Monday 3 July 2023

New season, new festival programme, new music director - music news from North of the Border

Lammermuir Landscapes
Lammermuir Landscapes

The Lammermuir Festival, whose strapline is 'Beautiful Music in Beautiful Places' returns with 36 performances across 12 venues in East Lothian during September. The Dunedin Consort, who are performing at the festival, have also announced their 2023/24 season with everything from a new guitar concerto, to Heiner Goebbels to celebrating the 300th anniversary of Bach's appointment in Leipzig. And National Youth Orchestras of Scotland (NYOS) has announced Catherine Larsen-Maguire as new Music Director of the NYOS orchestras. 

Scottish Opera returns to the Lammermuir Festival for the Scottish premiere (!) of Richard Strauss' Daphne (premiered in Dresden in 1938) in a concert staging conducted by Stuart Stratford. Festival patron, pianist Steven Osborne is making three appearances this year, a duo concert with violinist Alina Ibragimova, a lecture recital What does music mean? which includes a performance of Schubert's Sonata in A major, D959, and finally Osborne joins the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Ryan Wigglesworth for Tippett's Piano Concerto. Harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani returns as artist-in-residence with five programmes including a Coffee Concert and four of Bach's Harpsichord Concertos with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Other visitors include the Maxwell Quartet, teaming up with baritone Roderick Williams and pianist Christopher Glynn for a programme of Elgar and Vaughan Williams, the Royal Northern Sinfonia and Dinis Sousa in Beethoven and Schumann, the National Youth Choir of Scotland and conductor Christopher Bell, soprano Harriet Burns, tenor Nick Pritchard, and pianist Christopher Glynn in Berlioz' Les nuits d’été, before performing Myrtles, an English translation by Jeremy Sams of Schumann’s Myrthen.

Further information from the Lammermuir Festival website.

The Dunedin Consort has announced its 2023/24 season, which includes a visit to the Lammermuir Festival. The ensemble returns for its 14th consecutive year with music by neglected women composers of the 17th and 18th centuries, such as Barbara Strozzi. The remainder of the ensemble's 2023/24 season is exciting indeed. The centrepiece of the new season is a new guitar concerto by Cassandra Miller for guitarist Sean Shibe. Other highlights include: SONATA, a collaboration with the award-winning choreographer Marc Brew that brings together disabled and non-disabled dancers to explore baroque music’s roots in dance; a new commission by the Grammy award-winning Caroline Shaw for next year’s choral tour; the Scottish premiere of Heiner Goebbels’ Songs of War I Have Seen, performed side-by-side with the musicians of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (their second partnership with the RSNO); conductor Sofi Jeannin’s debut appearance with Dunedin Consort for Bach’s Matthew Passion; new collaborations with Phantasm viols, countertenor Hugh Cutting, and violinist Bojan Čičić, and two programmes celebrating the 300th anniversary of Bach’s appointment in Leipzig, including performances of the John Passion directed by Nicholas Mulroy as the Evangelist.

Further information from the Dunedin Consort website.

Catherine Larsen-Maguire is the new Music Director of the NYOS orchestras. This newly created post, inspired by two critically acclaimed NYOS performances conducted by Larsen-Maguire in Spring 2023, will see her lead the orchestras from 2024 for a three-year tenure. Born in Manchester, and now based in Berlin, Catherine Larsen-Maguire read music at Cambridge University and studied the bassoon at the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Karajan Academy in Berlin. After ten years as principal bassoonist at the Komische Oper Berlin, she turned her focus exclusively to conducting in 2012, and has since become a sought-after conductor, and she made her NYOS debut in 2018 conducting NYOS Senior Orchestra in spring and summer concerts. In April 2023 she brought a fantastic warmth and energy to the Symphony Orchestra as the young musicians rehearsed and performed Mahler’s Symphony No.7 alongside Lotta Wennäkoski’s Susurrus. Outside the rehearsal room, Catherine Larsen-Maguire shared insights into her practice and inspirations during a special Q&A, helped members of the orchestra get hands-on with a conducting workshop, and even joined the band during the end of course ceilidh.

Further information from the NYOS website.

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