THE driving force of a Northumberland music festival is stepping down after 20 years at the helm.
Artistic Director Paul McCreesh was one of the founders of the Brinkburn Music Festival.
But as the event celebrates its 20th anniversary at Brinkburn Priory this year, he has decided it will be his last and is moving on to the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon.
He said: “Brinkburn Music Festival has been a big part of my life for the past 20 years and I’m very proud that we achieved what we set out to do, which is to bring world-class music to this extraordinary 12th century priory in this quiet, but beautiful corner of Northumberland.
“It is hard to walk away, but I do feel that the time is now right to pass it onto someone who can inject new ideas and passion into it and carry the legacy forward.”
Taking over the role will be Gulliver Ralston, who is Director of Music at the University of Roehampton and Oxford’s University Church.
This year’s festival will acknowledge the centenary of Benjamin Britten and will feature The Carducci Quartet and Northern Sinfonia.
It runs from Friday, July 5 to Sunday, July 7. Tickets are available on 01665 798007 or at www.brinkburnmusic.org