Lammermuir Festival underway for 2011

AFTER a successful year in 2010, the packed programme for this year’s Lammermuir Festival is now underway.

Proceedings got off to a perfect start last Friday with a concert in St Mary’s Church, Haddington, from the internationally acclaimed Scottish Chamber Orchestra and other highlights of the opening weekend included performances at St Michael’s Kirk, Inveresk from the National Youth Choir Of Scotland National Girls Choir and at Yester Parish Church, Gifford from 18-year-old Emily Hoile, originally from Edinburgh, but now studying classical harp at the prestigious Juilliard School of Music in New York.

The Festival continues until Sunday and tonight, Thursday, September 22, St Mary’s plays host to the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra at 8pm who will perform Menotti’s sparkling Violin Concerto, together with soloist Jennifer Koh.

The Orchestra are making their Lammermuir Festival debut this year and another festival debut is from Scotland’s elite string ensemble, The Scottish Ensemble, who are joined by trumpet sensation, Alison Balsom tomorrow, Friday, September 23, at 7.30pm at St Michael’s Kirk.

The Navarra Quartet’s Mozart Journey was one of the highlights of the 2010 festival and the outstanding young players return for another day of itinerant concert-giving on Saturday in three beautiful East Lothian locations, all of which are new to this year’s festival.

Beginning at 12 noon in Dirleton Kirk with soprano Louise Alder and aforementioned harpist Emily, with the second concert of the day following at 3.30pm just eight miles away in St Mary’s Church, Whitekirk with Emily once again.

The Musical Journey closes with the Navarra Quartet, Louise and Emily in St Andrews Blackadder Church, North Berwick at a 7.30pm for a concert featuring one of the last pieces Britten wrote, alongside Beethoven’s great late Quartet Op 132 and a beautiful short work by Menotti for soprano, harp and string quartet.

The Festival will end where it began in St Mary’s Haddington, with a concert given by The Dunedin Consort, under their conductor John Butt, with whom they have performed and recorded both composers to great international acclaim.

This will begin at 8pm on Sunday and tickets for the closing event and all others can be purchased from www.lammeruirfestival.co.uk, by ringing 0131 473 2000 or in person from The Hub, Castlehill, Edinburgh.

Ticket range in price from £10-£20 with conncessions available for under-18s and students in full time education.