· St Magnus International Festival returns to Orkney with a strong programme of events across the week-long festival held 17 – 24 June 2022
· The Royal Scottish National Orchestra will be performing live in St Magnus Cathedral
· ‘Storytelling’ takes a central role in the theme of the Festival focusing on magic, witchcraft, and the occult, looking at how they have impacted individuals and society across the ages and still do so today
· UK premiere of Paul Crabtree’s opera The Ghost Train
· Lotte Betts-Dean performs Peter Maxwell Davies’s virtuosic and disturbing dramatic scena The Medium for the first time since its premiere in 1981
· Award-winning novelist & poet Jenni Fagan talks about her new novel Hex which takes its inspiration from the Scottish Witch trials
· Sunday Times Bestselling author Cal Flynn discusses her new book Islands of Abandonment looking at the ecology and psychology of abandoned places
· Musicians appearing at the festival also include Tenebrae Choir, harpist Oliver Wass, Kugoni Trio, Palisander Quartet, pianists Clare Hammond and percussionists O Duo, among others
17 – 24 June 2022 will see the return of St Magnus International Festival with an extensive programme boasting some of the world’s most renowned musicians and literary figures.
The 2022 Festival sees a return to a bigger programme of live events across Orkney with a wide variety of performers ranging from solo piano to opera, literary conversations to recorder quartets and choirs to percussion, alongside the welcome return of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra to the islands.
The programme’s highlights include an intriguing selection of instruments: from the accordion with the young, award-winning Scot Ryan Corbett; harp with Oliver Wass; recorders with the Palisander Quartet; and violin, saxophone and piano from the Belgian Kugoni Trio.
Tenebrae, one of the finest choirs in the UK, joins the Festival Chorus for a performance of Brahms’ Requiem alongside the Festival Chorus and gives their own concert of music from the royal courts.
Other highlights include: concerts of percussion, piano and voice with music by George Crumb and Gyorgy Ligeti in St Magnus Cathedral; virtuoso pianists Mihai Ritivoiu from Romania and Clare Hammond in separate recitals featuring music old and new; and the Argenta Trio from France and Belgium bring music ranging from Schubert to Vasks.
At the heart of the Festival is the theme of storytelling expressed through both the musical and literary offering. This theme is perfectly epitomised in a promenade installation series of concerts Fabulous Fables – an Orkney Tapestry which combines music, art, text and architecture with an immersive event held throughout St Magnus Cathedral.
The storytelling theme is then focused on magic, witchcraft and the occult looking at how they have impacted individuals and society across the ages and still do so today with events including: the UK premiere of Paul Crabtree’s The Ghost Train that brings to the operatic stage Arnold Ridley’s famous play from 1923; Lotte Betts-Dean performing Peter Maxwell Davies’s virtuosic and disturbing dramatic scena The Medium for the first time since its premiere in 1981; award-winning novelist & poet Jenni Fagan talking about her new novel Hex, which takes its inspiration from the Scottish Witch trials; and Sunday Times Bestselling author Cal Flynn discussing her new book Islands of Abandonment looking at the ecology and psychology of abandoned places.
Alasdair Nicolson, Festival Director of St Magnus International Festival said: ‘We are delighted to be back bigger and better than ever with this year’s Festival. We’re proud to be able to bring audiences the very best in both our musical and literary offering and we can be sure of an inspiring, intriguing and stimulating series of events. St Magnus International Festival brings the world’s best to the islands whilst revealing Orkney to a wider world. What Max (Peter Maxwell Davies) started 46 years ago is alive and well and thriving. We are looking forward to bringing the midsummer days to life in Orkney and that audiences come from near and far to join us.’
For full Festival line-up and ticket sale, please visit https://www.stmagnusfestival.com/.