Classical music concerts across Dumfries and Galloway

A gala performance on a grand scale featuring some of the world’s best-loved classical music stars, is the penultimate highlight of this year’s International Musicians Platform – the 10-day classical music festival at venues across Dumfries and Galloway.

The festival kicked off last Friday evening at the Cally Palace, near Gatehouse, with a stunning performance by Russian cellist Karine Georgian. Saturday saw full house at Greyfriars Church in Dumfries when world-renowned violinist Tasmin Little gave a rousing programme which included works by Schubert, Brahms, Ravel and Franck. Pianist Sasha Gynyuk dazzled his enraptured audience at the Buccleuch and Queensberry Arms in Thornhill with works by Schubert, Blake and Chopin.

On Tuesday, the Aurea String Quartet will give an intimate chamber concert at 2pm in Portpatrick’s Fernhill Hotel. The quartet members, all award-winning graduates from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, have played in some of the world’s most prestigious concert halls.

On Wednesday, at 7.30pm, celebrated young Polish violinist Bartosz Waroch, will give one of his world-class concerts at the Cally Palace. The programme includes Mozart’s Sonata in E flat major for piano and violin K.380; J.Cage, Six melodies for violin and keyboard; Lili Boulanger’s Nocturne; Beethoven, Romance in G major op.40 for violin and piano; G Bacewicz’s 2nd sonata for solo violin; and S.Gubaidulina’s Dancer on a tightrope for violin and piano. Bartosz will be accompanied by pianist Mei Yi Foo.

Thornhill’s beloved tenor, Nicky Spence, returns to the region on Thursday evening to perform at Greyfriars Church, Dumfries.

Since his early beginnings singing in school concerts at Wallace Hall Academy, Nicky has reached the top of his profession, performing with a number of international opera companies, plus giving solo performances and recitals in some of the world’s biggest stages.

The festival is delighted to welcome him home for this very special concert which starts at 7.30pm and includes works by Vaughan Williams and Elgar.

Nicky will be accompanied by the perfect strings of the Aurea Quartet and John Thwaites on piano.

Malaysian pianist Mei Yi Foo will prove why she is an internationally-acclaimed classical musician when she performs Debussy, Tchaikovsky and Chopin on the resident grand Blüthner piano at the Cally Palace on Friday at 7.30pm.

Saturday’s spectacular gala performance in Greyfriars Church sees opera megastar Susan Bullock performing alongside tenors Nicky Spence and Richard Berkeley Steele. Susan is the world’s most sought-after British dramatic soprano with a CBE under her belt and this is a very rare chance to see and hear her perform outside the world’s biggest stages.

The singers will be accompanied on piano by Simon Lepper and the exciting programme, which begins at 7.30pm, includes rousing works by Verdi, Wagner, Tchaikovsky and Léhar.

The festival ends on Sunday with an afternoon of music and song inspired by Shakespeare’s As You Like It. Nicky Spence and Simon Lepper will give a performance at 3.30pm from the works of Britten, Schubert, Haydn and more.

Tickets for all performances may be booked in advance from www.absoluteclassics.co.uk or on the door at the event. Owing to the popularity of these festival concerts, advance booking is strongly advised.