Ashwell’s international French horn maestro Ben Goldscheider will be back in North Herts to help Hitchin Chamber Orchestra launch its 2018 concert series.

Twenty-year-old Ben, who went to Baldock’s Knights Templar School, now studies at the Barenboim-Said Academy in Berlin – and last month released his first album, Debut.

He will be performing at St Mary’s Church in Hitchin on Saturday, March 17, alongside Australian tenor Andrew Sutherland and the Hitchin Chamber Orchestra.

Ben, who was one of three BBC Young Musician finalists in 2016, has since enjoyed a meteoric rise to prominence in the classical music world.

At St Mary’s, he will perform Georg Philipp Telemann’s Horn Concerto in D. He will then join Andrew and the orchestra for Benjamin Britten’s Serenade, with its settings of poems by Blake, Tennyson and Keats.

The orchestra, directed by London-based conductor David Murphy and led by Hitchin violinist Nick Evans-Pughe, will perform music from William Walton’s Henry V film score, a concerto by Handel, and two delightful waltzes by Dvorak.

The orchestra’s Ros Woodin said: “Apart from the obvious pride with which the Hitchin Chamber Orchestra presents this occasion, it also compels its members once again to step up to the plate in terms of its own excellence.

“The orchestra is well used to engaging its audience with fresh and exciting programmes, but it is expected that this one will be a ‘where you there?’ event for the local music-loving public.”

Ben has been playing the French horn since he was nine, when he took up the instrument after being diagnosed with the lung condition bronchiectasis.

Speaking to this paper about his album Debut, he said: “The idea behind the disk is it takes you on a journey. It’s meant to be representative of my own journey in my career so far.

“Up until now, because of my success with the BBC, my career has started taking off and I’ve started to go international, so it’s quite an important mark in terms of my career. I’m really excited.”

Tickets cost £12 each, £6 for concessions in advance from Eventbrite, Hitchin Intiative or On the door, tickets will cost £14 each, or £7 for concessions.