News release: Sally Beamish to compose and perform in World Premiere of new work for six violas at 2018 sound festival

Sally Beamish to compose and perform in World Premiere of new work for six violas at 2018 soundfestival.

News released as Creative Scotland announce £150,000 grant to sound

  • Composer and violist, Sally Beamish, who will compose and perform in the World Premiere of a new work for six violas at 2018 soundfestival
  • Artist in residence at sound festival 2018 will be one of the foremost viola payers of his generation, Garth Knox
  • Knox also to showcase the viola d’amore in the UK Premiere of a new work by Oscar Strasnoy, his own Ockeghem Fantasy and pieces by Marin Marais
  • 2018 soundfestival will run from 24 October – 4 November

Leading composer, Sally Beamish, is to write a new work for six violas and to perform in its World Premiere at the 2018 soundfestival it was announced today, Monday 30 April 2018. The new piece is one of a range of works showcasing the viola which will be performed at the acclaimed new music festival this year. 

Beamish’s new work is being written to accompany a performance of Garth Knox’s Ockeghem Fantasy (for viola d’amore and five violas) which will see Knox, one of the foremost viola payers of his generation, performing the viola d’amore solo. Other leading viola players who will be appearing in the performance of Ockeghem Fantasy and the new Beamish work include Nic Pendlebury (Smith Quartet), and Stephen Upshaw.

Garth Knox will be in residence throughout the 2018 soundfestival giving a number of performances including the UK Premiere of a work for viola d’amore by Oscar Stasnoy co-commissioned by sound and Donaueschinger Music Festival. The concert, which will feature sound Associate Ensemble, Red Note, will also include the Scottish Premiere of a work by James Dillon co-commissioned by sound, Red Note Ensemble, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Transit and November Music.

soundfestival 2018 will see a number of events highlighting the work of women composers, and other events being programmed include performances by new music ensembles from Aberdeen and a range of pop-up events.

The 2018 programme highlights were released as Creative Scotland announced that it has awarded sound £150,000 to deliver a year round programme of activities and the 2018 soundfestival, which will run in venues across the north east of Scotland from 24 October – 4 November. sound was also recently announced as PRS for Music Foundation Talent Development partner for 2018.

“For our second celebration of endangered instruments we will be putting the viola centre stage,” says sound Director, Fiona Robertson. “As well as presenting existing work we have been able to commission and co-commission pieces by a range of composers including Oscar Strasnoy, James Dillon, Diana Burrell and Sally Beamish, who will not only write a new work for viola, but will also perform in it.”

“We are delighted that Garth Knox will be in residence with us throughout the 2018 festival. Garth, who spent his formative years in Aberdeen, is at the forefront of new music, drawing on his vast experience as viola player of the Arditti Quartet and with Boulez’s Ensemble intercontemporain in Paris where he is now based,” she adds

“Garth is also a leading exponent of the viola d’amore. soundfestival 2018 will see him performing works by the 17th century composer Marin Marais alongside 2ist century pieces for the instrument including the new piece by Oscar Strasnoy which we have co-commissioned with Donaueschinger Music Festival.”

“We are grateful for the on-going support of Creative Scotland, Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire Councils, the PRS and PRS for Music Foundation, Help Musicians UK and Robertson Trust whose grants are enabling us to stage this year’s festival and, importantly, to deliver a year round programme of activities to support our on-going work with young composers and musicians. It is though this year-round grass roots work that we can build a sustainable future for new music in Scotland.”

The full 2018 sound festival programme will be released later in the summer.


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Image credit: Mihaela Bodlovic