THIS year’s four Llanfyllin Festival concerts offer three pieces written in the 18th century, six from the 19th and three from the 20th century, including two magnificent Mendelssohn pieces, two beautiful Beethovens, two hearty Haydns and stunning string pieces from Sibelius, Spohr and Szymanowski.

The festival has held concerts at St Myllin’s Church for more than 40 years with this year’s dates being Saturday, July 27, with music by Haydn, Mendelssohn and Beethoven; Sunday, July 28, featuring quartets by Haydn, Tchaikovsky Szymanowski; Friday, August 2, with Sibelius, Gershwin and Beethoven; and Sunday, August 4, with Mozart, Spohr and Mendelssohn.

The first concert will feature four pieces by Mendelssohn for string quartet composed in the last four years of his life and released posthumously, while Beethoven’s Op 131 is said to have prompted Schubert’s reaction “After this, what is left for us to write”.

The festival started in the 1970s, when Bruno Schrecker, then violist with the Allegri Quartet, bought a holiday home in Llanfyllin, invited fellow musicians to stay, and discovered the superb acoustic and ambience of the church for chamber music.

The line-up of the quartet has changed over the decades, but each new member has enjoyed coming to play in the town.

Now Britain’s oldest chamber group, the quartet have played a key role in the British music scene working with composers such as Benjamin Britten, Michael Tippett and most recently, Alec Roth, resulting in new commissions and recordings. As well as performing in Britain and abroad, the Allegris teach at music colleges around the UK.

For the final August 4 concert the Allegri will be joined by guests from the South Bank Sinfonia.

All concerts start at 7.30pm, with drinks served in the churchyard before the concert and during the interval, weather permitting.

Tickets are £19 per concert or £17 for over 60s, full time students aged 16 - 18 and the unwaged. Accompanied children under 16 are admitted free.

You can buy tickets in advance from the SPAR, Llanfyllin; Greatorex Stores, Llanrhaeadr; Rowanthorn, Oswestry or Welshpool Jewellers; or book online at: