Liszt’s eggs and ham in Hebden

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Hebden Bridge Piano Festival, which starts on Friday April 11, includes a fascinating recital by Paul Roberts in which the pianist and writer performs and talks about some of the best-known piano music by Franz Liszt.

Not many of the greatest composers managed to even visit England - let alone Hebden Bridge. However it is understood that Liszt, then in his early 30s and one of the most celebrated pianists and composers of the 19th century, stopped off in the town for breakfast in The White Lion in December 1840 during a British tour.

A companion on his journey between York and Manchester, John Parry, said, “Arrived in Hebden Bridge - beautiful place in summer. Had comfortable breakfast, though countrified - eggs and ham.”

Liszt’s music was inspired by his travels throughout Europe and the sublime landscapes he saw on his travels. His Petrarch Sonnets were particularly inspired by his travels in Italy and they will form the focus of a lecture recital by Paul Roberts on Saturday, April 12 at 4.15pm as part of the Piano Festival.

Also on the bill at Hebden Bridge Town Hall are Charles Owen, Noriko Ogawa, John Humphreys and Kathryn Stott, whose concert has already sold out. Tickets are available on-line or at Hebden Bridge Town Hall on weekdays between 10am and 4.30pm.