Ludlow, Shropshire, England

Artistic Director: Iain Burnside

The only festival in the UK of 20th and 21st century English song
Theme of Ireland for 2017
Showcase of contemporary and 20th century Irish composers, poets and writers
Artists include soprano Ailish Tynan and actor Fiona Shaw
Singers, instrumentalists, choral music, film and discussions
Idyllic setting of one of Britain’s most picturesque towns, Ludlow

The Ludlow English Song Weekend takes place in the idyllic setting of the historic market town of Ludlow from Friday 6 to Sunday 8 April 2018. The three-day programme is a stimulating mix of words and music, celebrating 20th and 21st century English song, with recitals, choral music, masterclasses, poetry, talks and discussions.

Artistic Director Iain Burnside says, “ Ludlow is the perfect festival venue. You can walk everywhere, and there’s architectural history on every street corner. Gorgeous views, great food, amazing shopping - what more could you ask for? We pride ourselves on the friendliness of our weekend where new friendships emerge and old ones are refreshed. Many audience members choose our meals deal, so we eat together. and you get your pudding next to the tenor who’s just sung for you! This year Ireland meets English Song, with a mixture of music that’s familiar, off the beaten track and hot off the press. Our marvellous array of vocal and instrumental talent points to a dream Weekend.”

This year’s theme is Ireland and the music it has inspired, including song-settings of words by great Irish writers and poets like James Joyce and Yeats, arrangements of Irish folksongs, and a host of superb Irish performers. Bax, Bridge, Warlock and Moeran feature prominently alongside Irish composers including Ina Boyle and Joan Trimble, contemporary Irish composers Jennifer Walshe, Gerald Barry and Seóirse Bodley, and a new work from Belfast-born Phillip Hammond.

We have a fine line-up of singers: from Ireland are soprano Ailish Tynan, tenor Robin Tritschler, mezzo-soprano Carolyn Dobbin and baritone Gavan Ring and from England, baritone Gareth Brynmor John; we have a masterclass with the great Irish mezzo, Ann Murray and eminent Irish actor Fiona Shaw joins us for a sequence of words and music with singers and instrumentalists.

Instrumentalists in this year’s programme include super-star flautist Adam Walker, virtuoso international oboist Nicholas Daniel and the highly acclaimed Gildas String Quartet, while musicologist, Katy Hamilton chairs the weekends’ talks.


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