• Stuart MacRae nominated for Ivors Composer Award for Lammermuir Festival commission (2019) Prometheus Symphony, announced today.
  • Lammermuir Festival 2020, its first digital festival, hailed a success.

Bucking the trend for bad news, today the Lammermuir Festival are immensely proud to see Stuart MacRae nominated for an Ivors Composer Award for his Prometheus Symphony, commissioned by Lammermuir and premiered at the 2019 Festival performed by the BBC SSO.

Co-commissioned with BBC Radio 3, Prometheus Symphony was the third of three commissions over the three years that Stuart spent as Composer in Association at Lammermuir Festival, commissioned to celebrate the 10th Festival.

The work for Soprano, Bass-baritone and Chamber Orchestra has been nominated in the Chamber Orchestral category in what is the first Ivors nomination for Stuart. The winner will be announced on 1 December.

Today’s announcement comes on the back of the Festival’s successful transfer to the digital space in 2020. The first classical music festival in Scotland, and one of the first in the UK, to go online with a paid ticket, Lammermuir presented 12 concerts over 12 days. For many of the artists involved it was the first performances given in 6 months allowing them both to do what they loved, and as freelance artists to receive an income.

Pianist Roman Rabinovich said: “What a joy it was to return to the Lammermuir Festival. It meant so much to perform again after a long time of being in isolation. In our troubled times, we need Music and Beauty more than ever. It is wonderful to see Lammermuir creating the conditions to present music in a safe and meaningful way.”

Cellist Jonathan Manson said“It’s always a huge pleasure to play at the Lammermuir Festival, but this year felt even more special.  At a time when live performance of any kind is hanging by a thread, I found it such a joyful experience being able to share some of my favourite music with people again – perhaps with an even wider audience than usual – and in such a lovely venue.  Concerts like these feel like a beacon of hope right now!”

While the local audience many of whom annually attend the Lammermuir Festival became virtual audience members, they were joined by ticket buyers from the USA, Japan, across Europe and further afield in the UK in numbers which would make some of the Festival’s stunning boutique venues burst at the seams.

Joint Artistic Director James Waters said“We are thrilled by the success of the 2020 Lammermuir Festival Autumn Special.  Our family of wonderful artists delivered a series of remarkable performances to a substantial online audience. 

“There clearly is a demand for excellent performances, coherently programmed and effectively streamed. Audiences are happy to pay and have no difficulties with the technology of online concert-going.

“We know from the large sales of festival passes that that people curated their own private festivals and many watched events more than once.  We had remarkably positive feedback from regular attenders, but the festival also reached far and wide with audiences joining from the USA, Canada and Japan. While we very much hope to be presenting a live festival as usual next year we will certainly maintain a significant online presence as there is strongaudience demand for it.”

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