THIRTY-SEVEN concerts featuring top musicians spread over 14 days take place in East Lothian in September.

The Lammermuir Festival has a packed programme at eight venues as concertgoers can finally return to appreciate live music.

Opening on September 7, the festival begins with four song recitals in partnership with BBC Radio 3 featuring Robert Murray and Alisdair Hogarth, James Atkinson and Sholto Kynoch, Catriona Morison and Malcolm Martineau, and Mary Bevan and Joseph Middleton.

Over the course of two weeks, some of the best classical musicians gather to bring audiences a very special re-immersion in the power of live music.

Hugh Macdonald and James Waters, artistic directors of Lammermuir Festival, said in a statement: “We are so looking forward to sharing live music with you in September – it has been far too long.

“We have wonderful artists returning, or coming for the first time to Lammermuir to treat audiences to a very special return to music making.

"Careful thought has gone into the audience experience and we are confident that we are presenting a carefully managed and rich series of concerts.

“We are thrilled that with the support of our friends, benefactors and supporters we are able to return with such a strong festival this year, including four live BBC Radio 3 relays.

"We look forward to welcoming you to this most magical part of the world this September.”

East Lothian Courier: Jeremy Denk. Picture: Shervin LainezJeremy Denk. Picture: Shervin Lainez

Visionary American pianist Jeremy Denk has been confirmed as artist-in-residence for four concerts.

Continuing Lammermuir’s Bach strand into its 12th festival, Denk brings his technique and insight to The Well-tempered Clavier Book1.

He is joined by Maria Włoszczowska and members of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra for Schubert’s popular ‘Trout’ quintet; performs a solo recital of Bach, Taylor-Coleridge, Thomas ‘Blind Tom’ Wiggins, JoplinChauvin, Beethoven and Rzewski; and closes the Lammermuir Festival on September 20 with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra playing two sublime Mozart Piano Concertos No14 in E flat major K449 and No23 in A major K488.

Among those performing at the festival, which dates back to 2010, are Scottish Opera (St Mary’s Parish Church, Haddington).

They will bring Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte with a fantastic young cast and full chorus and orchestra.

The Maxwell and Navarra String Quartets return with programmes of Haydn, Howells, Prokofiev, Beethoven and Dvořák, and Mozart, Bartók and Beethoven respectively.

Other highlights include Tom Poster’s fabulous set of virtuosi, the Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective, making its festival debut with two concerts.

The first offers repertoire for piano and wind soloists including works by Tailleferre, Poulenc, Glinka, Simpson and Beethoven.

Their second concert is a tribute to the legendary horn player Dennis Brain two of the greatest pieces from Brain’s repertoire Mozart’s Piano and Wind Quintet and Brahms’s Horn Trio alongside a recent tribute composed by Huw Watkins.

East Lothian Courier: Amy Harman. Picture: Kaupo KikkasAmy Harman. Picture: Kaupo Kikkas

Members of the collective include Amy Harman (bassoon, pictured Kaupo Kikkas) and horn player Ben Goldscheider.

The Dunedin Consort continues its unbroken 12-year streak of performing at every Lammermuir Festival with Nicholas Mulroy leading singers and instrumentalists in a selection of Monteverdi madrigals about love, loss and war with soprano Julia Doyle and bass Matthew Brook.

Red Note Ensemble will transfix with the shimmering orchestration of James Dillon’s Tanz/Haus at Dunbar Parish Church, while four of Scotland’s finest musicians, pianist Susan Tomes and members of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra come together to play Mozart and Fauré Piano Quartets.

On the final weekend, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra plays Mozart, Britten and Haydn led by conductor Peter Whelan and joined by star tenor Joshua Ellicott for Britten’s ‘Nocturne’, his setting of eight poems on sleep, night and dreams.

East Lothian Courier: Coco Tomita. Picture: Yukari TomitaCoco Tomita. Picture: Yukari Tomita

Also appearing is violinist Coco Tomita (pictured above).

Alan Morrison, head of music at Creative Scotland, said: “The Lammermuir Festival is distinguished by its use of beautiful locations across East Lothian, which makes this year’s return to live performance even more precious.

“As the long pause between notes comes to an end, audiences and artists will once again share their love of music together in the same place, at the same time.

“Creative Scotland is delighted to support a festival that presents such a world-class array of homegrown and international talent in person, across the airwaves and online.”

Organisers say that the comfort and safety of artists and audiences is their priority and they will be focusing on “smaller audiences in large, airy venues” such as Haddington’s St Mary’s and Dunbar Parish Church and “very small audiences in other medium sized venues”, such as Stenton Church, Garvald Village Hall and Holy Trinity Church, Haddington.

One-metre social distancing will be in place between seating, as well as ‘seat bubbles’ of two people.

For more information and ticket details, go to