THE opening weekend of Maldon Festival has been hailed a huge triumph by organisers.

The new organ was the star of the show as international recitalist Daniel Moult gave the opening recital to a capacity audience at St Mary's Church.

He described the organ as "thrilling".

There had been fears the organ builders would not be able to enter the country to complete the project but the work was finished just in time.

The dedication of the organ featured the world premiere of the Mass of St Mary composed by Gabriel Jackson.

Saturday night’s audience was treated to a wonderful programme of music from Broadway to the West End, given by Michael Dore and Jacqueline Barron.

There were two lunchtime recitals and the weekend closed with a wonderful concert for violin and piano, given by Krassimira Jeliazkova and Elizabeth Mucha.

Festival spokesman Colin Baldy said: "St Mary’s Church is particularly well-suited to chamber music and the violin soared in the warm acoustic.

"It was wonderful to be able to listen to live music-making again after such a long absence.

Maldon and Burnham Standard:

  • Mike Dore performs

"Audience and performers alike declared themselves overjoyed to be able to participate in the Maldon Festival again.

"Five concerts in two days was a pretty good way to kick things off."

This coming weekend features silent Charlie Chaplin movie City Lights on Friday, an opera gala on Saturday, two free lunchtime recitals and a special choral evensong.

The three festival art exhibitions run throughout the whole period. Full details can be found at