SOME of the country’s finest young classical and jazz musicians are heading to the Ribble Valley for the Ribchester Music Festival.

Artists from the prestigious Royal Academy of Music in London and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester will perform at the event’s 22nd year.

Previous events have seen international stars such as Dame Evelyn Glennie, Julian Lloyd Webber and Humphrey Lyttleton heading to Ribchester. But this year the focus is on youth and ‘stars of the future’.

Festival chairman Tim Rainford said: “We are delighted to be showcasing a line up of high quality, young, talented artists with extremely promising professional careers. We really want to help unearth tomorrow’s stars today”.

The festival is one of the highlights of the classical music and jazz season, and runs from Saturday until Sunday, June 15 , featuring choral performances, string ensembles, piano recitals, guitar music, late night jazz and even street theatre.

The award-winning artists have already performed at venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, the Barbican and Wigmore Hall, as well as featuring in the BBC Proms and on Radio 3, and they will now be performing at St Wilfrid’s Church, Ribchester, St Saviour’s at Stydd and at Ribchester Village Hall.

Lovers of strings will enjoy the Zelkova Quartet, performing Beethoven, Bartok and Brahms. The violin, cello and piano ensemble, the Novak Trio, will be performing Prokofiev, Stravinsky and Shostakovitch and audiences will relish a piano recital by Ugnius Pauliukonis, a 23-year-old pianist from Lithuania, who has won prizes in numerous national and international piano competitions and has performed recitals all over the world.

Several of the young musicians will, in their performances, remember the centenary of the outbreak of World War One. Both the Encompass Trio and the Sam Rapley Jazz Quintet at the late night jazz concerts, will play classics from the time.

The festival’s iconic event, the Saturday lunchtime ‘Bagels and Bubbly’ concert held in the intimate medieval church St Saviour’s features the violin and piano duo of Kirsty Lovie and Thomas Ang, performing pieces by Beethoven, Dvorak and Britten.

Lovers of choral music will savour two high quality choirs from the North West. Stonyhurst College’s Schola Cantorum, is performing a selection of sacred and seasonal works, while the wonderful Manchester Chamber Choir under the direction of Darius Battiwalla, will be singing at the Festival Eucharist on Sunday morning.

The Festival Fringe street theatre is a ‘promenade’ entitled ‘A Walk with Miss Potter’.

In this family event, performed by members of Ribchester Amateur Theatrical Society, audiences will be guided through popular locations in the village, accompanied by Beatrix Potter, meeting a host of well known and quirky characters on the way.

n Tickets from the Ribchester Festival Box Office on 01254 878881 or in person from Whalley Wine Shop or the Ribchester Arms. For details visit www.