Announcement of Summer festival dates!! 13th – 16th July 2022

A very Happy New Year to all our friends!

2021 certainly continued to throw covid curve balls at arts organisations, and as you know our plans for resuming our concerts were thwarted. But 2022 brings better prospects. Our latest meeting last week was to finalise our line-up and to discuss programming possibilities, with the dates being 13th – 16th July 2022. All performers are booked, Yamaha are once again providing wonderful support for our festival with one of their stunning CFX concert grands for our use, the theatre is ready…

Watch your email inboxes for full details very soon. All information will also be published on the website – just as soon as we have full programme details.

We invited back all the performers whose booked concerts for us in the last two years had to be postponed – most are available but unfortunately not all of them have been able to make the dates work in 2022. However we will continue to offer opportunities for them to play and for you to hear them perform in any future festivals we may be able to run.

Tickets will remain pegged at 2019 prices. Our continuation is totally dependent on healthy ticket sales, with no ACE grant money and no sponsorship beyond the very generous support of some of our Friends and Supporters, for which we are extremely grateful (you know who you are, as do we and without you we wouldn’t be looking at programming a festival at all this year so THANK YOU!). If you are interested in supporting us through one of our “Friends” packages, or if your regular annual subscription for 2022 is due, please have a look on our website here where you can easily sign up from as little as £30.

So we will end with a note of optimism. Come July 13th 2022 it will be 3 whole years since we have come together to enjoy the incomparable experience of listening in the Westholme Theatre to world-class renowned musicians performing at our friendly and welcoming festival. I don’t know about you, but I simply can’t wait!! Roll on, RVIPW 2022!

Announcement – postponement of July 2021 RVIPW events

Newsletter May 2021

Hello again from all of us on the RVIPW committee.

We have just received the most unwelcome news – that our hard-worked-for Arts Council England funding bid has been rejected.

Prior to this blow, two weeks ago we had word from Westholme Theatre that they were cancelling our booking for July 2021 due to building works at the school – all public hires are cancelled with immediate effect for the rest of the year. That in itself was not entirely insurmountable and we had spent a frantic fortnight finding an alternative venue, which we had just about managed to do.

Then at the end of last week came the news that our ACE funding bid had been rejected. Our ambition to bring recordings of our concerts, recorded live with an audience, to Care homes, Health Workers and our supporters who may be unable to attend in person free of charge was not considered eligible for a grant.

Given the uncertainty surrounding audiences returning and social distancing requirements still being in place and the unknown factor of how many would buy tickets for a different venue we were really depending on this ACE funding to ensure that we didn’t make a huge loss this year, so the rejection of that application was the final blow – in order to be sure of having enough funds of our own left at all, we have no choice but to postpone until 2022. This is a massive blow as we had been so hopeful of being one of the first festivals to be up-and-running this summer and had put in such a lot of hard work to make it happen if we could – sadly, in the end, it just wasn’t viable.

However – undaunted we will start planning for the next festival, 13th – 16th July 2022 – by which time we will hopefully be back at the usual venue. All performers who we had booked (Benjamin Grosvenor, Steven Osborne, Lauren Zhang, The Martin Roscoe Trio, Scott Brothers and students) have already been re-invited.As we have little to offer this year we are holding Friends and Supporter’s details and will ask for your support next year, but for this year we won’t be asking for your subscriptions.

However, on the bright side we do hope you are looking forward to Martin Roscoe’s free livestreamed concert on 23rd May at 6pm, in association with our friends at Ulverston Music Festival! Click on the link here  to join in. It will only be available on that date and time – there will be no recording – so it’s as near as possible to an actual live performance.

Unfortunately this will be the only event we are able to hold in 2021, so please do tune in and enjoy meeting with us for this one occasion – and if you feel able to, please consider donating on our website – here – to support this concert and to help secure our return in 2022 – when we look forward to welcoming you back in person.

Christmas 2020 Newsletter

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Dear Friends and supporters,
Well, I’m sure you will all agree that 2020 is a year best left behind us and our fervent hope is that this newsletter finds you all well. You will be pleased to hear that the RVIPW committee are all fine – becoming accustomed to the obligatory “Zoom” meetings which we have all had to utilise rather than meeting in person, though we all agree that we miss Helen Longworth’s flapjacks..!
With the arts and culture being one the hardest hit sectors to say it has been challenging for us and for so many of our colleagues and RVIPW performers is something of an understatement. But looking on the bright side, the Winter Solstice is now behind us so we are beyond the shortest day. Spring is just around the corner, bulbs are pushing their way out of the darkness into light and so must we. The herculean efforts of scientists and medics around the world has given us – in an amazingly short timeframe – a vaccine to fight this terrible pandemic so there really is an end in sight. I will personally be first in line as soon as I am offered the opportunity of what promises to be a way to return to normality and I expect many of you will already have had your first inoculations if you are eligible. There’s a cause for celebration if ever I heard one!

Although all our efforts to bring live music to RVIPW in 2020 were thwarted, we are beginning to feel optimistic that by July we will be in a position to welcome you all once again to join us in what promises to be one of our most hotly anticipated festivals yet – the dates 14-17th July 2021 are writ LARGE in all our diaries and please be assured we are doing everything we possibly can to make that happen. Many of the cancelled performers from 2020 are already booked in and we have some additional musicians in prospect which we are very excited about. Watch this space… we literally can’t wait to welcome you back.

The feeling is generally that April or May 2021 is possibly too soon to be gathering in a venue for the launch concert, although we will watch the unfolding situation extremely closely and are investigating ideas to try and bring you something before the main festival in July.

In amongst the gloom of recent months there have been some glints of light and some unexpected benefits – one of which is the availability of so much online music and some truly ingenious and creative performances. Some of our personal favourites, for various reasons, are listed below and to get you all into true festive spirit I hope you enjoy browsing through our suggestions!

Wishing you all a peaceful Christmas and a healthy and safe (dare we hope for “normal”?) New Year.

Chair, Ribble Valley International Piano Week

 RVIPW’s Festive Favourites!

First, a special message from Scott Brothers Duo, who we will be welcoming back in 2021 following their postponed 2020 appearance…“We ho-ho-hope you can join us this Christmas Eve (Thursday 24th December 2020, 7pm UK Time) for our very festive HO-HO-HOME CONCERT!!! We perform some wonderful Christmas music with brand new keyboard arrangements! There will be a World Premiere of Tom’s animation to accompany Tchaikovsky’s Miniature Overture from The Nutcracker Suite! + Expect a few Seasonal Surprises & Stories here and there!”

Next, Recorded live at St John’s Smith Square Friday 4th December 2020, Jess Dandy contralto and Martin Roscoe piano present ‘Let the Earth Open’, a sequence of song for Advent. From darkness into light at its most effervescent, join Jess Dandy and Martin Roscoe as they plot the most beguiling of Advent calendars. Includes songs by Britten, Warlock, Wolf, Rodrigo, Ravel & Poulenc.

This one is not piano related but very, very Christmassy! A full Christmas concert from The Halle Orchestra – Filmed in Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall and conducted by Hallé Pops Maestro Stephen Bell, this magnificent performance includes contributions from the entire Hallé Orchestra, its family of Choirs and special guest readers. These include Lemn Sissay reading his poem Let There Be Peace, and singer songwriter (and long-time friend of the Hallé) Guy Garvey giving his narration of The Night Before Christmas!

Next, just in case you missed it, is a performance given by Tasmin Little and Martin Roscoe back in October for Manchester Chamber Concert Society. Once again we would like to thank those of you who helped us to send Tasmin a retirement present from us – she asked us to pass on her personal thanks now that she has stepped back from the concert platform for ever.

Finally, the most heartwarming musical story we’ve seen this year, featuring the BBC Philharmonic. This short clip from BBC Breakfast tells how the orchestra transformed dementia sufferer Paul Harvey’s improvised tune on four notes on the piano to a fully orchestrated version – a story to warm the cockles of your heart!

August 2018 Newsletter – from Chairman Marianne Bailey

Now there has been time to draw breath following the intense activity required during RVIPW itself I wanted to send a heartfelt “thank you” to all of you who came to concerts, and to those of you who sent messages of support and appreciation. Plus of course to the committee themselves who worked so hard – sometimes battling against unpredictable circumstances – to keep everything running smoothly.

Once again it was striking how much pleasure this occasion gives to so many people, but it is clear that we cannot continue and thrive on ticket sales alone – so a huge thank you to all who support us in an extra capacity by becoming “friends and supporters” – your contribution REALLY makes a difference.  If you are one of those who can’t imagine a summer without “piano week”, please consider signing up for one of these packages –  .  It was lovely to meet some of you at the Supporters Reception – I wish I could have spent longer chatting to you all but the piano required attention!
On with next year’s planning – many of you will have seen in the programme that our dates for 2019 will be Thurs 11th – Sun 14th July. For the first time in my  experience with RVIPW we will be including an orchestral concert! In a joint production with Blackburn Symphony Orchestra, on Sat 13th July 2019 Martin Roscoe will perform Rhapsody In Blue, the concert starts at 7.30pm, so put that date in your diary now! Watch this space for further information as it becomes available – we have our next planning meeting at the end of September so I will compile another newsletter soon after then.
Enjoy the rest of the summer and we look forward to seeing you next year!
Warmest wishes,
Marianne Bailey
Chairman RVIPW

June 2018 Newsletter


Pianist Magazine have featured us both in their guide to the best too 10 festivals this summer, and in an article for their online news – here

And – here


May 2018 Newsletter


With just two weeks to go until Martin Roscoe launches this summer’s RVIPW on May 9th, excitement is building…

Martin played two sell-out concerts in Lancaster recently – Brahms 1st Piano Concerto with the Haffner orchestra at Lancaster University, (the biggest audience they’ve ever had apparently) and then a solo recital at Lancaster Royal Grammar School last week. There were numerous comments from delighted audience members praising everything from the exquisite sensitivity to the awesome power and over-arching  musicianship of his playing. This will come as no surprise to our regulars!

These attributes will be on display for us on May 9th when Martin plays us a delightful programme centred on the theme of dances, so don’t miss out. Of course in addition to a wonderful evening of music we will also be revealing details of the main festival, 18-21st July. Plus you will have the opportunity of choosing which culinary delights you might enjoy from The Mill Outside, who will be providing interval refreshments too. Buy your tickets online in advance to save queuing at the door on the night.

If you can’t bear to wait until 9th May to find out all the details don’t forget that one of the advantages of joining our Friends and Supporters scheme is that you will be sent the festival brochure a week ahead of the Launch concert (on May 2nd). We now have a whole range of packages starting from just £30 so have a look at – it’s easy to sign up for these packages on our website using PayPal and there are a whole host of benefits – not least that you will be helping to secure our future.

We look forward to seeing you at 7.30pm at The Croston Theatre, Westholme School, Mein’s Rd Blackburn, BB2 6QU


July 2017 Newsletter

We are in the final run-up to #RVIPW30 now with just a week to go until our first concert on 19th July – a thrilling musical dialogue between violinist of international acclaim Tasmin Little and Martin Roscoe. The festival opens at 1830 with their pre-concert talk.

Everything is in place now for the week with innovative and imaginative ideas enhancing the usual incomparable selection of concerts on offer over the four days of the festival.

We are excited to welcome Rimmers Music from Blackburn to RVIPW – they are very kindly supporting us with supply of a wonderful Yamaha CFX concert grand from their sister store in Bolton, but will also be bringing some musical gifts and accessories for you to browse through in the foyer AND will be running a fantastic free prize draw – a £30 voucher to be spent in-store. You can enter the draw during the week and the lucky winner will be announced during the interval on Saturday night. (more…)