A POPULAR classical music festival returns to Herefordshire this summer after a two-year absence due to Covid.

Hellensmusic has been running since 2013 at Hellens Manor in Much Marcle, near Ledbury.

The event’s aims to create opportunities for world-class musicians to collaborate outside the concert circuit and explore new ideas.

It also provides a platform for talented music students to learn from leading experts and to bring great music to Herefordshire.

Hellensmusic has a strong focus on music education and training for the young.

During a week of intense musical work, students have the chance to learn from renowned professionals from some of the best orchestras and ensembles in the world.

The festival will open on Wednesday May 11, with founder and patron Christian Blackshaw, performing works from Haydn, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky.

Festival chairman Adam Munthe said: "Our ninth Hellensmusic brings a post-pandemic renaissance, but our essence remains the same.

"Our soloists, great international artists, and exciting new talents working, learning, and teaching together with an exceptional bunch of students from the academies and conservatoires across many borders."