I had a great time mentoring the selected composers for the Young Composer Showcase at the 2018 Ludlow English Song Weekend. This year the 3 chosen composers had the opportunity to write songs especially for the weekend and each came up with something completely different. We spent a great couple of hours working with wonderfully talented singers and a pianist from RWCMD. Through this session and the public workshop that followed it, the songs flourished. We were able to try different things and rehearse, and it was clear that we had three distinct musical personalities on show. The songs were performed later in the weekend and enjoyed an excellent reception.

Helen Grime – Young Composer Platform Mentor 2018

The Young Composers Platform at Ludlow was a fantastic opportunity to have my piece rehearsed and performed to a phenomenal standard, under the expert mentorship of Helen Grime. It was wonderful to have so much time and space to develop my song with the musicians, often in front of the seasoned concert-goers of Ludlow, who offered fascinating insight into the music themselves. To be immersed in so much great music for the whole weekend was a real privilege, and very inspiring for my future work!

Alex Woolf – Young Composer Platform 2018

It was an absolute privilege and honour to represent the RWCMD at the Ludlow Song Festival. Having never visited Ludlow before, I was overwhelmed by the idyllic town and kind nature of the locals. The opportunity to perform the premieres of works by Alex Woolf and Lara Agar was an experience I’ll cherish for a long time, and it was great to participate in an interactive workshop with the composers to improve the nature of the performance. Without a doubt the highlight of the weekend was taking part in the masterclass with Ann Murray. I consider myself very lucky to have met her and worked on Finzi repertoire with her, and her words and advice have certainly helped me perform the pieces with greater clarity.

Huw Evans – tenor Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama

I must tell you that the Ludlow Weekend surpassed all my expectations – the friendly atmosphere, the standard of the performances, the varied programme and the marvellous setting. To experience Iain Burnside’s impeccable piano playing every day and to be able to talk to him at breakfast, to walk around St. Laurence’s and Ludlow Castle in between, to feel proud and honoured by the Irish dimension – what wasn’t there to enjoy!

Ita Beausang Ludlow 2018

If the artistic direction of an organisation is in the hands of people (in the case of this festival Iain Burnside) whose sole criterion in selecting music is that they believe it is good and that other people will also enjoy listening to it, and do not make the common and lamentable mistake of believing that if music of the past does not have a regular place in the repertoire it must be of poor quality, the size of audiences may well be as good as in Ludlow.

Ian Carmalt Ludlow 2018