Absolute Classics at the Cally

Susy McMillan; Robert McWhir, general manager Cally Palace; Neil Farren, group revenues manager, McMillan Hotels; and Alex McQuiston, director Absolute Classics.
Susy McMillan; Robert McWhir, general manager Cally Palace; Neil Farren, group revenues manager, McMillan Hotels; and Alex McQuiston, director Absolute Classics.
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An exciting collaboration between a music charity and Scotland’s longest-running independent hotel chain, will provide a chance for audiences in Galloway to experience world class classical music in a unique and individual way.

Absolute Classics, the Annan-based charity that runs an annual classical music festival and concert series, has teamed up with Stranraer-based McMillan Hotels to bring rising world-class stars of the genre to the region in the grand and opulent setting of some of the South West Scotland’s finest hotels.

The Absolute Classics 2015 International Musicians Platform takes place between July 31 and August 9. It is a classical music festival and masterclass series which attracts performers and students from all over the world, as well as audiences throughout the region and beyond.

This year the festival will be based inside the splendour of Gatehouse of Fleet’s Cally Palace.

Classical music stars such as cellist Karine Georgian, violinist Tasmin Little, soprano, Susan Bullock, tenor Nicky Spence and pianists, John Lenehan and John Thwaites will be performing concerts and mingling with guests inside the former 18th century country mansion, now a 56-bedroom golf hotel which attracts visitors from across the globe.

Absolute Classics director, Alex McQuiston, said: “We are delighted that McMillan Hotels have pledged to come on board and sponsor us in such a huge way.

“Absolute Classic concerts are held throughout August to March in a variety of venues across the region – from stylish to utilitarian settings.

“The generosity of the McMillan Hotel Group, which boasts some of the finest hotels in Dumfries and Galloway, adds an entirely new dimension to the all-round quality of our work in bringing the highest calibre classical music experience to new and existing audiences at an affordable level.

“We will be holding the main part of the festival in the Cally Palace but will also put on a few Bitesize classical music tasters in the McMillan-run Fernhill Hotel in Portpatrick and Glenapp Castle, in Ballantrae, Ayrshire.”

Cally Palace general manager, Bob McWhir, said: “We are very excited about this collaboration and are looking forward to hosting some of the world’s finest rising stars to our region.

“The opulence and grandeur of the Cally Palace provides the perfect setting for intimate chamber concerts and will hopefully help to bring in an entire new audience to the festival.”

Susy McMillan added: “Although McMillan Hotels provide high-end hospitality, we are a local family-run business with our roots firmly based in Dumfries and Galloway and are completely inclusive.

“We hope our partnership with Absolute Classics will help towards not only exposing our product to the region but also sending out the message that our doors are open to everyone.

“For those of you who have never been to a classical music concert before and are interested in experiencing one, we will make you very welcome.”

To find out more about the series and festival, visit www.absoluteclassics.co.uk