sound festival 2021


19-24 October 2021

Various venues in Aberdeen

We’ve got everything crossed that we’ll be able to welcome you back to a live in-person festival in Aberdeen this year. 

This year’s festival features over 30 premieres, 25 concerts and a wide-ranging programme of participatory events, conversations, and exhibitions as well as a dedicated double bass day. 

The festival features new music from composers including Laura Bowler, Jane Stanley, Björn Heile, Oliver Searle, Diana Burrell, Pete Stollery, Ailie Robertson, Edwin Hillier, Luke Styles, Tansy Davies, David Fennessy, Georgina MacDonell Finlayson and Ben Lunn.

Featured artists include Juliet Fraser, Talea Ensemble, Alex South, Katherine Wren, Florentin Ginot, Red Note Ensemble, Ruth Morley, Sébastien Béranger, Elise Dabrowski, Sonia Cromarty, Any Enemy, Ensemble Court-circuit and many more.

Some of our festival events will be livestreamed or will be available to watch online at a later date.

Flight-free festival

This year's festival will be “flight free”. The climate emergency is the greatest challenge facing the world today, and as global leaders prepare to gather for COP26, we have commissioned a number of works on an environmental theme to raise awareness of the challenges we are facing. 

We have asked our visiting artists to travel by train instead of flying and we would encourage you to also travel by train if you are visiting the festival from a distance.

2021 Endangered Instrument: Double bass

We conclude our five-year focus on “endangered instruments” with the double bass and are delighted to welcome Florentin Ginot to the festival as artist-in-residence. Look out for performances and workshops with Florentin and other double bass players throughout the festival.

Spotlight concerts

This year's festival features a series of 30 minute concerts aimed at giving increased visibility to emerging and local composers. 

The full programme will be announced early September!