The Roman River Festival is a vibrant, diverse & community-led performing arts festival. Taking place 28 September – 2 October 2022, the festival once agin features international quality performers in informal, public & unexpected locations in Colchester and rural Essex.

Here’s the line-up of what’s and where.

Ben Goldscheider, Callum Smart & Richard Uttley
Wednesday 28 September, Starts 8pm, doors 7pm. Wivenhoe Church

Award winning young horn player, Ben Goldscheider, performs a Trio programme including Brahms Horn Trio, Op. 40, joined by violinist Callum Smart and pianist Richard Uttley. All three are previous Festival Young Artists; Ben is now a Barbican ECHO Rising Star, and was a BBC Young Musician Finalist in 2016.

The Marian Consort
Thursday 29 September. Starts 8pm, doors 7pm. Coggeshall Church

The superb vocal ensemble Marian Consort returns to Coggeshall Church with its wonderful acoustics and warm atmosphere. Music by Thomas Tallis, Nathaniel Giles, William Byrd, Clemens non Papa and Robert Parsons.

Martin James Bartlett piano recital
Friday 30th September, 8pm, doors 7pm. Coggeshall Church

Solo piano recital from the young pianist with a swiftly developing reputation. He won the following encomium from The Times: ‘Bartlett’s ability to think long-term, rather than give in to immediate excitement, is probably his most impressive trait. No. 2 on his score card may be his unaffected delicacy of touch, colour and tone’. A BBC Young Musician of the Year win in 2014 was followed by his BBC Proms debut in 2015: further major debuts are lined up.

Mahler’s Song of the Earth with Marta Fontanals-Simmons, Xavier Hetherington & the Wild Arts Ensemble
Saturday 1st October, 6pm, doors 5pm. Coggeshall Church

The centrepiece of the festival, Mahler’s great and much-loved symphony The Song of the Earth, with Soprano Marta Fontanals-Simmons, tenor Xavier Hetherington, and the Wild Arts Ensemble – the new name for the exceptional players of the festival orchestra – conducted by our Artistic Director Orlando Jopling and led by Clio Gould

Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony/Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen with the Wild Arts Ensemble
Sunday 2 October, 6pm – doors 5pm. Coggeshall Church

Beethoven’s beautiful and dramatic Pastoral Symphony is paired with a new suite of the most intoxicatingly beautiful music from Janacek’s wonderful opera The Cunning Little Vixen, a festival commission from the talented Iain Farrington. Orlando conducts the Wild Arts Ensemble, the new name for the festival orchestra featuring fifteen talented musicians.

Tickets for each show can be purchased online at