Shropshire Star

TV's Alistair McGowan lines up a galaxy of stars for Ludlow's first ever piano festival

A galaxy of stars is set to appear at a brand new festival in Ludlow this year, it has been announced.

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Alistair McGowan

Ludlow resident, pianist and TV celebrity Alistair McGowan has been revealed as the brains behind Ludlow Piano Festival, which will be taking place in the town from May 24 to 28 this year.

Mr McGowan, the event's joint artistic director and chair, said: "Ludlow has three perfect venues with excellent pianos all within 100 metres of each other. So, we hope that people will come from near and far to see and hear as many of our three-events-a-day for as many days as possible."

The festival will showcase four full days of piano concerts and events at three venues.

The festival will begin with a celebrity concert – hosted by Robert (‘Judge’) Rinder – featuring actors, presenters and comedians each playing a solo piece, or two, on the wonderful Steinway in the cathedral-like St Laurence’s Church.

It is a chance to see Ed Balls, Jo Brand and Wynne Evans, as known as Mr Go Compare, as you’ve never seen them before.

The festival will also feature discussions, hosted by BBC Proms presenter, Katie Derham and BBC Radio 3’s Ian Skelly and masterclasses for invited students and for brave amateurs with professional recital pianists.

The organisers add a disclaimer that the artist line-up is subject to final confirmation.

The pianists due to appear are Lucy Parham, Charles Owen, Anne Lovett, Viv McLean, Paul Roberts, Anthony Hewitt, Benjamin Frith, Christina McMaster, Joanna McGregor and James Lisney.

They will be playing a mixture of pieces by Chopin, Gershwin, Grieg, Rachmaninov, Debussy, Mompou, Liszt, Scriabin, Satie, and Ravel (as well as original work) all with an emphasis on beauty and romance.

And, comedian, musician and conductor, Rainer Hersch will be performing his hilarious and heart-warming tribute to his idol, Victor Borge.

For more information visit the website: