Leominster’s first Early Music Festival Weekend takes place between Friday, March 15 and Sunday, March 17.

The weekend opens at the Lion Ballroom, off Broad Street, at 7.30pm on the first evening with the exquisite beauty of the music of great Renaissance composers including John Dowland, William Byrd and Orlando Gibbons with the highly acclaimed father and son duo Simon Ponsford (countertenor) and David Ponsford (virginals). Then, on the Saturday, there is a series of three events at the Lion Ballroom beginning at 11am with a lively presentation of Baroque music and dance based on the extraordinary life of King’s Cartographer John Ogilby in the 17th century. The performers include the superb Baroque dancers Mary Collins (pictured) and Anne Deller with leading Baroque instrumentalists from the London Handel Players. This is followed on the Saturday afternoon at 3pm by a talk from Alan Crumpler on the research, reconstruction and playing of medieval instruments.

The Saturday evening concert at 7.30pm provides a chance to experience sheer beauty and artistry with the music and poetry of Francesco Landini, a leading poet-musician of his day, in a programme telling stories of love, life and death in 14th century Florence with the remarkable soprano and viol player VivaBiancaLuna Biffi from Milan and the outstanding viol player David Hatcher. The final event of the Festival Weekend on the Sunday evening at 7.30pm is a concert by Border Voices in Leominster Priory singing 16th century choral music with the celebrated soprano Evelyn Tubb and the Linarol Consort of Viols. This is a free entry event with retiring collection. Tickets for the concerts at the Lion Ballroom are £12 (£6 students) with a discounted ticket available at £30 (£15 students) to include all three events. Tickets for the Saturday afternoon talk are £6. All tickets can be purchased from Leominster Tourist Information Centre at 11 Corn Square on 01568 616460.