The Ludlow English Song Weekend

The Ludlow English Song Weekend was postponed from April to 29/30 October 2021.  We want to keep it live, no Zooming or streaming!

So we pushed it back by six months to allow the situation to continue to improve and hopefully allow even more of you to come along.  Steve has got out his measuring tape, his slide rule and his graph paper and is confident we can all be safe, hygienic and comfortable in the wide open spaces of St Laurence’s Church.  We will continue to plan for a socially distanced layout in the Cathedral of the Marches, cheering on live performances.

We’ve had to plan the festival with some restrictions still in mind.  The compromise we propose is to shorten the Weekend, running it from Friday afternoon to Saturday teatime. That way, if you’re coming for the whole experience you can choose whether to get home that night or stay on for the whole weekend. It also enables us to make the numbers work. (Yes, Steve got out his calculator as well.) We have had to add a little to ticket prices, but are trying our damnedest to keep them within reason.

And what performers we have for you. Roddy Williams kicks us off in style, with the wonderful mezzo Kathryn Rudge, pride of Liverpool and first time Ludlow visitor, rounding us off. Natalya Romaniw was recently crowned RPS Singer of the Year and is the UK’s hottest vocal property. Any prizes left over by Natalya have been hoovered up by Benson Wilson, New Zealand born Samoan baritone. I’m so excited to hear his burnished tones in English repertoire. Rhian Samuel joins us as composer in residence, guiding an intriguing group of young composers. Katy Hamilton will lead a discussion with fiercely intelligent guests. There is no masterclass this year, so our first concert on Saturday afternoon showcases not only those young composers but also a group of wonderful emerging singers from the RCM. To them are entrusted our premieres: Rhian’s The Moon and I and Fallen, a new cycle by Philip Lancaster, to specially written poems by John Greening. Fallen ties together various LESW strands, and is cast for the unusual combination of tenor and unaccompanied violin. Michael Foyle is our luxury casting violinist. Finally let me mention Gamal Khamis, joining me on the piano stool, as it were, as recipient of the first ever Finzi Fellowship.

We thank the Finzi Trust for their wonderful generosity in endowing this award, as we thank our other sponsors and supporters – most named, some anonymous. Without them, we could not survive. We’re asking you too to help us through such a difficult year. Please buy tickets, please join us and let your applause raise this spectacularly beautiful roof. We are champing at the bit to welcome you to Ludlow.

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