ONE of the biggest events on the festival calendar has returned in full force this year.

Ulverston International Music Festival has delighted audience members on its first two days of performances at the Coro Hall.

After missing out last year, Anthony Hewitt, artistic director of the festival, was excited to play before an eager audience once again.

Mr Hewitt dedicated Tuesday night’s performance to his beloved late mother Trudi Hewitt, who was absent for the first time in 17 years.

He said: “It’s great to be back doing what we do best - playing to a live audience.

“As artists, over the last 18 months, we did our best to embrace technology so that we could carry on performing to people around the world.

“However nothing can replace the nervous energy when performing live.

“The audience plays a huge part in creating an atmosphere that sharpens the musician’s focus and helps to create a unique experience.

“There is no 'download for later’ function. The festival and live music is about here and now where the artist must give their best performance.

“I created the festival to bring the world’s best musicians to our beautiful part of the world to play to an appreciative audience.

“I also wanted to inspire the young to play an instrument. Nothing gives me greater pleasure to see new young local talent perform to a global stage.

“People like saxophonist Jess Gillam and singer Jess Dandy.

“The festival opened with chamber music, a genre always at the heart of the festival and carrying on the classical vibe.

“We welcome talented young stars of the piano, cello and the guitar, as well as the return of contralto Jess Dandy, fresh from her debut appearance as a soloist in this year’s BBC First Night of the Proms.”

The festival is taking a musical tour of Broadway and West End musicals before celebrating the centenary of Astor Piazzolla – the man who revolutionised tango – with a screening of a documentary followed by a musical tribute to the composer, complete with dancers.

Jazz lovers will welcome the return of the highly celebrated piano genius Gwilym Simcock with his trio partners.

Ending the festival is the critically acclaimed and multi award-winning duo Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita.

Ulverston International Music Festival is running until Saturday. Tickets for adults are £5 to 25 (plus booking fee) and are available from and

Tickets will now also be made available ‘on the door’ from 30 minutes before each performance.