THE Autumn in Malvern Festival celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, with the loyalty of an enthusiastic core audience and a group of generous sponsors ensuring its continuation since 1989.

This year's principal concert is to be given by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in the new University of Worcester Arena. Conductor Rory Macdonald and the soloist in Elgar’s Cello Concerto, Jamie Walton, are two of the most promising new generation of British musicians. (The programme also includes Overture, The Wasps by Ralph Vaughan Williams, Elgar’s Elegy for Strings and Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8 in G major.)

The Fine Arts Brass Ensemble perform in the Great Hall of Malvern College, and the festival will mark the centenary of the beginning of The Great War with a commemorative strand of events. The Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, will be reading her own poems in a sequence of music and literature with Bartosz Woroch, violin, and Sam Armstrong, piano, who perform works by Elgar including the 1918 Violin Sonata.

Malvern’s distinguished chamber choir, Aldwyn Voices present a programme in Malvern Priory featuring Siegfried Sassoon’s connection with Malvern with choral music by Byrd, Tomkins, Parry, Elgar and Walton. The Son String Quartet, first prize winners at the Royal College of Music play Elgar’s String Quartet dating from 1918.

There are talks on Siegfried Sassoon and the Dymock Poets, who met between the Malverns and May Hill prior to WW1, by the eminent biographer Jean Moorcroft Wilson and Linda Hart. The festival runs from Wednesday, September 10 to Sunday, October 26. For full festival details, including talks and walks, street music, dancing and five exhibitions, visit Central box office: 01684 892277; to book for BBC National Orchestra of Wales, visit or call 0844 8889991.