Ashwell French horn soloist Ben Goldscheider is to return home from his overseas studies this month to help celebrate the village’s 1,100th anniversary.

International performer Ben, 19, will play at St Mary’s Church on Friday, September 15, alongside violinist Callum Smart – like Ben, a past BBC Young Musician finalist – and virtuoso pianist Richard Uttley.

Knights Templar School old boy Ben told this paper that he was hugely proud to be playing such a prominent part in Ashwell’s 11th centenary celebrations, with a programme of Beethoven, Schumann and Brahms.

He said: “For me, playing this concert is a great honour. Although I have been active for a very small portion of those 1,100 years of Ashwell, its community, school and opportunity have played such a huge role in my upbringing – for which I am very grateful.

“It’s always such a pleasure to come home and to share my passion with the people of Ashwell – and I always love to play at St Mary’s because of the personal history I have with the church and its connection with the primary school.

“Music has always been a huge part of life at the church. I personally have performed there on the cello and horn, sang, and even conducted!

“Callum and Richard are both artists of international standing. It shows how strong Ashwell’s musical tradition is that am able to get these musicians to come and play with me here.

“What I’d say to the general public is that this programme of music we have for you is really wonderful. Beethoven, Schumann and Brahms were three of the most important German composers of the 19th century and we are playing some of their masterpieces.

“In terms of horn repertoire, it’s a programme I have wanted to do for a very long time and something I feel everyone will love. Please do come along – I plan to stay and chat to as many people as would like to.”

This concert is part of a year-long schedule of events to mark 1,100 years since Ashwell was founded under the Anglo-Saxon king Edward the Elder in 917.

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.

Since leaving school in Baldock last year, he has studied at Berlin’s Barenboim-Said Academy. He is also set to play at the 2018 Ashwell Music Festival.

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