A WORLD-renowned Japanese pianist will kick off a range of classical concerts at this year’s Harwich Festival.

The festival, running from Thursday, June 20, to Sunday, June 30, will see a host of ticketed and free classical events at St Nicholas Church.

Noriko Ogawa begins the programme with the free Jamie’s Concert at 11am on Friday June 21.

The performance is designed for those who are not normally able to go to concerts, such as the parents of children with autism and severe disability.

Noriko, who made her BBC Proms debut in 2013 and is a regular judge of the BBC’s Young Musician Of The Year competition, returns to St Nicholas’ in the evening.

On Saturday, June 22, at 7.30pm the Harwich And Dovercourt Choral Society will present their Best Of British celebration of choral music spanning 800 years, with the Manningtree High School Choir as special guests.

The distinguished Piatti Quartet, prize-winners at the 2015 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet competition, take to the stage at 7.30pm on Wednesday June 26.

Throughout the festival a series of free lunchtime concerts will be held, sponsored by Harwich Town Council, ending with The Harwich Combined School Choir Primary Schools Concert on Friday, June 28.

The classical programme concludes on Sunday, June 30, at 7.30pm with London and Broadway singing star Earl Carpenter presenting A Touch Of The West End.

Daniel Johnson, of the Harwich Festival, said: “We are bringing world class performances to Harwich and I encourage everyone to come along.”

For tickets and information visit harwichfeatival.co.uk.