Hellensmusic returns to Much Marcle with a five-day programme running from Wednesday, May 1 to Sunday, May 5, the seventh edition of the event, which features world-class performers from UK and Europe.

Already famous for being a 1,000-year-old manor house, with its resident ghost and beautiful gardens, nowadays Hellens is also gaining in renown as a centre for music-making of the highest quality.

The seventh Hellensmusic festival promises to be the most eclectic to date, with a programme devised by artistic directors, pianist Christian Blackshaw and viola player Máté Szücs (formerly principal viola with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra).

Highlights of the 2019 festival are celebrity performances by singers from two different musical traditions, both appearing for the first time at Hellensmusic.

In a one-off collaboration, Kurdish singer-songwriter Hani Mojtahedi performs a selection of emotionally charged Melodies from the Middle East with members of Hellensmusic’s regular resident artists (Wednesday 1 May), and two days later, mezzo-soprano Alice Coote, with pianist and Hellensmusic co-artistic director Christian Blackshaw, performs Songs of Life, Loss and Love. Her programme of Haydn, Tchaikovsky and Schubert concludes with Mahler’s Rückert Lieder (Friday 3 May).

At the core of the festival is a programme of Romantic chamber music and song, performed by Hellensmusic’s regular resident artists. Works include piano quintets by Brahms and Fauré; piano trios by Lili Boulanger; Weber’s clarinet quintet; music by Schubert and Robert Schumann, and the version for clarinet trio of Stravinsky’s Histoire du Soldat.

Hellensmusic’s resident musicians, who include current and former principal players with German and Scottish orchestras as well as international soloists, both perform and give masterclasses at the festival.

Hellensmusic’s commitment to promoting an appreciation of music in the younger generations is emphasised by having the festival beginning and ending with public performances by students.

The opening concert, on Wednesday, May 1, features pupils from Much Marcle Primary School singing at the brand new showcase, Hellens For All Times, and the week concludes on Sunday 5 May with a day of public performances by students on the masterclass programme alongside or under the guidance of tutors. Students (aged 17-26) accepted on to the programme spend a week at Hellens receiving solo and chamber music tuition, as well as improvisation sessions, with the festival’s resident artists.

Adam Munthe, festival chairman, says: “Inspirational education remains at the heart of what we do, and we’re proud to have 13 talented students from the best colleges in Britain and abroad. They will be working with the pros during the festival, then playing with them at the closing concerts to underline the importance of a shared, non-hierarchical approach to music-making and learning. For me, that’s a Hellensmusic highlight.”

Festival events take place in the 16th century tythe barn at Hellens Manor, or in the nearby village of Much Marcle at the church of St Bartholomews and the Walwyn Arms, where resident musicians present an informal evening of folk music, film music, pop songs and musicals.

Festival goers are invited to observe the masterclasses and enjoy the beautiful grounds, with views over the Malvern Hills, before taking in a concert. Picnic boxes and pre-concert suppers are available.

Tickets are available from www.hellensmusic.com/programme