THE artistic director of a groundbreaking festival has retired.

Diana Burrell, who has been the artistic director of the Harwich Festival of the Arts since 2011 has called time on her spell in the role which will now be undertaken by acclaimed baritone Roderick Earle.

Mr Earle has been president of the festival for the last three years and Diana feels he will prove a worthy successor.

“I have loved every minute of my time with the festival, it has been a real privilege and joy to be able to do this for the town,” said Diana.

“However I feel strongly the time has come to pass it on to someone else with a fresh vision and new energy.

“There is also the small matter of my own work – I have several commissions to write over the next couple of years including a large-scale orchestral piece for the BBC Symphony Orchestra for a concert in the Barbican Hall in London and I need to spend some serious time on that.

“We have built up a very strong team to run the festival and I know they will support Roderick in all he does.

“He has already got some great plans for next year and I feel totally confident it will all be in very safe hands.”