Changes to previously advertised venues

There are exciting developments underway as Ludlow Assembly Rooms commences a £2 million project to transform the building.* As such, it means that the Song Weekend will have to make a few changes to the previously advertised schedule. All the concerts, events, artists and programme remain the same but there will be some changes of venue. We are lucky to have the magnificent St Laurrence’s Church as the backdrop for all of our concerts and audiences will be delighted to know that new seating is being installed. No more hard pews! The Assembly Rooms will still be able to provide spaces for our film, talks and meals. Full details of the changes are on the What’s On page. BBC Radio 3 will be with us for the weekend to record four of the concerts for future broadcast and Ian Skelly will present them live from the stage. We hope you will bear with us as we support the Assembly Rooms through this period of major change and can guarantee a wonderful weekend of music and discussion. We look forward to seeing you in Ludlow.

*The project will see the Assembly Rooms grow and take over the ground floor of the iconic 19th Century building. It will welcome audiences and visitors alike from its new entrance on Castle Square, at the heart of the town. A new lift and other features will make the building more accessible to all. The ground floor will house a new Visitor Information and Box Office facility as well as a café/restaurant. The project will completely overhaul the heating, air conditioning and other services to increase the building’s environmental sustainability and the comfort for its audiences.

Iain Burnside

Iain Burnside
Artistic Director
Ludlow English Song Weekend

Welcome to the Ludlow English Song Weekend, one of Britain’s most idyllic musical celebrations.

This year we look to the future. Thanks to a unique collaboration with English National Opera and their Harewood Artists Programme we welcome seven outstanding young singers to Ludlow. You will hear them across the Weekend, both in much loved songs and in bracingly new music. Together they represent
the future of English song, and boast an extraordinary array of talent. Violinist Michael Foyle and guitarist Sean Shibe add instrumental charisma, and Bath Camerata bring a distinctively fresh choral programme. Our major commission goes to Alex Woolf, only last year a member of our Young Composers Workshop. While that workshop continues apace with Eleanor Alberga, Susan Bullock puts the RNCM’s finest through their masterclass paces, Tony Palmer introduces his RVW film and Katy Hamilton leads spirited discussions. We are delighted to welcome back BBC Radio 3, who will broadcast most of the concerts and present them live on stage. With such riches in prospect, we hope you’ll join us.

Read more About Us

Ludlow English Song Weekend Launch Concert in London

We are delighted to announce a launch / fundraising event on Thursday 21st March at the beautiful London home of Bob and Elisabeth Boas – to whom we are most grateful.

LESW Artistic Director, Iain Burnside will be joined by Susan Bickley and two of ENO’s Harewood Artists, William Morgan and Alex Otterburn together with violinist Michael Foyle and guitarist Sean Shibe. The concert will be introduced by BBC Radio 3 presenter Ian Skelly.

The beguiling programme includes songs and instrumental works by English composers. The artists will be available to chat after the concert over drinks and canapés.

Read more

The Ludlow English Song Weekend is a unique music festival in one of the UK’s loveliest places.

About Us

The Ludlow English Song Weekend is the place to hear superlative performances of English songs.

What's On


Some of Britain’s finest singers of English classical song will be performing for the weekend.


Details for how to get in touch with us at the Ludlow English Song Weekend can be found here.

Contact Us

Imagine a weekend in beautiful historic Ludlow, immersed in the endlessly fascinating and beguiling world of English poetry and song, where songs centuries old and songs freshly composed are performed, investigated, discussed, and keenly listened to. It's a rare and complete joy.

Sir John Tomlinson

Latest News

Fringe Event with Patrick Gale

Saturday 6th April

Acclaimed writer, Patrick Gale, is joining one of our discussion panels so we’re very happy to announce a fringe event in collaboration with the Castle Bookshop. Patrick will be speaking about his latest novel Take Nothing With You: a book with music at its core.

“A compelling story of how a passion for music can be a gateway for self-discovery.” Jonathan Dove, Composer

Saturday 6th April 4.00pm
The Sitting Room above the Blue Boar pub, Mill Street, SY8 1BB

Tickets are £5 and only available from the Castle Bookshop. The price of a ticket can be offset by the purchase of a book. Patrick will also be signing books afterwards.

Castle Bookshop, 5 Castle Street, Ludlow, SY8 1AS
01584 872 562

As this is a fringe event in conjunction with the Castle Bookshop it isn’t included in the Weekend Saver Ticket.

Panelists announced

We are delighted to announce our line-up of panelists joining Katy Hamilton for the discussions.

Saturday 6th April 10.00am
Tony Palmer – writer and film director
Alex Woolf – composer
Edward Rushton – composer
Benjamin Goodson – chorus master and conductor

Saturday 6th April 5.00pm
SELLING SONG: the industry and its challenges

Fiona Maddocks – writer and critic
Dr Clare Taylor – Managing Director City Music Foundation
Paul Baxter – Founder Delphian Records
David Jackson – Artistic Director Cardiff Singer of the World

Sunday 7th April 12.00pm
IS THE PRETTY MAID STILL MILKING HER COW: changing perceptions of British music

Andrew Burn – honorary secretary Finzi Trust
Patrick Gale – author
Ceri Owen – pianist, academic and writer
Edward Rushton – composer

Iain Burnside forthcoming concerts

Monday 28 January 7.30pm
Wigmore Hall

Russian Song series

Sofia Fomina soprano, Oleksiy Palchykov tenor, Rodion Pogossov baritone, Iain Burnside piano.
Glinka, Shostakovich, Prokofiev and more.

Friday 15 February 6.00pm
Milton Court

Songs at Six : Swansong

Schubert’s 14 Schwanengesang songs are presented alongside monologues that cast fresh light on this masterly collection. A collaboration between Guildhall actors, singers and pianists.

Sunday 17 February 3.00pm
Forum Theatre, Malvern

Schubert Schwanengesang  D. 957

Roderick Williams baritone and Ian Burnside piano.

Monday 18 February 7.30pm
Wigmore Hall

Ailish Tynan soprano, Benjamin Appl baritone and Iain Burnside piano.

The gala concert of this year’s Wigmore Hall Learning festival, Sense of Home, exploring a multi-themed selection of songs.

Friday 1 March 7.30pm
Wigmore Hall

Russian Song Series

Sofia Mchedishvili soprano, Andrey Zhilikhovsky baritone and Iain Burnside piano.

A diverse programme of Russian songs and arias.

Sean Shibe new recording

His second outing on Delphian is an “uncompromisingly monumental” (The Scotsman) programme of radical contrasts that showcases virtuosity at both extremes.

softLOUD looks ambitiously forward, with a mix of electric and acoustic, early and modern, whose contradictions and challenges speak to our own times.