Opera sensation Susan Bullock will lead a line-up of some of the world’s most acclaimed classical musicians for the 2018 Absolute Classics Festival taking place from 3 to 12 August.
Ms Bullock’s unique position as one of the world’s most sought-after British dramatic sopranos was recognised by the award of a CBE in June 2014.
She comes to the Theatre Royal, Dumfries on 4 August with popular Thornhill tenor Nicky Spence to perform a diverse programme of music by the likes of Verdi, Strauss, Dvořák , Wagner, Léhar , Puccini and Sondheim. They will be accompanied by award-winning pianist Audrey Hyland.
Two multi-award-winning musicians who are regular visitors to the region. Huw Wiggin, saxophone, and John Lenehan, piano, return to Dumfries on 3 August to kick-off this year’s festival.
Huw said: “Performing for Absolute Classics is always a highlight of the season for me. Performing in smaller, more intimate venues is very enjoyable for us and having the opportunity to share our style of music with the region’s audiences is fantastic.”
Rising classical stars continue to shine during the festival in Dumfries and Thornhill One of the world’s premier young pianists, Anna Fedorova, comes to Buccleuch and Queensberry Arms Hotel, Thornhill, on 5 May. Nicky Spence and Audry Hyland come back to the Theatre Royal on 6 August to perform a mix of classical and traditional songs.
On 8 August in the Theatre Royal, Anna Federova will play a programme of music by Brahms and Schubert with her critically-acclaimed ensemble: Eldbjørg Hemsing, violin; Anna Fedorova, piano; Georgy Kovalev, violin; Benedict Klöckner, cello; and Nicholas Schwartz, double bass.
A night at the opera is a special experience in Scotland’s oldest working theatre and audiences are in for a classical treat as Opera Bohemia present Verdi’s Falstaff on 9 August. Sung in Italian with English surtitles and accompanied for some performances by The Opera Bohemia chamber orchestra, under the baton of Alistair Digges, and for others by leading Scottish pianist Andrew Brown, this promises to be a thrilling night.
Anna Federova returns to the Theatre Royal on 10 August with Germany’s most promising cellist, Benedict Klöckner. They will deliver a performance of music for piano and cello by Schumann, Shostakovich and Brahms.
Winner of one of the biggest piano competitions in the world – The International Tchaikovsky Competition – in 2015, Russian pianist Dmitry Masleev was born and raised in Ulan‐Ude, a Siberian town between Lake Baikal and the Mongolian border, He comes to the Theatre Royal on 11 August.
Percussionist Rhys Matthews is accustomed to performing before large audiences in some of the biggest and most prestigious UK venues and live radio and TV broadcasts. He comes to the Buccleuch and Queensberry Arms Hotel, Thornhill, on 12 August and will be accompanied by Welsh chamber pianist Michael Davies.
Absolute Classics director, Alex McQuiston, said: “We are delighted with the festival line-up this year. We have a mix of some returning musicians and some welcome new faces.
“All of these musicians are of world-class quality and pack some of the biggest and most prestigious concert halls in the world.
“It is a pleasure to be bringing them to the doorsteps of audiences in Dumfries and Galloway and we are looking forward very much to the opening night.”
Alongside the concerts, Absolute Classics works throughout Dumfries and Galloway to bring new, exciting and innovative educational opportunities for local young people. The festival programme includes a series of one-to-one masterclasses for young people with these international visiting musicians.
“To encourage young people to experience this level of musicianship in their home towns, we are offering a free ticket to the under 26s to any of our festival events. We are also giving young musicians the chance to learn from the masters in our popular one-to-one masterclasses.
“These opportunities are unique and very popular, so early booking is advised.”
For tickets and information on the festival or to book a place on the masterclasses visit www.absoluteclassics.co.uk