sound announces highlights of 2019 festival

  • 2019 Festival will showcase the oboe as part of an ongoing commitment to raise the profile of ‘endangered instruments’
  • Christopher Redgate and Nicholas Daniel are 2019 Artists in Residence
  • Festival opens with the World Premiere of a new commission by sound Composer in Residence Allie Robertson looking at Motherhood
  • Less than a week before the UK is due to leave the EU, sound says We need to talk / Il faut qu'on parle
  • sound collaborates on the re-opening event for Aberdeen Art Gallery on 2 November

sound has released highlights of the 2019 festival today, 12 July 2019.  soundfestival 2019 will run in venues in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire from 23 October – 3 November. 

Continuing its focus on ‘endangered instruments’ this year soundfestival showcases the oboe, with performances by leading oboists including Christopher Redgate and Nicholas Daniel, who will be Artists in Residence.

The festival will open on the evening of 23 October with the World Premiere of a commission from sound’s second Composer in Residence, Aillie Robertson. Performed by vocal ensemble Exaudi with local singers, the piece will explore notions of Motherhood. An associated exhibition will run at the Suttie Art Space during the festival.

The first weekend of the festival (24 – 27 October) will feature a number of appearances by Christopher Redgate (oboe) including a concert with acclaimed French string quartet, Quatuor Diotima, which features a performance on the revolutionary Howarth-Redgate oboe. World Premieres include The Yellow Wallpaper - a new work by Anna McClure exploring a woman’s struggle with postpartum psychosis performed by Jillian Bain Christie (soprano), Angela Margaret Main (performance artist) and local musicians; new works developed as part of a composers residential weekend with Red Note Ensemble; and We need to talk / Il faut qu'on parle – two new works created as part of a Franco-British collaboration bringing together cellists Noémi Boutin and Matthew Sharp, and composers Frédéric Pattar and Laura Bowler. Other highlights of the weekend include Claudia Molitor’s Decay, and Written in Fire – a concert with the Singh Quartet and Vessel.

Over the second weekend (31 October – 3 November) Nicholas Daniel will lead an Oboe Day and join the Fidelio Trio in a programme of work by John Casken. In another concert he will be joined by Dutch oboist Oliver Boekhoorn and French oboist Jean-Pierre Arnaud for a ‘European’ performance of sound patron Sir James MacMillan’s Intercession for 3 Oboes. Local new music group Any Enemy, which made its soundfestival premiere last year, returns with two performances including a concert with sound Associate Ensemble, Red Note featuring sound commissions from Tansy Davies, Linda Buckley and Luke Style. On Saturday 2 November sound will collaborate with Aberdeen City Council on the opening event for the Art Gallery. Later in the day the festival will welcome the musicians of TM+ in a Franco-British programme, and Dutch ensemble Calefax with Matthew Barley who will give the UK premiere of a new work by Graham Fitkin.

“For the third of our showcases of endangered instruments we are focussing on the oboe this year,” says sound Director, Fiona Robertson. “We are delighted to be welcoming some of the world’s leading exponents of the instrument including our Artists in Residence Christopher Redgate and Nicholas Daniel.” 

“We are also delighted to open this year’s festival with the first commission from sound’s second Composer in Residence Allie Robertson, which also marks a welcome return to sound for vocal ensemble, Exaudi.”

“This year’s collaboration with our musical friends from France and The Netherlands is particularly apposite, starting as it does less than a week before the UK is due to leave the EU,” she adds. “We are looking forward to welcoming Quatuor Diotima, ‘cellist Noémi Boutin, TM+ and Calefax, all of whom are making their soundfestival debut.”

“As part of this year’s festival we are particularly looking forward to taking part in the celebrations for the re-opening of Aberdeen Art Gallery. It has always been a central venue for soundfestival and we hope to stage many more performances both in the refurbished galleries and Cowdry Hall in the years to come.”

The full programme for 2019 soundfestival will be released in late August.

For further soundfestival information, images and interviews contact: Lesley Booth 07799414474 / 

Notes for Editors

  • James Turnbull has had to withdraw from 2019 soundfestival for personal reasons
  • Renowned for its distinctive granite architecture and rich heritage, Aberdeen will welcome a host of new culture, tourism, leisure and events this year. They range from the reopening of Aberdeen Art Gallery after a £30 million redevelopment, and the launch of TECA, a £333 million event and exhibition complex, to flourishing literary, art, music and comedy festivals. With a transformed city-wide leisure and tourism offer, Aberdeen is emerging as a bustling new destination to explore.  
  • soundfestival 2019 is supported by Creative Scotland, Help Musicians UK, PRS for Music Foundation (Talent Development Partner), Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council, University of Aberdeen Development Trust, The Fenton Arts Trust, RVW Trust, Hugh Fraser Foundation, Performing Arts Fund NL, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, Diaphonique.

For further information about Aberdeen Art Gallery / TECA contact:
Margaret Sweetnam,
Laura Steele,