Southwell Music Festival
At the launch of Southwell Music Festival, from left, Marcus Farnsworth, Amy Harman, James Chung and Jamie's Campbell in Southwell Minster.

A packed concert launched this year's Southwell Music Festival.

The concert was held at Southwell Minster where the Dean of Southwell, the Ven Nicola Sullivan, welcomed the audience.

It featured performances by leading musicians associated with the festival.

Amy Harman performed her favourite piece of music written for bassoon - Saint-Saƫns Bassoon Sonata.

Marcus Farnsworth, the event's artistic director, sang a selection of songs and associate artistic director Jamie Campbell performed Mozart's Violin Sonata piece.

Mr Farnsworth said: "Amy is a new star on the orchestral scene and it is a complete thrill to present her to our festival audience."

He also praised the festival's friends, volunteers and the community for their support and dedication.

During the evening the line-up for this year's festival, which is now in its fourth year, was announced.

It will take place from August 24 to 28.

The festival will have a strong French theme with a whole programme of chamber music.

The centrepiece for the five-day programme will be an all-Mozart concert featuring multi-award-winning pianist James Baillieu.

There will be a Great Mass performance by the critically-acclaimed soprano Sophie Bevan, and mezzo soprano Rachel Kelly, as the soloists.

Exciting performers

Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who was named BBC Young Musician of the Year 2016, will be returning to the festival for a recital accompanied by James Baillieu.

Mr Farnsworth said: "I am delighted that once again we have been able to attract some of the most exciting performers from across the UK and Europe.

"Members of this remarkable ensemble take part in all the main concerts and give the festival its special character.

"The skill and enthusiasm of these talented colleagues are a key reason for the festival's growing reputation."

Mr Farnsworth added: "We have a packed and varied festival programme, with several repeated concerts, so it is still possible for the most dedicated music lover to hear every note.

"We are keen that the Festival should be accessible to all so of the 28 events we have made half free of charge."

The minster's quire will host the string players of the festival ensemble who will give a concert including Vaughan Williams' Variations on a Theme of Thomas Tallis with soprano Alison Rose.

There will be a late-night performance of Poulenc's choral tour de force Figure Humaine, and a family concert of Babar the little Elephant, as well as an organ recital by Matthew Martin.

The contemplative atmosphere of the minster late at night will provide the setting for the festival's first concert of baroque music, a rare performance of Buxtehude's masterpiece Membra Jesu Nostri.

The festival has been acknowledged by UK classical music critic, Hugh Canning in The Sunday Times.

Last month it was also mentioned in The Sunday Times' guide, Top 20 Places to Live in the UK.