Whittington’s seventh Chamber Music Festival runs from 21-26 May and this year features some of the glorious music we associate with the name of Dvořák, the composer of the ever-popular New World Symphony. The programme also includes chamber works by five of his Bohemian (Czech) compatriots, and their various tuneful creations all have a joy which is rooted in the folk music of Central Europe.

Set in Whittington’s village church opposite one of Shropshire’s most scenic castles, the six concerts rank as good as any to be found in the big cities, and tickets at £15 are half the price. Not surprisingly most of the audience come from less than 20 miles away to take advantage of the world-class artists the festival attracts from all over Europe. But nationwide publicity succeeds too in drawing music lovers to our beautiful borderlands from as far as London and Scotland.

Eleven musicians from France, Germany, and the UK will soon be arriving in Oswestry to stay for 10 days, rehearsing and performing, and offering workshops in the community and schools. The time they spend together working and enjoying our surroundings finds expression in their extraordinary performances; people never forget the unique rapport they build with the audience.

Every year 10 lucky young people from the area get the chance to play their musical instrument with the professionals for 10 minutes in one of the concerts. Inspired by the experience, some of them have already gone on to music college. For all others aged between eight and 25, tickets are free, so there’s a real chance of some inspiration there too.

Tickets can be bought online or at Rowanthorn, Old Chapel Court. All details of the festival can be found on the website. www.whittingtonmusicfestival.org.uk

2018’s Ensemble for Fantasia on a British theme