Posts Categorized: News

Sing with us!

Sing with us! / Canwch gyda ni!

Come and join Lleisiau Llan, a choir of massed Welsh and international voices, singing together for The White Flower; Into the Light. Weds 05 July. 8pm, in the magnificent 4,000 seat Royal Pavilion, Llangollen.

Produced with our friends at NEW Sinfonia and in collaboration with Remembering Srebrenica, The White Flower is a concert of remembrance and hope, featuring NEW Sinfonia, soloists from Bosnia, Wales and Ukraine, with works including extracts from Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man.

For a sign-up form email:

Everyone welcome, all music provided with rehearsals in venues around NE Wales during May and June.

Don’t miss out! / Peidiwch â cholli allan!

Concert tickets £16-£40 available from our website

Review of Motto Usage

Having considered the public response at length, the Board has voted to continue using T. Gwynn Jones’ motto. However, we are committed to a public discussion in the future, to ensure that the Eisteddfod motto is reflective of the world we live in today and the world we want to live in tomorrow.

In discussing our approach to language as an organisation, and developing a new Welsh Language Policy (which we will be sharing soon), we believe it is only right to consider many different voices, and to question how language continues to evolve.

We would like to thank those who have contributed constructively to this meaningful discussion; arguments have been made very powerfully both for keeping the Eisteddfod’s motto, and for commissioning new poetry. To ensure clarity of meaning to our audiences across the globe, the Welsh and English language versions of the motto will appear alongside each other wherever possible.

Our focus now is on delivering an Eisteddfod which will bring together communities from around the world, in a joyful celebration of the power of music and dance to create understanding and harmony.

Review of Motto Usage

Byd gwyn fydd byd a gano. Gwaraidd fydd ei gerddi fo
Blessed is a world that sings. Gentle are its Songs

The words above form the motto of Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod. Written by T. Gwynn Jones in 1946, they were commissioned as a poetic description of our purpose and have beautifully served the organisation for 75 years. They form a significant part of our history and the motto can be seen adorning our artwork, competition trophies and home, the Royal International Pavilion.

We are currently reviewing our entire organisation to ensure that we are meeting the standards expected by the Charities Commission, our public funding bodies and our audiences. Part of this process involves considering who we are now, who we want to be in the future, and how we communicate this. After sharing samples of a new ‘look’ with a number of stakeholders during a feedback process, we received advice from trusted external partners who work regularly in Welsh, that as part of our continued renewal, we should be aware of potential misinterpretation when translating our motto from Welsh into other languages.

Many Welsh speakers would know that in the context of T. Gwynn Jones’ couplet, the words ‘byd gwyn’ mean ‘blessed’, coming from ‘Gwyn eu bid’, the opening words of St. Matthew’s Beatitudes in the Welsh translation of the Bible. However, a literal translation (including those provided by online translation tools and apps) is instead, ‘white world’. We felt that having had this brought to our attention, it was responsible to embark on research and consultation to clarify this issue and consider potential ways forward. This included speaking with numerous Welsh and non-Welsh speakers, Welsh language experts and advisors, both within and outside of our organisation, locally and further afield, and our funders. Their unanimous advice was that the motto is beautiful when read with an understanding of the nuances of the Welsh language, but that for non-Welsh speakers and new generations of audiences and indeed Welsh speakers, the intended meaning is not clear enough.

T. Gwynn Jones’ words have travelled from Llangollen around the world, spreading the Welsh message of peace, and our motto has served us tremendously well for 75 years; we are rightly proud of it in its intended meaning and translation. As Llangollen Eisteddfod continues on an important path of renewal of our purpose in a modern world, the Board has agreed that this presents a rich creative opportunity to consider Welsh as a living and evolving language.

Our current motto and much-loved shield will remain part of the Eisteddfod’s visual identity in 2023, and the Board will spend the next 5 months in consultation with our stakeholders on the best way forward for 2024 and beyond.

In response to this review being picked up by media and individuals on social media, we wish to provide some additional context that we feel has been misunderstood or misrepresented. We want to clearly state that we have not at any point implied any racism. The Eisteddfod is, and has always been, a beacon for togetherness. We also wish to emphasise that we fully understand that the majority of Welsh speakers do not read the words ‘byd gwyn’ within the context of the motto as anything other than ‘blessed’. This is a matter of translation by the method most likely to be used by non-Welsh speaking audiences around the world. And finally, we cannot state enough that we stand by the sentiment of the words as intended by T. Gwynn Jones.

To clarify some of the points in Professor Gruffydd Aled Williams’s letter to the Western Mail on 22 March 2023, we would like to make it clear that the Arts Council of Wales did not advise the Eisteddfod to discontinue the use of our current motto. The advice offered on this subject was in the context of an informal conversation about the consultation on a new brand. They agreed with us that discussing the motto, and the nuances and impact of words and language in an international context, was part of a process of examining a new brand identity. The Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod is independent from the Arts Council of Wales and we are not one of its revenue funded organisations.  We have been successfully awarded with two grants from The Arts Council: ‘Building bridges across the world’ – to support a meeting place at Llangollen 2023 for global performers to experience Welsh festival traditions, and ‘Emerging Voices of Wales’, a new project that explores the multicultural and multilingual nature of modern Wales.

Our small staff team and invaluable group of volunteers will now focus on delivering the exceptional 2023 Eisteddfod that our audiences expect and deserve.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees of Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, 15.03.23 (updated 28.03.23)

Solo Competitions Now Open!

This summer from 04-09 July, we’ll be presenting our first full-length Eisteddfod since the pandemic, with a new improved outdoor site, the annual Parade back, bigger and better than ever, and some exciting new competitions on our closing Sunday.

We are thrilled to announce that our Solo Vocal & Instrumental competitions have opened for applications (closing 24 March), we’ve added new categories including an International Accompanist Prize, and don’t forget that you can still apply for our new Dance competitions and Instrumental Ensemble categories (Young Folk & Community Bands)….

View full details on our dedicated competitors website

2023 Choral applications now OPEN!

After a roof-raising return in 2022, celebrating our historic 75th anniversary, it is a huge pleasure to announce that the 2023 Choral Syllabus is LIVE! Next summer from 04-09 July, we’ll be presenting our first full-length Eisteddfod since the pandemic, with a new improved outdoor site, the annual Parade back, bigger and better than ever, and some exciting new competitions on our closing Sunday.

Some things never change, though, and competitors can rely upon our warm welcome to make them feel right at home. Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod is located in the idyllic mountain town of Llangollen in North East Wales, with our main competitions taking place in the magnificent 4,000 seat Royal International Pavilion.

We are continually working to improve our offering, and so this year we’ve made applying much simpler. We’ve also separated our competitions into syllabuses for choral, dance, soloists and instrumental groups, with choral released first and the others to follow shortly (dates to follow).

We look forward to welcoming performers from around the world to share in the joy of friendly competition!

View the full syllabus and online application form on our dedicated competitors website

Or open the syllabus PDF here: 2023 Choral Syllabus Final

Finalists for tonight

Finalists for Choir of the World, Dance Champions and Pendine International Voice of the Future | Saturday 9th July | 7:30pm

Choir of the World finalists

A2 Youth Choirs – Vocal Ensemble Caloroso, Belgium

A3 Female Choirs – Belcanto, England

A6 Show Choirs – Côr Glanaethwy, Cymru

A1 Mixed Choirs – Côr CF1, Cymru

A5 Open Choirs – New Dublin Voices, Republic of Ireland


Dance Champions finalists

Loughgiel Folk Dancers, Northern Ireland

Kurdish Folk Dance Group, Kurdistan


Pendine International Voice of the Future finalists

Oksana Lepska, Latvia

Emyr Jones, Cymru