Including Edinburgh, Tectonics Glasgow, Perth
When: 3-27 August Where: Edinburgh, Scotland Tel: +44 (0)131 473 2000 Web: eif.co.uk
Seventieth birthdays inevitably encourage a few backward glances, and last year’s Edinburgh Festival partied with an eye to landmark moments over its illustrious history. In 2018, however, as Scotland’s Year of Young People unfolds apace, the focus is on musical youth with a cavalcade of international ensembles and orchestras enlivening a festival that also hosts the finale of the Eurovision Young Musicians competition. But the Usher Hall isn’t entirely surrendering to the patter of youthful feet. While conductor Marin Alsop devotes the second of two Baltimore Symphony Orchestra programmes to a Bernstein centenary, Simon Rattle brings the London Symphony Orchestra north for Bernstein’s Symphony No. 2 with Krystian Zimerman in the solo piano role. The Bamburg Symphony Orchestra and Oslo Philharmonic swell orchestral ranks that also include the Hallé Orchestra under Sir Mark Elder, as the festival’s ongoing four-year survey of Wagner’s Ring in concert reaches Die Walküre. Fully-staged opera secures a double helping of Rossini with Cenerentola from Opéra National de Lyon and Cercle de L’harmonie’s much-admired The Barber of Seville. In fact, there’s a French hat-trick since Robert Carson’s production of Gay’s Beggar’s Opera for Les Arts Florissants also hails from Paris. Away from the operatic stage, the Queen’s Hall offers more intimate chamber fare, but if you are looking for large-scale appeal it’s hard to beat Usher Hall. Bringing the curtain down on its series is Mahler’s Eighth Symphony – ‘the Symphony of a Thousand’. Daniel Harding conducts the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra with the Festival Chorus and an impressive solo line-up. EDINBURGH HIGHLIGHTS: 8 August Wagner Die Walküre; Simon O’neill (Siegfried), Hallé/mark Elder 13 August Handel Samson; Dunedin Consort/john Butt 24-26 August Rossini La Cenerentola; Michèle Losier (Angelina, pictured below), Opéra National de Lyon Orchestra & Chorus/stefano Montanari 24 August Messiaen Visions de l’amen; Pierre-laurent Aimard, Tamara Stefanovich (piano) 26 August Mahler Symphony No. 8; Festival chorus, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra/daniel Harding
MORE GREAT FESTIVALS…
Tectonics Glasgow When: 5-6 May Where: Glasgow, Scotland Tel: +44 (0)141 353 8000 Web: tectonicsfestival.com Tectonics Glasgow is back, and as proud and provocative as ever. It opens to the sound of Nathalie Forget’s ondes martenot, takes in a workshop on the history of the Dictaphone and includes a feast of premieres. Saxophone maestro Tony Bevan collaborates with composer Miya Masaoka, whose new work for koto forms part of a Japanese strand. HIGHLIGHTS: 5 May Naomi Pinnock new work, James Clark Untitled No. 9; BBC Scottish SO/ Ilan Volkov 6 May A portrait of composer Pascale Criton; Nathalie Forget (ondes martenot) et al
6 May Evan Johnson Measurement as Contrition; BBC Scottish So/ilan Volkov
Perth Festival of the Arts When: 17-26 May
Where: Perth, Scotland
Tel: +44 (0)1738 621 031 Web: perthfestival.co.uk
With Perth Theatre having reopened after a multi-million pound refit, English Touring Opera can savour the stylish facilities with a night of Rossini hits, as will the Romanian pianist Alexandra Dariescu, who presents her innovative multimedia take on Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker.
17 May Mozart Marriage of Figaro; English Touring Opera/
20 May Beethoven Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 5; Lars Vogt (piano/conductor), Royal Northern Sinfonia
26 May Bruch Violin Concerto, Shostakovich Symphony No. 5; Jennifer Pike (violin, above), Dresden Philharmonic/michael Sanderling
Sonorities Festival of Contemporary Music When: 18-22 April
Tel: +44 (0)28 9097 4867 Web: sonorities.org.uk
Stockhausen presided over the opening of Belfast’s Sonic Arts Research Centre and its Sonic Lab remains the hub of a lively festival whose 2018 edition boasts over 120 artists from 27 countries. From Boulez to Bartók, to a sound sculpture and a piece for clavichord, electronics and mobile phones, Sonorities doesn’t let the grass grow under its feet.
18 May Macmillan Piano Trio
No. 2, Simpson A er Avedon;
Gould Piano Trio
20 April Boulez Dialogue de l’ombre double; Robert Plane (clarinet)
21 April Álvarez As el acero, Temazcal; Simon Limbrick (percussion)
St Magnus Festival When: 22-28 June
Where: Orkney, Scotland Tel: +44 (0)1856 871445 Web: stmagnusfestival.com
There might be a strong Norwegian undertow to this year’s musical midsummer in Orkney but the Danes aren’t taking it lying down. The Danish Sinfonietta accompanies Aarhus Sommeropera’s Telemann and also performs a lunchtime concert. And festival founding father Peter
Maxwell Davies isn’t forgotten as his 1969 music theatre piece Vesalii icones casts its visceral spell in the cathedral.
23 June Telemann Pimpinone; Aarhus Sommeropera,
25 June Music of Melancholy; Barokksolistene
26 Jun Maxwell Davies Vesalii icones; Rednote Ensemble
East Neuk Festival
When: 27 June – 1 July Where: East Neuk, Fife Tel: +44 (0)131 473 2000 Web: eastneukfestival.com
Pianist Christian Zacharias has returned to East Neuk for seven of the 14 festivals to date. Something draws artists back – The Tallis Scholars and Elias String Quartet among them. But there are Fifeshire newcomers too. Cellist Jean-guihen Queyras’s Big Bach Day colonises clifftop St Monan’s Church and The Bowhouse barn, while Stravinsky absorbs pianist Yeol Eum Son.
28 June Mad Women, Queens and Lovers; Mhairi Lawson (soprano), Paula Chateauneuf (lutes)
30 June Miserere: Pärt, Reich, Penderecki, Allegri; The Tallis Scholars/peter Phillips
1 July Mozart Clarinet Concerto, Rameau, Haydn; Maximiliano Martin (clarinet), Scottish Chamber Orchestra/christian Zacharias
Music At Paxton
When: 13-22 July
Where: Paxton House, Berwick-on-tweed
Tel: +44 (0)131 473 2000 Web: musicatpaxton.co.uk
The art doesn’t just hang on the walls in Paxton House’s opulent picture gallery. Come summer it’s hanging in the air too as a wonderful selection of chamber music fills the Berwickshire mansion. Centenaries mesh in a season that reaches out from the fortepiano of Kristian Bezuidenhout through a piano trio respray of Debussy’s La mer to lateevening Messiaen.
13 July Messiaen Quartet for the End of Time; Alasdair Beatson (piano) et al 20 July Osborne The Piano Tuner, Debussy Piano Trio; Hebrides Ensemble 22 July Schubert Die schöne Müllerin; Benjamin Appl (baritone), Graham Johnson (piano)
Lammermuir Festival When: 14-23 September
Where: East Lothian, Scotland Tel: +44 (0)131 473 2000 Web: lammermuirfestival.co.uk
Lammermuir’s winning formula continues to prevail. Its range of seductive venues (including Dirleton Kirk, Dunbar Parish Church and Chalmers Memorial Church), topdrawer performers and a certain East Lothian je ne sais quoi underpin a festival that fields clarinettist Mark Simpson as its artist and composer-in-residence.
The programme includes Haydn coffee mornings with the Van Kuijk and Maxwell string quartets and a performance of Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in the majestic St Mary’s Haddington.
14 September Bruckner Symphony No. 7; BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/karl-heinz Ste ens 15 September JS Bach motets; Stile Antico 20 September Beethoven String Quartet, Op. 132, Mendelssohn, Bach; Danish
Bernstein bonanza: Simon Rattle conducts the Second Symphony with Krystian Zimerman as the soloist
Woman of many parts: soprano Mhairi Lawson explores great leading roles in East Neuk