First Minister to attend Cantilena Summer Festival Islay

Alex Salmond, the First Minister has accepted an invitation from the Cantilena Summer Festival on Islay and will be attending their Concert on Thursday, 5th July in The Round Church, Bowmore at 3.00p.m.As well as the now traditional favourites -Bach, Concerto for 2 Violins: Vivaldi’s 4 Seasons and the Mendelssohn Octet, the festival pays homage to Elgar with his Serenade for Strings.Our special guest this year is the internationally renowned Violin Maker, Roger Hansell. who will hold an open workshop in The Columba Centre on July 4th. It is a stressful journey for Roger as he suffers from MS and is in a wheelchair.

The opening concert will feature the Church Sonatas of Mozart, along with 'popular ditties' played by a String Quintet plus Organ. The main body of The String Orchestra will emerge from 2 days of rehearsal for the all Vivaldi Concert on Monday, July 2nd in The Old Kiln Cafe, Ardbeg. Thursday brings an afternoon concert in The Round Church, Bowmore. The timing of 3p.m. is to accommodate the people of Jura and as it happens, the arrival of the First Minister. We are delighted that he is able to come to The Festival and recognize that this is a singular honour for Cantilena and all the people of Islay whose support has been truly outstanding.

After all the excitement, Friday and Saturday concerts come 'home' to Islay House for the normal eclectic mix of Concerti Grossi by Handel and Corelli plus Beethoven’s Grosse Fugue, Dag Wiren Serenade and Britten’s Simple Symphony. An important development of the Festival this year, is the emergence of a String Quartet as the foundation of the music making. Those with long memories will recall that the first festivals were based around a Piano Trio. Owing to changes of personnel, both coming and going, we are happy to announce that, with the aquisition of a brilliant young violinist in Gillian Leitch, a String Quartet consisting of Angus Ramsay, and Gillian on Violins, Stephen Shakeshaft, Viola and Adrian Shepherd, Cello is now firmly established.

The Cantilena Childrens Festival of Art continues with the work of 15 Primary School children being on display at Islay House on the evening of Friday 6th July and Saturday, 7th, and The Childrens Ensemble will be boosted by four students from the junior department of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama who will work with Gillian Leitch and young musicians from Islay. A whole lot is happening this Summer and it is a feast of Music and Art not to be missed.

  • Full Programme Cantilena Summer Festival

    This story was published with kind permission from The Ileach - Community Newspaper of the year.

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