The 2018 Music at Paxton summer festival of chamber music is gearing up for its first concert weekend on July 13, and the event’s new director-in-waiting will be there.
Angus Smith takes over the post in October this year when Helen Jamieson, who helped establish the Paxton House festival which has been attracting world-class musicians since 2006, steps down.
“I have been aware of the Music at Paxton event because I have had colleagues who have performed at the festival,” said Angus, an internationally renowned musician, singer and artistic director based in the Round, Sheffield.
“I visited Paxton House recently and I’m really excited by the wonderful setting - the Picture Galley is an amazing space for concerts and the kind of music on offer. It would be difficult to find a better setting for musicians.
“One of the things I’m aware of is that under Helen’s guidance there has been a fabulous programme of music. I see this as an evolutionary process - I’m really conscious of the wonderful tradition and want to safeguard and grow that.
“I will be coming to Paxton for the opening weekend to hear the music and savour the atmosphere and I am really looking forward to meeting people who come to hear the concerts, chatting to them and finding out the festival’s DNA.
“I don’t view this kind of activity as being my suggested programme that can be performed, I really love the idea of collaborating with audiences.
“I will perhaps introduce a few discoveries but I want to understand how things work at the moment and use that to inform how we take things forward.
“I am absolutely delighted to have been given the opportunity to contribute to the wonderful Music at Paxton Festival. Throughout my music career I have found it hugely rewarding and enjoyable to work in a chamber music environment, both as a performer and as a programmer.
“I am of course aware of the brilliant work of Helen and her colleagues in establishing and developing Music at Paxton. My starting point will unequivocally be to maintain the record of excellence and imagination provided by Helen.”