A photo of Valentin Schiedermair at the piano It is with great sorrow that The Watford Festival learnt of the passing of Valentin Schiedermair.

Each year, Valentin organised the Watford International Piano Competition in memory of Christopher Duke, which forms part of the Festival.

A London based German pianist, Valentin made his first radio recording aged 16 and his concert career took him all over the world. He was a frequent guest at international festivals and gave live and recorded recitals for radio. He also taught the piano, composed and taught composition.

Committee members have received condolences from members of the public who have commented on Valentin’s kindness, his patience and support as a teacher, and they have also said what a gentleman he was.

The Festival Committee sends their sincere condolences to Valentin’s family.