TWO major events herald the opening of this year's Autumn in Malvern Festival.

Once again the festival has engaged artists of international repute with a return visit by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, conducted by Kazuki Yamanda, to the University of Worcester Arena.

The Sunday afternoon concert, on Sunday, October 1, has been designed especially for families and includes Benjamin Britten's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra.

The brilliant violinist, Hyeyoon Park, is the soloist in Bruch's Violin Concerto No 1, which will be followed after the interval by Dvorak's New World Symphony, one of the most popular and tuneful works in the classical music repertoire.

The distinguished composer, Alec Roth, has written a new work for the festival, a setting of poems by Edward Thomas, one of the Dymock poets, who was killed in 1917.

The work will be premiered in Great Malvern Priory on Sunday, September 24.

The performers are the Sacconi String Quartet, the renowned tenor, Mark Padmore, and guitarist, Morgan Szymanski.

Andrew West, the piano accompanist, joins Mark Padmore in A Young Man's Exhortation by Gerald Finzi and in On Wenlock Edge by Ralph Vaughan Williams with the Sacconi Quartet.

The festival marks National Poetry Day with Voices of 1919, featuring 20 contemporary poets reading their verses based on the recollections of villagers at the end of the First World War.

And Aldwyn Voices will present a programme of choral works entitled Music Inspired by Poetry, including a performance of The Lark Ascending by Vaughan Williams, with Fenella Humphreys on violin and Nicola Elmar on piano.

Full details of all the festival's events are on the website at