A NEW orchestra of world class musicians will be giving two of their first ever performances in the Presteigne area next month.

Principal players from the new Mid Wales Chamber Orchestra will be playing at St Michael’s Church in Discoed, on Saturday, May 1, at 7.30pm in their second ever group performance.

The full orchestra will then be assembling at St Andrew’s Church, Presteigne, on Sunday, May 16, at 6.30pm, as part of their three-date debut tour.

On May 1, the players will be performing two chamber works, Dvorak's String Quintet in G minor (Op. 77) and Beethoven's Septet for Strings and Wind (Op. 20) on strings, horn, clarinet and bassoon. This follows a similar performance at the Holy Trinity Church, Llandrindod Wells, on Friday, April 30, at 7.30pm.

The 30-strong Mid Wales Chamber Orchestra will then play Prokofiev, Huw Watkins, Vaughan Williams and Mozart as part of their debut tour which concludes at St Andrew’s Church, Presteigne.

The orchestra will also be playing dates at Aberystwyth Arts Centre on Friday, May 14, and Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon, on Saturday May 15.

The new orchestra will be conducted by James Slater, who is joint artistic director along with lead violinist Marcia Crayford.

“I hope that the Mid Wales Chamber Orchestra will offer new opportunities for young and established professional musicians to develop their careers here in Powys and Mid Wales generally,” said Mr Slater.

Ms Crayford, former leader of the internationally renowned Nash Ensemble and recognised as one of the UK’s finest orchestral leaders, added: “We are all bursting with ideas and enthusiasm to make music together on our own doorsteps.”

Tickets for the May 1 performance in Discoed, which is a collaboration with the Friends of St Michael’s, Discoed, are available at the Presteigne Post Office or through David Hiam on 01547 560246.

Tickets for the performance at St Andrew’s Church are also available from the post office or by calling 01544 350559.

For more information about the tour’s venues, tickets and programme, visit the orchestra’s website at www.mwco.co.uk or email info@mwco.co.uk.