ONE of the big attractions of this year's Ulverston International Music Festival promises to be the plethora of piano players.

Among the stand out performers is terrific teenage sensation Lauren Zhang, who wowed the piano world and beyond with her dazzling, winning performance of Prokofiev's second piano concerto at the 2018 BBC Young Musician of the Year. Sixteen year old Lauren appears as part of UIMF tomorrow at the Coronation Hall (7.30pm), no doubt once again displaying her remarkable technical mastery.

Another good reason to pop along to the festival is to see the man himself at the keys, Anthony Hewitt, UIMF artistic director and world class pianist. Anthony returns to his hometown to share the Coronation Hall stage on Sunday (7.30pm) with top UK ensemble, the Royal Northern Sinfonia.

Anthony - whose on stage several times during the 10-day gathering - has put together one of the best festival line ups since he started it way back in 2004: "I've put together a programme that aims to appeal to classical music newcomers as well as longtime fans. If you like the soothing sounds of the piano, then this is your year."

As for the string players gracing the festival, prizewinning violinist Benjamin Baker performs two concerts at Swarthmoor Hall on June 10/11, plus he's one of the star turns playing in the Anthony and Friends chamber music night at the Coro on Wednesday, June 12 (7.30pm). Another must-see strings performance is a solo recital at the Coro courtesy of high profile guitarist Craig Ogden on Saturday (June 8).

Also in the festival spotlight is Barrow's rising singing star, contralto Jess Dandy, who teams up with one of the UK's leading pianists, Martin Roscoe, for a lunchtime recital at the Coronation Hall on Friday, June 14 (1pm). Their performance introduces SongPath, an initiative Jess co-founded with mezzo-soprano, Joanna Harries, to promote walking and music making in the context of mental health, by exploring the routes and roots of the local landscape. SongPath is on Sunday, June 16, starting at 10am from Bardsea.

Meanwhile, the music begins tonight at the Coro with the fabulous sounds of the London Tango Quintet at 7.30pm.

Box office 01229-587140.