James MacMillan, Nicola Benedetti Launch Cumnock Tryst Festival in Scotland

By Classicalite Newsdesk on Oct 10, 2013 02:50 AM EDT

Another artist-led music festival has been announced, this one run by a composer and located in his native Scotland. And the composer is Scotland's finest, James MacMillan. Not only that, but Scotland's best known violin export, Nicola Benedetti, has agreed to come aboard as patron.

Much lauded in his home nation as well as abroad, MacMillan has never been a composer to closet himself away, occasionally producing a new work and seldom being seen in public. An estimable and invigorating force in the British music scene, a festival seems a logical next step for a composer who has always made his mark.

Rather sweetly, MacMillan's new fixture will be in the town of Cumnock, which is the composer's childhood home. And he has given his festival, which will feature community members as well as world-class musicians, the rather catchy name of The Cumnock Tryst. Its first iteration is scheduled for October 2014 and will last for four days.

Nicola Benedetti shot to fame when she won the BBC's Young Musician of the Year contest in 2004. That same year, she was signed to Deutsche Grammophon, and has often been the U.K.'s highest-selling living classical artist in the years since. Her recordings include violin concerti by Szymanowski, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky and Bruch, and her most recent Brit Award-winning album was called The Silver Violin.

MacMillan is one of the most prolific composers working today, with his many compositions embracing most of the expected forms, including an oboe concerto and a trumpet concerto. It has often been noted that his strong Catholic faith plays a major part in his music, and indeed one of his most recent works is the 2012 choral piece Cum Vidisset Jesus. He is also a conductor and has been Principal Guest Conductor with the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic.

No programming has yet been announced for the festival. It is known, however, that brass and choral music will feature heavily. Which makes sense, since those are the areas of music strongest in the Cumnock area. From such acorns...

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TagsJames MacMillan, Nicola Benedetti, Cumnock Tryst, BBC, Deutsche Grammophon, Classic Bit Awards, Cum Vidisset Jesus, Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic

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