Absolute Classics 2017 opens with David Frey

French classical pianist David Fray will open the 2017 Absolute Classics Festival at the Theatre Royal, Dumfries.
French classical pianist David Fray will open the 2017 Absolute Classics Festival at the Theatre Royal, Dumfries.

French classical pianist David Fray will open the Absolute Classics Festival at the Theatre Royal, Dumfries, on Friday, August 11.

The multi-award-winning musician and Warner Classics artist will perform a selection of music by Chopin and Schubert, setting the bar for a world-class programme of internationally acclaimed classical superstars who will be performing at two of the region’s most prestigious venues over the festival’s 10-day run.

Taking place at the Theatre Royal, Dumfries, and the Buccleuch and Queensberry Arms Hotel, Thornhill, the festival is a celebration of classical music with concerts and workshops given by some of the world’s finest international artists from August 11-20.

At the Theatre Royal, one of the UK’s biggest selling classical artists, celebrated clarinettist Emma Johnson, in concert with John Lenehan, piano, will deliver a programme of music by Brahms, Rossini, Poulenc, Reade and Bernstein on August 12.

Classical fans will be treated to a feast of song, fizz and food when popular Thornhill tenor Nicky Spence returns to his home with mezzo soprano Madeleine Shaw and pianist Simon Lepper on August 13. They will deliver a song cycle between courses of Janáček’s The Diary of the One Who Disappeared at the Buccleuch and Queensberry Arms Hotel from 6.30pm. A sumptuous five course menu with fizz and table wine is part of the evening. Tickets are very limited, so booking is essential.

On August 16, one of the most exciting British cellists of his generation, Guy Johnston, will play a programme by Rachmaninov, Prokofiev, Scriabin, Sibelius and Beethoven in Scotland’s oldest working theatre.

For fans of the opera, Opera Bohemia returns to the region with Bizet’s masterpiece, The Pearl Fishers on August 17, at the Theatre Royal. In this moving tale set in Ceylon, two men’s vow of friendship is threatened by their obsession with the same woman.

The festival plays out in formidable style on Sunday, August 20, with award-winning pianist Oxana Shevchenko

Further information and tickets are available from www.absoluteclassics.co.uk.