Thaxted Parish Church welcomed BBC Young Musician of the Year Jordan Ashman at the launch of the 2023 Thaxted Festival.

The launch event was held on Sunday, March 5, and featured the young percussionist from Milton in Cambridge.

A rapt audience listened to Jordan playing a range of percussion instruments, including the marimba. He played a range of music by mostly living composers - such as Eric Sammut and Cameron Sinclair.

Jordan won BBC Young Musician of the Year 2022 with his performance of Jennifer Higdon's Percussion Concerto, which was broadcast on BBC Four and BBC Radio 3, accompanied by the BBC Philharmonic at Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.

He is currently principle percussionist with the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain, where he has been awarded the percussion prize for the past three years.

Zeb Soanes of Classic FM, who is a patron of the festival, introduced the event, and details of the upcoming programme were announced by artistic director Andrew Jenkins.

This was the inaugural event of the festival's developing artists programme, which provides a platform for professional musicians and composers at the earlier stages of their careers - both within the festival's summer season and throughout the year.

The festival has also been awarded a grant from Essex County Council's Arts and Culture Fund.

Thaxted Festival 2023 will take place at the parish church from June 16 to July 9.


Originating with Gustav Holst's 1916 Whitsun Festival in Thaxted Church, the festival attracts both British and international musicians, in genres ranging from orchestral and chamber music to jazz, folk, big band and swing, from early music to contemporary styles.

A statement from the organisers said: "Thaxted Festival offers a relaxed atmosphere, the highest standards of performance from renowned professional artists, the superb natural acoustics of Thaxted Church, and a warm welcome in beautiful historic surroundings.

"Whether you are attending a single performance, making a weekend of it or packing in the entire season, we guarantee you a timeless musical experience!"

General booking for the festival opens on April 11. For more details of events go to