Out of the Shadows

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

The Cumnock Tryst 2021

The Cumnock Tryst

The Cumnock Tryst, Sir James MacMillan's festival in Cumnock, East Ayrshire, gets underway on Thursday 30 September 2021 with four days of concerts. The festival is opened by mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill and pianist Simon Lepper in a programme of songs by Clara Schumann, Amy Beach and Robert Schumann, this and many of the other concerts in this year's festival is both live, with audience, and live-streamed [see my review of Cargill and Lepper's recent disc of French song].

The artist in residence at this year's festival is saxophonist and composer Christian Forshaw, he will be appearing with the choir Tenebrae in Drop, Drop, Slow Tears, a sequence of penitential settings for Passiontide mixing music by Gibbons, Tallis and Victoria, with new arrangements and Forshaw's own compositions. Forshaw returns on Saturday with soprano Grace Davidson and organist Libby Burgess for Historical Fiction, a programme based on Forshaw and Davidson's recent disc of arrangements of solo vocal music from Gibbons to Handel.

Pianists Steven Osborne and Paul Lewis will be joining forces for a programme of 20th century piano duets, mainly by French composers whilst the Hebrides Ensemble will be performing a programme of music by Dohnanyi, Britten and Klein, culminating in Britten's early Phantasy Quintet. Lomond Brass, a new Scottish brass ensemble, will be giving its first in-person concert with music from Mozart and Aleotta to Piazzolla and Bernstein. And the festival ends in fine style with one of the UK's finest professional Scottish ceilidh bands, It's No' Reel.

The festival will also see artistic director and founder Sir James MacMillan launching his new book. Creative Composition in the Classroom by Sir James and Jennifer Martin is a practical resource aimed at aspiring composers, those teaching creative music-making or composition, and instrumental teachers wanting to add more creativity to their tuition as well as those choosing to present an original composition of their own in Trinity grade exams.

The book is published by Trinity College London Press, and for the past three years, Trinity has been a sponsor of The Cumnock Tryst’s education outreach programme which takes Sir James, Jennifer Martin and others into local, disadvantaged schools in Ayrshire to encourage creativity in music and composition. This has culminated in a performance at the festival with professional musicians and young performers

Full details from the festival website.


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