Feast for brass lovers across north east Fife

The new Wallace Collection will perform at the Festival's opening concert in the Younger Hall.
The new Wallace Collection will perform at the Festival's opening concert in the Younger Hall.

Over 150 musicians from across the country are bound for the 2014 St Andrews Brass Festival which begins in the town next week.

The unique festival which is now in its third year and is organised by the University Music Centre, will see musicians take part in a range of concerts and events that will see all sides of the rich history and exciting future of brass music explored.

Opening the festival on Wednesday, November 12, with a concert at 1.10pm in the Younger Hall is the Fife-born international trumpet virtuoso John Wallace and his newly- reformed Wallace Collection.

The Wallace Collection, originally founded by Wallace in 1986, has performed on every continent in the world and was widely recognised as one of the world’s leading ensembles of its kind.

Festival director Bede Williams said: “It’s a real coup for John to bring his ensemble here; there are few brass ensembles in the world that have not felt the effects of John’s pioneering approach to programming over the past few decades.”

The event will be followed at 2.30pm with a Research Seminar held in the Byre Theatre during which Wallace will discuss his work.

On Thursday at 7.30pm, the Festival picks up after St Andrews Voices with a concert of brass and vocal music by Gabrieli, Schutz and Monteverdi performed by the Renaissance Singers and St Andrews Brass.

On Friday evening students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and St Mary’s Music School perform with Nigel Boddice and John Kenny in the Younger Hall in a concert featuring two works that again combine brass with other instruments.

Terry Johns’ Paolozzi’s Window combines the traditional brass quintet with piano while Steve Foreman’s Clydean Coronaries pits brass against bagpipes, not in the typical ceremonial fashion but in a virtuosic tour-de-force that requires the solo bagpiper – here played by the Royal Conservatoire Scottish Music Head Joshua Dickson – to integrate with intricate ensemble playing.

For more details see www.st-andrews.ac.uk/music/brassfestival. Tickets for the festival are free with the exception of The Wallace Collection’s lunchtime concert and ‘A Guide to the Galaxy’.