News - St Magnus Festival

St Magnus International Festival, a celebration of music and the arts around Orkney, has released its programme for 2017...

Founded in 1967 by a local group including the composer, the late Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, this year's festival runs from Friday 16th - Saturday 24th June in venues throughout Orkney including the magnificent medieval Cathedral of St Magnus in Kirkwall, the Pier Arts Centre in Stromness with its award-winning contemporary architecture, the 17th century mansion of Skaill House, and further-flung venues on the islands of Hoy, Stronsay and Rousay. The wide range of events includes symphony orchestra concerts, ensembles, chamber music, poetry, music theatre, community parade, lectures, traditional music and jazz.

The Festival has also announced a new media partnership with Classic FM. With some six million listeners every week, this exciting new partnership enables St Magnus International Festival to reach wider and new audiences both on air and online. BBC Radio 3 once again have a welcome presence at the festival and will be recording a number of concerts for future broadcast.

Alan Morrison, Head of Music at Creative Scotland, said, “So much wonderful music has been premiered and performed at the St Magnus Festival over its 40-year history that this important event on these beautiful islands is now the envy of the world. Each year its programme provides an international platform for Scotland’s most exciting composers and musicians while also bringing global stars of classical music to our home soil. This year is no exception, from the local resonance of Gemma MacGregor and Ron Ferguson’s ‘Magnus’ to highly anticipated visits from Trondheim Soloists and Bergen Domkor. It’s also particularly thrilling to see so many unique and atmospheric venues playing host to concerts in this most magical of Scottish landscapes.”

Stuart Turner, Head of EventScotland, added "St Magnus International Festival continues to go from strength to strength, showcasing Scotland as the perfect stage for events by attracting some of the finest musicians and artists from around the world to perform within the stunning setting of the Orkney Islands. This year’s festival promises to be another fantastic event, especially in the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology with concerts and performances planned to mark the 900-year anniversary of St. Magnus’ martyrdom and the historical ties between Orkney and Scandinavia.”

Highlights of the festival include a celebration of the islands' links with Norway with the first visit of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and the Bergen Cathedral Choir as well a return visit from the Trondheim Soloists. There's also a commemoration of 900 years of St Magnus, the Norwegian Earl, saint and martyr whose relics are held in the cathedral that bears his name in Kirkwall, with new work from homegrown talent, Gemma McGregor and Ron Ferguson. There’s more choral and vocal music from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, piano recitals Steven Osborne, early music from Mhairi Lawson and Elizabeth Kenny, and new works from Alison McNeill and Sasha Savaloni. Add in to this a host of community projects, nightly festival clubs and masterclasses, competitions and workshops and it promises to be a summer celebration to remember - not least because the summer days are so much longer in Orkney so it's hardly ever dark!

See the full programme and book tickets at the official Festival website

Image & info - Creative Scotland
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