Music at Paxton, a summer festival of top class international chamber music, takes place in Paxton House on the banks of the River Tweed in the Scottish Borders from 13 – 22 July 2018. The daily concerts offer an intimate, friendly and relaxed experience and take place in Paxton House’s splendid Picture Gallery. With its large, domed roof-light that lets in the summer sun, and walls hung high with paintings from the National Galleries of Scotland’s collection, it is an idyllic setting for chamber music.
This year marks both the end of the First World War and of Debussy's death, and the opening weekend covers both these themes with performances from Alasdair Beatson and Friends (13 July 7pm and 9pm) playing Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, and Trio Apaches (14 July 6pm) playing both John Ireland’s Piano Trio No. 2 and Sally Beamish's arrangement of Debussy's La Mer.
The master of French piano music Pascal Rogé, is joined by his wife and duo partner Ami Rogé (14 July 7.30pm) for a programme for two pianos comprised of French music from World War One; Scottish based Maxwell Quartet, who recently won the Trondheim International Chamber Music Competition, perform Haydn, Shostakovich and Beethoven on 17 July 7.30pm; BBC New Generation Artist Benjamin Appl is joined by pianist Graham Johnson for a Schubert song cycle on 22 July 2pm; fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenhout returns to Paxton on 18 July 7.30pm for a solo recital featuring Beethoven, Haydn and Schubert; Scottish guitarist Sean Shibe performs Scottish Lute Music from the Balcarres, Rowallan, Straloch and Wemyss on 19 July 7.30pm; cellist Steven Isserlis and duo partner Connie Shih perform works by both Clara and Robert Schumann as well as Irish born Augusta Holmès on 21 July 7.30pm and Chiaroscuro Quartet close the festival on 22 July 6pm with Haydn’s ‘Joke’ quartet, Beethoven’s Op 18 No 3 and Mendelssohn’s Quartet in E flat.
Presenting musicians early in their careers and integrating them into the Music at Paxton programme remains of key importance to the festival, who proudly continue their relationship with Live Music Now Scotland. On 14 July 3.30pm Glasgow based guitarists Knox & Ion perform a relaxing programme of Latin, world and jazz music and recent winner of BBC Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2018, Hannah Rarity, is joined by guitarist Luc McNally on 21 July 3.30pm for a repertoire of Scottish, Irish, English and American songs.
Once again, in conjunction with Live Music Now Scotland and Paxton House, the extremely successful free one-hour taster concerts ‘Music at Paxton…Plus’ return to the festival. This year the festival welcomes Scelerisque Duo, Hungarian born Balázs Renczás (cello) and Viktória Sarkadi (piano) on 6 May 2.30pm and pianist Jocelyn Freeman on 3 June 2.30pm who began her career as a cathedral chorister and released her solo piano album ‘Night and Novelties’ in 2013.
Helen Jamieson, Artistic Director for Music at Paxton, said: “I am thrilled that we are able to present artists of the international stature of Steven Isserlis, the Chiaroscuro Quartet, Benjamin Appl, Graham Johnson and Kristian Bezuidenhout, as well as talented young artists who are following in their footsteps.”
This year also marks the tercentenary year of Thomas Chippendale’s birth and Paxton House is hosting an exclusive programme dedicated to the celebrated 18th Century cabinetmaker. From the 5 June - 28 August, Paxton House hosts The Paxton Style: Neat & Substantially Good for Chippendale 300, displaying key collection pieces of Chippendale furniture along with outstanding and rarely seen pieces on loan from private and public collections.
Music at Paxton is supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland, and tickets for the 2018 festival go on sale Monday 23 April 10am from Hub Tickets.