Arran International Festival 19th to 25th August 2024

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The inaugural Arran International Festival of Chamber Music and Song runs this summer from the 19th to 25th August 2024.

Festival director Richard Morrison said “Our festival programme is announced and I’m thrilled with the concerts and events we have on offer for you in our inaugural year. We have outstanding local talent, world class artists, a UK premiere, a world premiere, beautiful music and art workshops, a guest lecture and the best of Scottish traditional music.”

“A unique sequence of chamber concerts spread across a summer afternoon. Gary Hoffman is considered by many to be one of the greatest cellists of his generation and on Saturday August 24th, he and his internationally acclaimed colleague, Lydia Shelley, will play Bach’s Six Suites for solo cello, in three sittings, at 1pm, 3pm and 5 pm, in the Drawing Room of Brodick Castle. Their programme will also feature a UK Premiere of Trois Partitas for two cellos by the French composer, Graciane Finzi.”

“Brodick Castle itself resonates with musical history. The castle was the seat of the Hamilton Family, and a portrait of the Duchess of Hamilton hangs in the Drawing Room, playing a pianoforte owned by Chopin, who gave her piano lessons. The Duke of Hamilton, who built Brodick Castle, was tutored by Mozart. This musical connection adds an eloquent and meaningful dimension to the concert, and this is why we are making Brodick Castle the centrepiece of our festival, the history and intimacy of the Drawing Room providing a wonderful, atmospheric venue for chamber concerts.”

“Three outstanding local talents are appearing at the festival. The pianist Iain Clarke, playing in the opening concert in Whiting Bay, is the Gilbert & Eileen Edgar and Anthony Saltmarsh Collaborative Piano Fellow at the Royal College of Music; Lucy Walsh, studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, brings her Iorsa Collective to perform a Candlelight Concert in Brodick Parish Church. Lucy will also be giving a musical workshop for local, young classical and traditional musicians.”

“I am thrilled to announce that Electra Perivolaris has taken the position of Festival Composer in Residence. Electra is very highly acclaimed, both as a pianist and a composer, having been described by Sir James MacMillan as ‘one of the most exciting young composers emerging in Scotland today’ and by the BBC as a Classical Star of the Future. Electra is composing a new piece for the inaugural festival, inspired by the mountains of Arran, which will be premiered by Lucy Walsh and Christopher Clarke in their concert in Brodick Parish Church on Friday August 23rd.”

“During my initial conversation with Electra, I was immediately struck by her enthusiasm, imagination and vision. Alongside her remarkable talent as a composer, her dedication to musical outreach and educational projects, and her extensive experience working with children, young people, and more isolated communities, will undoubtedly be invaluable to the festival’s creative growth and development in the coming years.”

“We have several free music and art workshops for children and young people during our festival week, led by Electra and Lucy, as well as a special music therapy workshop for local, young people with autism.”

“Acclaimed local writer and storyteller, Marty Ross, presents his new storytelling show, a vivid and dramatic tale of Scotland’s very own variant of the vampire legend, the beautiful, seductive, but deadly Baobhan Sith.”

“Our inaugural guest lecture will be given by Professor Dr. Sigrid Rieuwerts, the managing editor of the Sir Walter Scott Minstrelsy Project and the founder of the JGU Scotland Hub, Mainz, Germany. A passionate advocate for developing cultural exchange between Scotland and Germany, Sigrid will talk about culture and the beauty of nations, preserving the authenticity of cultures, heritage, and the importance of local voices.”

“A specific aim of the Arran International Festival of Chamber Music and Song is to bring together the finest artists from the classical and traditional genres, so I’m delighted to report that Gillian Frame and Findlay Napier will be giving a concert at Brodick Golf Club on the evening of Saturday August 24th. As residents of Brodick, that’s just round the corner for them! Gillian, recently listed in The Scotsman as one of twelve influential women in Scottish Culture, and Findlay, a former Scots Trad Music Musician of the Year nominee, are two of Scotland’s finest traditional artists.”

“On Sunday 25th, on the lawn at the Douglas, we’ll meet for a final farewell ‘Border Raid’ – all comers welcome! – to make some music, have a wee drink and let the good times roll.”

“But before all of this, please join me for the opening welcome concert on Thursday August 22nd in Whiting Bay Hall and an evening of music and song when, among other things, I’ll be singing The Songs of Travel by Robert Louis Stevenson and Vaughan Williams, mélodies by Fauré, hits from operetta and American Musical theatre and a Scots song or two.”

“I welcome you to our inaugural festival, set in the midst of the outstanding natural beauty and rich cultural heritage of the Isle of Arran. We’re getting across borders – whether international, cultural or genre. That’s the beauty of music and art. Please join us and enjoy yourself and, if you see me around, come and say hello!”

Full details of the event, links for tickets and program details can be found here

Written by: PaisleyRadio

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