Shropshire Star

English Haydn Festival set to hit a high note for its 30th year

A celebration of the life and work of a classical Austrian composer is taking place in a Shropshire market town and is returning this month for its 30th year.


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Bridgnorth has been playing host to The English Haydn Festival since 1993.

While the town has no direct link with the famed composer, the festival was set up by violinist John Reid in collaboration with Professor Robbins Landon with the intention of providing live performances of classical music to a rural community.

Simon Standage

The event focuses on the work of Joseph Haydn (1732-1809), the popular chamber music composer, along with many of his contemporaries.

Organiser Mike Proudman said the 30th festival will once again feature the English Haydn Orchestra performing on period instruments, led by the virtuoso violinist Simon Standage and conducted by the distinguished director Steven Devine.

Mr Proudman said: “They will performance six of Haydn’s 104 symphonies, together with works by classical period composers, Mozart Schubert, Weber and J C Bach, that will take us on a voyage based on this year’s theme - Homage to Haydn: a Magical Musical Journey.”

However, he added that for the 30th anniversary festival, famed violin soloist Jennifer Pike had been lined up to perform but has had to cancel due to a broken wrist.

He said: “It is difficult news for the festival that Jennifer has had to cancel because she has suffered a wrist fracture. We are however blessed by the fact that the world renowned violinist Simon Standage, who leads the English Haydn Orchestra, will replace Jennifer for the J C Bach concertante at the Friday, June 14 concert.

“We are equally fortunate, at such short notice, with the festival start just two weeks away, that a brilliant young violinist, Agata Daraskaite, has agreed to perform Mozart's violin concerto No. 3 in G, on Saturday, June 15.”

The 2024 English Haydn Festival takes place between June 12 – 15.

For a programme of events and details on tickets visit:

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