A RUSSIAN concert marks the final chance to see Thomas Payne conduct The Ludlow Orchestra.

Continuing his work as ballet conductor with The Royal Ballet, on the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House, he is described as ‘a prolific and dynamic conductor across many genres’.

After six years together, in which time Tom has significantly developed and strengthened the orchestra, he will be greatly missed.

Kikimora opens the concert, evoking the wicked wife of the Russian house-spirit or domavoi and demonstrating Liadov’s characteristic orchestral colour and fondness for fantasy. Anatoly Liadov (1855 – 1914) was notorious for his inability to knuckle down to work. One story tells of his commission by Diaghilev to compose the music for his new ballet, The Firebird.

On enquiring as to progress, Liadov assured Diaghilev he “had bought the manuscript paper”. The commission was handed over to the young, unknown composer Igor Stravinsky!

This is one of a number of summer concerts at the church.

The concert is at St Laurence’s Church, Ludlow – on Saturday, May 25 at 7.30p.m. - tickets £12 (under 19s free), from Ludlow Assembly Rooms Box Office or at the door.