Musical youth and pianist entertain

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INTERNATIONAL pianist Murray McLachlan will be back by popular demand at the second Northumberland Music Festival.

He will perform at Guyzance Hall, along with students from the acclaimed Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester. The piano concerts were one of the most popular events of last year’s festival, while the talented students are among the best young performers in the country.

The first half of the concert will feature three outstanding Chetham’s students, followed by McLachlan.

And in addition to the recital, there will be workshops.

Festival organiser Barbara Huddart said: “The students of Chetham’s are the best young musicians virtually in the north and the festival is privileged to be able to offer them a chance to perform. They were amazing last year and they and their inspirational teacher Murray McLachlan were one of the performers we wanted to see back this autumn.”

The festival was launched last year by Robert Parker, who owns Doxford Hall, Eshott Hall and Guyzance Hall, and events are spread across the three venues. The programme includes classical, opera and traditional music and the festival helps to raise funds for three charities – HospiceCare North Northumberland, Macmillan Cancer Support and Action Medical Research.

Mr Parker said: “At the end of last year, the reputation of the festival was already building. The audiences were enthusiastic and proved that the music we had chosen was both popular and exciting.

“I have a love of all music and I love to hear it performed in the places it was composed for.

“The piano was a key part of the social lives of those who live in big country houses and is more at home there than in the concert hall. Much of the Chet’s programme was designed to be heard where we are presenting it.”

The piano recital will take place at Guyzance on Tuesday, November 13.

Elsewhere for the festival, which runs from November 9 to 18, Eshott will play host to Opera North and Liquid Architecture, Doxford will present The Reg Vardy Brass Band and Northumbrian Ranters, and Guyzance will also host Andrew and Margaret Watchorn and Janet Bennett. Much Loved Productions will present Gilbert and Sullivan at Guyzance and Doxford.

For tickets, visit www.nmfestival.com or call 01668 283100.