This year will see Llandeilo present its 15th annual Festival of Music, July 11-19.

It will also be the year in which the 70th anniversary of the ending of the Second World War in Europe will be observed.

This is an anniversary which has already been marked by various events throughout Britain, including a special service of commemoration in Westminster Abbey, attended by H.M. the Queen.

Llandeilo will not of course be graced by the royal presence in this way, but the town will nevertheless be remembering the anniversary in its own very special fashion, thanks to the concert which will launch this year’s week-long Festival.

When one thinks of what turned out to be one of the most terrible wars in the history of mankind the cruel fate of a young German-Jewish girl comes to many people’s minds.

Anne Frank and her family spent two years hiding from the Nazis in their house in Amsterdam (a city to which they had fled from Frankfurt in Germany) before being captured and incarcerated first in the Auschwitz and then the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where she died.

During that time, as everyone knows, she kept a daily diary which has since become legendary. Nothing could have encapsulated the fear of a race facing persecution, and even extermination, in the way that this young girl’s diary did.

Amongst the many touched by this tragic story was the English composer, James Whitbourn, and he has composed a moving work which charts these events.

Annelies (Anne’s full name) is a setting of a libretto by Melanie Challenger based on Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl and it will receive its very first performance in Wales in the opening concert of this year’s Festival, with the singers and instrumentalists of Armonico Consort, under their distinguished young conductor, Christopher Monks, and with Welsh soprano, Elin Manahan Thomas.

Prior to the actual performance there will be an introductory talk by Welsh author, Heini Gruffudd, whose maternal grandmother, Käthe, died in the Ravensbrück concentration camp, and whose mother, Kate Bosse-Griffiths, fled the brutal regime of the Nazis to become one of Wales’s leading academic and literary figures.

His book, Yr Erlid, (later translated into English under the title A Haven from Hitler) won the Welsh book of the Year prize in 2013.

Festival Director, Julia Jones, is justifiably thrilled that the Festival has achieved what is undoubtedly a major artistic coup, and that the Festival is able to make such a significant contribution to the anniversary.

Other artists to appear in this year’s Festival will include cellist Steven Isserlis, baritone Roderick Williams, violinist Madeleine Mitchell, and the Carducci String Quartet.

For further information please visit the Festival website

Brochures and tickets can be obtained from Peppercorn (01558 822410) Secretary (01269 594303) Ticket Hotline 01267231557 Nick Wall Jewellers (01558 822237) National Trust Shop (01558 822325) Morgans Newsagents, Llangadog, (01550 777697) or by phoning the Box Office 07527 596601.