Nicola Benedetti, former young musician of the year and solo violinist, the iconic Penguin Café and celebrated folk musician Kathryn Tickell, are making appearance’s in this years Chester Summer Music Festival, before their performances in 2010 BBC Proms.

“If you want to watch some of the UK’s most talented musicians, in beautiful settings, then these are the concerts for you,” said Tracy Lynn, director of Chester Festivals.

Nicola is one of the UK’s most innovative and creative young violinists and has performed with almost all of the UK and Ireland’s major symphony orchestras. She is now dipping her toe in the international scene, having just toured in Canada and Istanbul.

Born in Scotland with Italian heritage, Nicola recently released her fourth album to critical acclaim and will be a guest star on the Cbeebies new music show Zingzillas.

Coupled with her debut performance at this year’s proms, Nicola will soon become a household name.

During the Chester Summer Music Festival – the centrepiece of Chestival 2010 – Nicola will be performing in a unique concert at Chester Cathedral on Friday, July 9.

She will be joined by the European Chamber Orchestra and ex-poet laureate Andrew Motion in a exceptional festival concert, playing Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons and Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence.

During the performance, Andrew will be reading poems inspired by Vivaldi’s famous piece of music and Nicola will be the violin soloist.

The Penguin Café’s music is catchy and will already be known to many, due to its use on many TV adverts and movie scores.

Originally dreamt up and fronted by Simon Jeffes, until his death in 1997, the group’s music has reappeared on the scene to critical acclaim, thanks to Jeffes’s son Arthur, who has added new pieces to their repertoire.

The concert in Chester will take place on Friday, July 2 in the newly decorated Town Hall Assembly Rooms. It is already proving popular, so if you want to see this amazing group before their performance at the Proms, book early.

Kathryn Tickell, a celebrated folk musician who recently toured with Sting as a soloist, is also performing at both the Proms and Chester Summer Music Festival.

The concert on Tuesday, July 6, in Chester, will feature members of her band to provide an evening that will have the audience captivated by their skill and musicianship – again proving a hot ticket, so book early.

Andrew Cornall, artistic director of Chester Music Festival, said: “Chester Summer Music Festival is the place to be seen in 2010 for national and international artists and the fact that 13 of our musicians will play at the BBC Proms this year is testament to that fact.

“However, the beauty of our music festival is the intimate settings and the ‘up close and personal’ atmosphere they provide, along with the opportunity for the audience to meet many of these international artists.”

The festival runs for two weeks from June 30 to July 14 and features 12 evening concerts, seven lunchtime concerts, two vocal coaching sessions and one Big Sing.

This year the festival will be the finale to Chester’s newest festival, Chestival, sponsored by Bank of America.

For all the festival concerts and ticket information, visit, where you can view the whole programme and book tickets or call 0845 241 7868.