Chamber music in stunning scenic venues with a whiff of single malt whisky in the peaty air? It can only be the unique Cantilena Festival, back on Islay for its twelfth successive year and a major marker in the seasons events in Argyll and the Isles.
It’s in July but we’re telling you now to give you time to get your arrangements made to get to Islay – and to plan to take full advantage of the wealth of experiences and delights this ‘Isle of my heart’ has to offer.
Running from Sunday 1st July to Friday 6th July,the Cantilena programme has seven concerts, one on each evening and a lunchtime extra at Sanaigmore on Wednesday 4th July.
Four of the concerts take place in some of the whisky distilleries whose legendary drams carry the name of Islay to the corners of the earth.
- Monday 2nd July is an evening of Bach at Laphroaig at 8.00pm;
- Tuesday 3rd – same tine – is Telemann, Weber, Villa Lobos, Bach and Mozart at Lagavulin;
- Thursday 5th, same time again, brings Scotland’s Court Music, ancient and modern, to Ardbeg. This features Rona Wilkie from Oban, BBC Scotland’s 2012 YoungTraditional Musician of the Year;
- Friday 6th, same time for the last night of the festival, with Boccherini, Haydn, Vivaldi and Scott Joplin at Bruichladduch. This features guest musicians, Marion Ramsay from Port Ellen and Rona Wilkie, as above.
The three remaining concerts in the Cantilena progammne, no less and no more sober than these four jollies, will see:
- Sunday 1st July – the opener, with a Beethoven piano recital and work by Brahms, Schumann-Liszt and Szymanowski at 8.00pm at the Columba Centre
- Wednesday 4th – lunchtime concert, A little light music, 1.30pm at the Outback Gallery at Sanaigmore;
- Wednesday 4th – Mozart and a video presentation of work for solo piano by Philip Glass – 9.00pm at the Columba Centre.
Cantilena offers a wide-ranging programme by a group of professional musicians who get together just for this event.
Pieces from the classical repertoire include Haydn String Quartet, Mozart Piano Concerto in A and the Bach double violin concerto. One evening will be devoted to Scotland’s Court Music and will feature Rona Wilkie, winner of 2012 BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician award. Full details of the programme are here.
Cantilena have been coming to Islay now for 12 years and their festival is a highlight of the year both for Islay residents and visitors.
Definitely time for a little westering to the home you have – or wish you had.