Aberdeen percussion sensation, Dame Evelyn Glennie, and opera’s coolest soprano, Danielle de Niese, will lead a line-up of international superstars who will headline classical music concerts taking place next month in some of Dumfries and Galloway’s most prestigious venues.

On Friday, 5 August, in the splendour of the Crichton Memorial Church, Evelyn, a triple GRAMMY award-winner, Polar Prize winner and BAFTA nominee, will kick off the International Musicians Platform which brings world-class classical music to the doorsteps of communities throughout Dumfries and Galloway.

Brought to the region by Absolute Classics — a classical music charity based in Annan which showcases internationally renowned artists in concert at local venues from Langholm to Gatehouse of Fleet — their work has attracted the attention of some of the biggest stars in classical music as well as sponsorship from Dumfries and Galloway’s most prestigious corporate venues.

In 2015, Macmillan Hotels supported concerts at the Cally Palace in Gatehouse of Fleet. In 2016, support from the Crichton Development Company has opened up a new central Dumfries location for live music concerts throughout the year: the Crichton Memorial Church and the Easterbrook Hall.

These venues, together with the Buccleuch and Queensberry Arms Hotel in Thornhill, all have their own grand pianos in situ, thanks to ongoing sponsorship by Blüthner – one of the world’s leading piano makers.

These exciting concerts take place between August 5 and 14 and the line-up includes concerts by three of the biggest stars of the international opera circuit: “opera’s coolest soprano” Danielle de Niese; the “voice of real distinction” Nicky Spence; “a young singer of real promise” and 2016 Chilcott award-winner Soraya Mafi; and rising star of opera Timothy Connor.

The concert programme also includes music by world-acclaimed cellists Karine Georgian and Kirsten Jenson; Principal Clarinet of the English Chamber Orchestra, Anthony Pike; award-winning piano maestros Sasha Grynyuk, John Lenehan, Philip Smith, Simon Lepper, John Thwaites and one of the world’s premier young pianists, Anna Fedorova; and four very talented young musicians who are gaining a reputation as one of the most engaging, dynamic and successful young quartets to have emerged from the UK in recent years: The Benyounes Quartet.

The International Musicians Platform is committed to the support of young emerging talent. A number of workshops and masterclasses will be held for young people to learn from, and experience playing alongside, some of the best classical musicians in the world. The youngsters will also be given a chance to showcase their work during the festival at two recitals in Thornhill on August 12 and 13.

Absolute Classics director Alex McQuiston said: “Absolute Classics was initially developed to bring world-class musicians to the doorsteps of communities across the region and we are delighted that, not only are we achieving our goals, we are exceeding them each year with the excellence of our musicians, the quality of our venues and the popularity of our concerts.

“We are committed to giving people an all-round classical music experience: the excitement of seeing and hearing some of the most renowned musicians on the international platform in grand, but intimate, settings.

“We are delighted to be introducing the likes of Dame Evelyn Glennie and Danielle de Niese to the region: two highly acclaimed international superstars.

“Evelyn’s concerts sell out across the world’s most prestigious halls and she has performed with the greatest of conductors, orchestras and artists.

“Danielle is the Australian-American lyric soprano who is said to be shredding the classical rulebook with her unique combination of artistic credibility and exotic 21st century allure.

“It is always thrilling to bring such a varied range of high calibre musicians to the region. The skill and talent we have lined up this year stands as testament that the best quality classical music is diverse, exciting and within the reach of everyone.

“The International Musicians Platform has taken a lot of work and would not have been possible without our dedicated audiences, partners, patrons and trustees as well as the generous support from our funders, such as the Holywood Trust, Creative Scotland, the Robertson Trust, the Hugh Fraser Foundation and the Dumfries and Galloway LEADER Programme 2014-2020.”

The International Musicians Platform takes place between 5 and 14 August.

Further information and tickets from www.absoluteclassics.co.uk

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