Lammermuir Festival launched

Michelangelo Quartet SBBN
Michelangelo Quartet SBBN

The programme for this year’s Lammermuir Festival was launched this week ahead of its sixth incarnation, between September 11 and 20.

Artistic Directors Hugh Macdonald and James Waters said of the music festival: “It’s hard to believe that we have already reached our sixth Lammermuir Festival, but as always we have had a great deal of fun planning a programme that we hope will inspire, move and excite people.”

“We’re especially looking forward to welcoming our artists in residence, the superb Michelangelo String Quartet, and all the other great musicians who will be bringing beautiful music to beautiful places in East Lothian this September.”

The festival visits three new venues this year: the architectural gem of Seton Collegiate Church at Longniddry, the beautiful Chalmers Memorial Church in Port Seton with its elaborately painted Arts and Crafts interior, and Oldhamstocks, for an afternoon at the distinguished home of Lammermuir Pipe Organs. Here there is a visit to the workshop and a recital on two of their chamber organs in the lovely old church.

Every venue is carefully matched to the music. Thus audiences can see great symphony orchestras in the magnificent church of St Mary in Haddington, a solo lute recital in the mediaeval hall of Lennoxlove House and violin, harp and harpsichord in the music room of the Georgian mansion, Gilmerton House, near Athelstaneford. Both Lennoxlove House and Gilmerton House are not normally open to the public, adding to the unique feel of the festival.

The festival offers one of the finest programmes of classical music in Scotland, with programmes ranging from Orlando Gibbons, Dowland and JS Bach through Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner, Sibelius and Rachmaninov to contemporary composers such as Ligeti and Arvo Pärt.

The concerts vary from intimate solo performances, string quartets and chamber ensembles to symphony orchestras. This year, there are no fewer than three major UK orchestras appearing: The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and The Royal Northern Sinfonia, under its new artistic director, pianist, Lars Vogt.