Thursday, August 14
An Evening with Benjamin Luxon and Bert Biscoe
A CELEBRATION OF CORNISH POETRY, STORY AND SONG
Internationally esteemed Cornish baritone Benjamin Luxon will share memories of growing up in
Cornwall and his successful operatic career. Ben, one of Cornwall’s most famous sons, will be joined
by Bert Biscoe, poet, songwriter, historian, raconteur and politician in celebrating our rich heritage and
ancestry. Bert, a Cabinet Member of Cornwall Council, Truro, for 17 years is well know for his Cornish
advocacy and dedication to passing on Cornish tradition as well as working as one half of a duo with
Cornish poet, Pol Hodge, and touring Old Cornwall Societies, Women’s Institutes, Festivals, schools,
fields and hilltops to perform in verse and song.
Ben Luxon was born and raised in Redruth and by 1961 had an established reputation as a singer. Over
a 30-year career Ben sang with most of the world’s major symphony orchestras in many of the leading
opera houses of the world. He was appointed a CBE in 1986.
In addition to his opera works, Ben Luxon developed a reputation as a concert-giver and recitalist with an
unusually broad repertoire ranging from early music to contemporary song, music hall and folk music.
Loss of hearing ended his operatic career, but a live-changing cochlear implant has allowed him to
develop a second career. In 2012 Ben returned to Cornwall to work in an adaptation of the novel TIN
for the stage. Ben played Charles East, the mine’s beleaguered owner, in this colorful story which
Miracle Theatre and the English Touring Opera presented at the World Heritage Sites in Cornwall.
Many attendees will recognize Bert Biscoe from his appearances at our Cornish Gatherings in Ely, MN
and Bowmansville, ON, and Dewhelans, the Homecomings to Cornwall, in 2002, 2004 and 2008.
Ben’s Bardic name, Caner Canow, means Singer of Songs; Bert is Vyager gans Geryow, Travels with
Friday, August 15
MILWAUKEE FESTIVAL BRASS CONCERT
“IMPRESSIONS OF CORNWALL”
The importance of village brass bands to Cornish communities cannot be overestimated and continues
today as in years past to be an important part of life in Cornwall. In the great tradition of Cornish brass
bands, the Milwaukee Festival Brass under the direction of Music Director Mark will present a concert
especially designed to celebrate that tradition for our Gathering.
In a general session Friday afternoon, Mark Taylor will provide an overview of the history and
development of brass bands in the UK with particular emphasis on early Cornish bands and their
successes. Works by Cornish composers and arrangers will also be featured, concluding with a preview
of musical selections to be performed by the Milwaukee Festival Brass in concert.