Markson Pianos Logo

David Nelson; Pianist and Artistic Director of Hebden Bridge Piano Festival

Published: 17 July 2013
Noah Markson

Tony Cornwall 2[1]


Our first festival took place this year in April and it was fantastic. Financially we did far better than we thought we would and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. We were trying out a brand new venue in the town which was taking a pretty major risk, but it came off well in the end. We hired in three pianos including an upright on a frame that we could move around. When it was outside some incredible pianists performed on it ad hoc; it was so loud that it could be heard across the valley, across the town and up the hill. The tickets sales went through the roof after that!

I come from both a “posh” and “community” music background so I wanted to do things in this festival for everyone. We organised events for kids, for young families, had jazz, blues, world music, boogie-woogie in the bar and fantastic classical concerts in the two halls- pretty much wall-to-wall music from Friday night to Sunday night. Next year, in addition to the kind of events we programmed for the 2013 festival, we’ll be having masterclasses given by some of our principal artists.

I was the Musical Director of the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival for sixteen years, and ran a Piano Weekend as part of that – a festival within a festival. When the Arts Festival truncated from a fortnight to a week it would have been impossible to carry on the Piano Weekend within it. So, we found the venue and sponsorship to branch out on our own.

We live in an amazing town where, including all the people on the hills, there’s only around 8,000 of us living here. We have a blues festival, an acoustic music festival, a burlesque festival, the main arts festival – and there’s many venues as well. This town is full of artists – just this weekend we had a studio show featuring 80 studios of working artists in town – that’s an extraordinary number of studios! So there’s a lot of active artists who are willing to come to our festival but also there’s a can-do, we-can-make-this-happen attitude around this town, because we all know each other. There’s a really good sense of community here.

The 2014 Hebden Bridge Piano Festival will take place between Friday 11th and Sunday 13th April and will feature such internationally renowned pianists as Kathryn Stott, Charles Owen, Paul Roberts, Noriko Ogawa and Zoe Rahman.

More information at
To contact the festival:
To contact Dave:

London's famous piano store, founded in 1910, is a fourth-generation family business. We specialise in the sale and hire of new and pre-owned acoustic and digital, upright and grand pianos.

We aim to offer good value for money, expert advice and unparalleled after sales service through the essential ingredients of a superb selection of pianos for sale and hire.

Markson Pianos Ltd.
Company Registration No: 1735450
UK Company VAT : GB505 8898 09

7-8 Chester Ct, Albany Street, London NW1 4BU
020 7935 8682
Copyright 2022 Markson Pianos Ltd.