Swansea International Festival


Established in 1948 Swansea Festival of Music & the Arts was a vital component in the post-war vision for Swansea. In the years since it has developed as one of the most distinguished festivals in Wales with an impressive track record of commissioning Welsh composers and staging Welsh premieres of some of the twentieth century’s greatest music including Britten’s War Requiem, Messiaen’s Turangalila and Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex.

Early festivals featured English orchestras with local choirs providing choral contributions. During the 1970s and 80s a three-week pattern was adopted: a central week of Welsh National Opera performances at the Grand Theatre, flanked by two weeks of concerts at Brangwyn Hall. More recently the Festival has broadened its scope: the first two weeks of October sees a series of concerts (orchestral, choral and recitals) interspersed with events at venues and locations across Swansea including opera, drama, contemporary dance and ballet, lectures, visual art exhibitions and installations.

The significance and distinctiveness of Swansea Festival is confirmed by visits from major British and foreign orchestras and artists – the only such performances in south Wales outside Cardiff. Combining international standards with a focus on outstanding Welsh artists and innovative work, the Festival is vital to the cultural calendar of south west Wales. In 2015, the event was rebranded as the Swansea International Festival, reflecting the event’s scope and ambition.