THE grand finale of Harrogate Music Festival will be dedicated to the memory of a town historian.

Just hours after Malcolm Neesam's funeral being held on Thursday July 28, The Amici Ensemble, a collaboration of some of the region’s finest classical musicians, will play The Royal Hall, a building close to his heat.

Mr Neesam, who died last month after a battle with cancer, was a longstanding supporter and vice president of Harrogate International Festivals, the arts charity behind Harrogate Music Festival, and for its 50th anniversary in 2016, it commissioned him to write a book about its history.

The result was the book, Music Over The Waters, which charted the story of music in the spa town, leading to the creation of the Harrogate International Festivals in 1966.

Fiona Movley, Harrogate International Festivals chairman, said: “Malcolm was a dear friend who was loved by us all at Harrogate International Festivals. His historical knowledge of Harrogate was unparalleled. He was a true gentleman in every sense of the word, and he will be greatly missed.”

A founder member of Harrogate Civic Society, Mr Neesam was the key figure in chronicling the town’s history, and a champion of preserving its heritage, in particular its Victorian and Edwardian buildings, including the famed Royal Hall.