Welcome to the 2011 Lincoln and Lincolnshire International Chamber Music Festival. Philosopher, poet, promoter, painter, pianist extraordinaire, peerless performer and frequent guest of the podium: Franz Liszt was one of music’s most colourful characters. Were mankind fortunate enough to know the secret of everlasting life, then 2011 would see him celebrating his 200th birthday, and I have no doubt he’d still be playing the socks off us all. Arguably history’s greatest musical showman, Liszt has provided inspiration for this year’s Festival as we focus on composers who excelled during their lifetimes as performers. As a special homage to the birthday boy, we dedicate a whole day to the piano, the climax of which is a partial recreation of a programme he gave in his 1840 tour of the UK at one of the venues in which he played - an event not be missed! Once again we are privileged to have BBC Radio 3 in attendance. They will record four of our concerts for future broadcast, further recognition of the outstanding quality of musicianship on display at LICMF. We have amassed a truly exceptional roster of international artists for the 2011 Festival and I am continually humbled and honoured that so many wonderful performers are eager to fit us into their busy schedules. The success of the 2010 Festival allows us to plan for the future with confidence and ambition. As always, everyone at LICMF thanks you, our audience, for your generosity and support. I sincerely hope you will find our 2011 programme attractive, informative and entertaining. With such an exciting line-up of music and musicians, I’m certain we are in for a fabulous time: let the fun begin!