Our Team

Our team

Fiona Robertson, Festival Director

Where are you from and what do you do?
I’ve worked part-time for sound since it was set up in 2004. Before that I lived and worked in France, both for cultural organisations and youth organisations/NGOs. I work partly from home in rural Aberdeenshire and juggle work with looking after two small boys.

What is your soundfestival highlight and why?
My highlights from the soundfestival over the years were doing a community event rehearsing and giving an informal performance of James MacMillan’s Into the Ferment with James MacMillan conducting, as well as the opera weekend in 2012 and the performance of Stephen Montague’s Phrygian Ferment.

Which 5 records would you take to a desert island?
James MacMillan: Who are these Angels? (co-commissioned by sound in 2009)
Graham Fitkin: Servant (performed by the Smith Quartet)
Elgar’s cello concerto (performed by Jacqueline Du Pré and LSO conducted by Sir John Barbirolli)
The Beloved: I Love You More (personal reasons!)
Charles Trenet: La Mer (again for personal reasons!)

Kadri Soerunurk, Coordinator

Where are you from and what do you do?
I’m originally from Estonia, but I’ve lived and studied in Scotland since 2010. I have a BA (Hons) Events Management degree from RGU.
I was first involved with soundfestival in 2011 as a volunteer. After returning from Ireland, where I studied for a year as an exchange student in 2013, I got in touch with sound again. Luckily they needed an extra pair of hands to help them out and I’ve been working for sound ever since. I joined soundfestival as carte de blanche – with no training in new or classical music, just simple and pure appreciation of the art form. It’s been a very interesting learning experience for me and I’ve enjoyed it a lot!

What has been your soundfestival highlight and why?
My highlight so far is the Framed Against the Sky project and how it all came together at the launch event for 2013 festival: a great collaborative project between professional musicians and people from all different age groups and backgrounds. Another highlight was the Encounters project in 2013 as it was a great learning experience for me on how to run flashmobs. It was fun to see how people react to new music performances in unexpected places like shopping malls, libraries and train stations. This is one of the reasons why I like soundfestival – they’re not afraid to think outside the box and do something less ordinary.

Which 5 records would you take to a desert island?
In no particular order: Anything from Bjork – She’s so unique and she’s not afraid to push the boundaries of music.
Yo-Yo Ma and Bobby McFerrin “Hush” – very interesting collaboration between two world-class artists.
Claude Debussy “Claire de Lune”, Joni Mitchell “Blue”, José González “Veneer”

Lesley Booth, PR

Where are you from and what do you do?
I’m a proud Yorkshire lass and I work in PR.

What is your soundfestival highlight and why?
So many to choose from, but the Colin Currie Group’s performance of Drumming was mind blowing.

Which 5 records would you take to a desert island?
This is sooooo hard:
JS Bach St Matthew Passion (John Eliot Gardiner/ Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra)
Beethoven Symphony No 3 (Frans Bruggen / Orchestra of the 18th Century)
Shostakovich String Quartet No 3 / Piano Quintet (Borodin SQ/Sviatoslav Richter )
JS Bach French Suites (Glenn Gould)
The Hot Club of France (Grapelli/Rheinhard)

Board of Trustees

Professor Pete Stollery, Chair

Where are you from and what do you do?
I was born in Halifax in Yorkshire and have lived in the North East for 23 years. I work in the Music Department at the University of Aberdeen, where I teach electroacoustic composition and sound art.
I have been involved with sound from the very beginning with the pilot Upbeat! weekend of new music in 2004, working closely with Mark Hope and Fiona Robertson. I’m on the Artistic Planning Group and I’m currently Chair of the sound board.

What’s your soundfestival highlight and why?
There are so many highlights – Colin Currie Group performing Steve Reich’s Drumming is certainly one, but perhaps the most memorable event was Framed Against the Sky in 2012, which seemed to epitomise everything sound has been trying to do – multi-disciplinary work (sound, music, image, text) involving professionals (poets, composers, musicians) working with communities around the northeast over a long period of time, getting them to participate in new music and taking it to them, to their communities to allow them to engage.

Which 5 records would you take to a desert island?
Impossible to answer…

Dr. Roger B Williams, Director

Where are you from and what do you do?
Born in Swansea, educated in West Yorkshire, I graduated from Cardiff University BMus Hons, Goldsmiths College and King’s College, Cambridge. After freelance in London as conductor, composer, organist and lecturer, appointed to University of Aberdeen where I am now Emeritus Organist. I teach organ and piano for the Music Department of the University, I direct music for the weekly Catholic Mass in the Chapel, am Director of Aberdeen Diocesan Choir. I also conduct and compose.
I have been involved with soundfestival since it started, as a performer with an annual organ recital, and now as a Member of the Board.

What’s your soundfestival highlight and why?
Each year my highlight is my organ recital, which I prepare together with many other musicians, as composers and sometimes as sound engineers.

Which 5 records would you take to a desert island?
Ligeti: Volumina; Stockhausen: Gruppen; Bach: Mass in b minor; Beethoven: Quartet in B flat OP.130; Mozart: Symphony no. 41 ‘Jupiter’.

Jane Spiers, Director

Where are you from and what do you do?                                                                                  I was born in Perth and have moved about quite a bit with work. I lived in London for many years, two of my children were born in Winchester. I’m now settled in Aberdeen. I’ve always worked in the arts as a producer, programmer, festival director, event manager and cultural policy advisor. I was Chief Executive of Aberdeen Performing Arts (2012-2022) and Perth Theatre and Perth Concert Hall (2003 – 2012). Currently I am the incoming Chair of the National Theatre of Scotland (from September 2022) and a Trustee of the Sage Gateshead, the Theatres Trust and Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust.

What’s your soundfestival highlight?                                                                                         I was proud and pleased that our 2021 festival highlighted the global emergency as Scotland prepared to host COP26. The Sonic Cradle programme was a favourite. I’ve loved the endangered instruments focus over the years and it was a particular joy to conclude with the double bass and Florentin Ginot in residence. 

Which 5 records would you take to a desert island?                                                                  It changes but at the time of asking it’s: Ayana Witter Johnson ft.Akala: Rise Up, Nick Drake: Northern Sky, Sade Adu: Why Can’t we Live Together, Cheb Mami and Zucchero: Cosi Celeste, Thea Musgrave’s Trumpet Concerto for Alison Balsom

Duncan Cockburn, Director

Pauline Black, Director

Abeer Eladany, Director

Raemond Jappy, Director