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The Leicester International Music Festival is coming to an end after another successful year.

Celebrating its 26th year, 2014’s festival is being held at New Walk Museum and Art Gallery. It began on Wednesday the 17th of September and ends tonight.

Artistic Director, Nicholas Daniel said: “I look forward to the attentiveness and intensity of the audience here whenever I come to the Festival.

“We attract real music lovers to the concerts and our demographic in age and location is actually huge.

“It’s also a huge treat to be together with musicians I love in one place for a whole week, we rehearsed here in Leicester for 3 days prior to the first concert which was such a happy time with many great curries and wine”

The festival offers free tickets for young people at each of the events.

“We are blessed to work with an organization called Cavatina who support this initiative of free tickets for anyone up to the age of 25.

“I think it’s a very clever and generous scheme as they give us money for each ticket sold, I have no problem with any age of concert goer, but attracting young people is an obvious priority for obvious reasons, including building future audiences.

“It’s for everyone, Music is our right and our heritage. Some people say it’s not their bag but I bet you they’ve never been to one of our concerts with the sheer vitality, brilliance and energy of our star performers giving everything close up on stage” added Mr Daniel.

This year the programme is entitled ‘Dvorak and the bohemians’ focusing on the music of the area which is now known as the Czech Republic.

Mr Daniel said: “Czech Music, rather like British Music, has a beautiful singing quality, also the language and singing voices are lyrical and beguiling to the ear, and they have a huge heritage of composers that they celebrate in a way that Britain should learn from.

“It’s not just Prague and it’s not just Dvorak, it’s a rich vein to choose music from, as I discovered, It was painful to leave out some pieces because of time constraints.”

Oboist Nicholas Daniel has been artistic director of the festival since 2003, taking over from the event’s founder, Viola player Graham Oppenheimer.

Mr Daniel said: “I am always very loyal to artists I love and we have had many of the same musicians for many years, but I decided it was time for a few changes.

“Audiences expect fresh challenges and love a bit of variety so we expanded to add more winds this year and some new faces, it’s worked really well spending the whole rehearsal period here in Leicester, artists who don’t know the City have loved it.”

The festival is run by a group of volunteers who all encourage everyone and anyone to get involved with music.

“We have no dress code, not even for the performers, and you can hear some of the greatest musicians in the world up close and live. There is nothing quite like it.” Concluded Mr Daniel.

For more information on the festival, visit www.musicfestival.co.uk