East Neuk Festival tunes up for musical extravaganza

American Pulitzer prizewinning composer, David Lang
American Pulitzer prizewinning composer, David Lang

It will be curtains up next week on a local festival that has grown to become a eagerly anticipated fixture on the classical music calendar.

Mendelssohn and Schuman are at the heart of this year’s Romantic-themed core chamber music programme.

However, along with the romance is a recognition that this is a year of remembrance and the festival, which starts on June 22 and runs until July 3, will host the world premiere of a new commission and community project to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme.

Memorial Ground, by American composer David Lang, will be directed by Paul Hillier and performed by Theatre of Voices and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra plus Fife choirs of 150 singers.

Festival director Svend Brown said: “No one text or piece of music can respond to such a scale of loss that resulted from the Battle of the Somme.

“So we have created a project that enables many different people to voice their own response to war and loss: singing groups of all sizes and abilities can customise David Lang’s basic piece to make it their own. They can choose or create the texts and shape the music itself according to their own thoughts, resources, location, circumstances and scale.”

The programme also includes jazz and world music, storytelling and a festival retreat.

For more details go to www.eastneukfestival.com.