Iain Burnside

Iain Burnside
Artistic Director
Ludlow English Song Weekend

Ludlow English Song Weekend will return in April 2021.

We are now in detailed planning to bring you a live music festival 9-10 April 2021 in Ludlow.  Please see our newsletter detailing our proposal below (click the button to open in easy to read format) for more detailed background information on how we propose to do this.

Full proposal for 2021

Audience Survey

As with all festivals/events, we are entering uncharted territory and we need to adapt how we do things.  To help us do this and gauge demand, please take a maximum of five minutes to answer five multi choice questions in this survey.... thank you

Audience survey

You will understand that the cancellation of our 2020 Festival has a severe impact on our finances (ticket sales account for 90% of our annual income).  If you are able to donate to us, however small your contribution, it will help us weather the current storm and allow us to continue providing the Weekends in future - a donate button to our charity JustGiving page is below.   Thank you.

JustGiving - donate online

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

Observer review of the Ludlow English Song Weekend 2019

by Fiona Maddocks

Vaughan Williams was well represented at the Ludlow English song weekend, together with some two dozen other composers past and present, from Michael Tippett, Rebecca Clarke and Elizabeth Maconchy to, working today, Eleanor Alberga, Edward Rushton and Alex Woolf. The enormous parish church of St Laurence, nicknamed “the cathedral of the Marches”, resounded to three days of concerts. Each presented a wealth of English poetry set to music, not least by AE Housman, whose ashes (continuing this week’s burial theme) are in the church. One concert, When Smoke Stood Up from Ludlow, consisted of different settings from his A Shropshire Lad by a dozen different composers, including Gerald Finzi, whose music first inspired the founding of a festival.

In a new partnership with English National Opera, the talented lineup of singers – Rowan Pierce, David Ireland, Soraya Mafi, William Morgan, Alex Otterburn, Elgan Llŷr Thomas – were all Harewood Artists, some juggling commitment to ENO’s current Jack the Ripper.

The excellent Bath Camerata, conducted by Benjamin Goodson, whose appointment as chief conductor of the Netherlands Radio Choir was announced last week, performed a rewarding programme of choral works (by Will Todd, Huw Watkins, Roderick Williams), culminating in Jonathan Dove’s exuberant settings of poems on nature, transience and renewal, The Passing of the Year.

In an unusual departure, Scotland’s Sean Shibe, in his mid-20s and already one of the world’s top classical guitarists, showed the beauty of combining voices and solo guitar. If you doubt that there’s a current resurgence of song in the UK, just look around: this Ludlow festival, like Leeds Lieder later this month and, in the autumn, Oxford Lieder, each run by creative pianists-programmers, goes from strength to strength. It’s even said we lead Europe in this renaissance. Listen out for concerts from Ludlow, coming soon on Radio 3.

Ludlow English Song Weekend ★★★★

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