Welcome to sound festival 2023

Adventures in new music

Welcome to this year’s soundfestival – we hope you’re looking forward to it as much as we are!

Following last year’s final celebration of Endangered Instruments, we have gone theme-less for once, but both the piano and the voice are featured, alongside some really exciting new instrumental and electroacoustic work performed by both local and internationally-renowned performers.

It’s great to be able to welcome back to the festival two champions of new music for the piano: Rolf Hind returns to perform pieces he commissioned during lockdown and joins Robin Michael for a celebration of music for cello and piano, including music by the late much-missed John MacLeod; Christina McMaster will create spaces for deep relaxation and listening with her Lie Down and Listen concert experience. We look forward to hearing Colin Riley’s new work for piano, film and live visuals, Ludic Inventions, and welcome pianist Siwan Rhys to the festival for the first time – she will be performing a new work by Christopher Fox with fellow GBSR duo percussionist George Barton.

Siwan will also join mezzo-soprano Lucy Goddard for a setting of Nan Shepherd’s work The Living Mountain by composer James Weeks. Chamber Choir Ireland will perform their soundfestival debut, as will Elizabeth Hilliard with works by Irish composers for voice and electronics. And of course local chamber choir Con Anima will be present, performing new work by emerging composers as part of our soundcreator’s strand. We also have a Community Singing Day on the Sunday, so please sign up for that if you’d like to go beyond being an audience member!

There will be numerous other concerts across the 5 days: Red Note will feature a new commission from Norwegian composer Tine Surel Lange as part of a Scandinavian co-commission project, as well as premiering FLOCK, Kathy Hinde’s interactive multimedia work for children. And other returning musicians will include clarinettist Heather Roche, who will be performing with accordionist Eva Zollner, flautist Richard Craig, sound artist and composer Bill Thompson and local new music ensemble Any Enemy. And there is so much more we haven’t mentioned.

Have a browse of the programme. We’re sure that you will find something there to take you on your annual new music adventure!
Fiona Robertson, Director and Pete Stollery, Chair

What's coming up 


1.10PM | King's College Chapel | Deconstructing Tartan: Heather Roche (clarinet) and Eva Zöllner (accordion)
6PM | The Lemon Tree | Northern Connection: Red Note Ensemble
8.30PM | Aberdeen Arts Centre | Obfuscation: Gill Russell (visual artist), Pete Stollery (sound artist), Fraser Fifield (multi-instrumentalist/composer)


10.30AM | Aberdeen Maritime Museum | Promenade Concert
12.45AM | Cowdray Hall | Rolf Hind (piano)
2PM | Aberdeen Arts Centre | Obfuscation: Gill Russell (visual artist), Pete Stollery (sound artist), Fraser Fifield (traditional Scottish instruments)
3PM | Big Sky Studio, Music Hall | Spotlight gig: Red Note Ensemble
6PM | King's Pavilion, University of Aberdeen | THREE PLUS ONE
8PM | The Blue Lamp | Kazutoki Umezu KIKI BAND
8.30PM | The Lemon Tree | Night Vision


10AM & 11.30AM | The Anatomy Rooms | FLOCK
1.10PM | St Machar's Cathedral | Plain Air: Lucy Goddard (mezzo soprano) and Siwan Rhys (piano)
2PM | Phoenix Centre, Newton Dee Village | Lie Down & Listen (family-friendly)
3.30PM | Big Sky Studio, Music Hall | Spotlight gig: Go Compose!
4PM & 7.30PM | Phoenix Centre, Newton Dee Village | Lie Down & Listen
6PM | King's College Chapel | Chamber Choir Ireland
8.30PM | The Lemon Tree | Ludic Inventions


10AM & 11.30AM | The Anatomy Rooms | FLOCK 
12PM | St Andrew's Cathedral | Earth & Sea
2PM | Aberdeen Art Gallery | Spotlight gig: Con Anima Chamber Choir
2PM | The Barn, Banchory | Lie Down & Listen (family-friendly)
4PM | St Machar's Cathedral | PNEUMA: Richard Craig (flutes) and Michael Bonaventure (organ)
6PM | The Lemon Tree | Elizabeth Hilliard (voice)
7.30PM | The Barn, Banchory | Lie Down & Listen
8.30PM | The Anatomy Rooms | Late night soundsession


12.30PM | Cowdray Hall | Any Enemy
2.30PM | Fountainhall Church at the Cross | Robin Michael (cello) and Rolf Hind (piano) 
4PM | The Anatomy Rooms | Community Singing Day Concert
5.30PM | King’s Pavilion, University of Aberdeen | ENCOUNTERS