence of the acoustics at the Cathedral is supported by the festival's Artistic Director, Ann Atkinson, a mezzo soprano.
She said: “The cathedral has a very special acoustic – the combination of the stone and the wood creates something really magical somehow.
“I have also performed in the concert hall at Sydney Opera House and, while it has a brilliant acoustic, I must say that St Asaph Cathedral is actually a much better venue acoustically.”
Among the other big draws this year will be a special choral work to celebrate the Prince of Wales's 65th birthday that's being written by royal composer Paul Mealor.
It has been commissioned jointly by the festival - which is supported by the Welsh Arts Council - and London-based Holywell Music, one of Europe's leading harp suppliers.
The Prince's first official harpist, international star Catrin Finch, and the current royal harpist, Hannah Stone, will both accompany the performance.
The premiere will be one of many highlights to be provided by a stellar line-up that also includes virtuoso pianist Peter Donohoe, historical performance ensemble, La Serenissima and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
For more information about this year's festival and how to buy tickets go to: www.nwimf.com
Picture: Sussie Ahlburg