ORGANISERS of this year’s Lammermuir Festival have praised the “brilliant” atmosphere in venues across East Lothian, despite social distancing.

Following its launch on September 7, 36 concerts were held over 14 days, with top classical musicians gathering at different locations around the county, reimmersing audiences in the power of live music.

A spokesperson for the festival said: “It was such an incredible moment for so many either working to organise the festival or for some of the performers who were taking to the stage for the first time in front of a live audience.”

Special mentions were made of Jeremy Denk, the artist in residence, whose four concerts were described as “absolutely stunning” – from his solo Bach recital in the opening days, continuing the festival’s annual Bach moment, to the Mozart piano concertos on the closing night with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

East Lothian Courier: Aaron Akugbo. Image Robin MitchellAaron Akugbo. Image Robin Mitchell

Recitals from young Scottish talents were also enjoyed by those who attended, including Aaron Akugbo on the trumpet and Ryan Corbett on the accordion in Crichton Collegiate Church and Innerwick respectively.

BBC Radio 3 also broadcast four song recitals, including Mary Bevan and Catriona Morison in the first week.

Scottish Opera filled St Mary’s Parish Church in Haddington with their semi-staged version of Cosi fan Tutte.

East Lothian Courier: Violinist Coco Tomita, Lammermuir Festival, Seacliff Beach, East Lothian. Picture: Ian GeorgesonViolinist Coco Tomita, Lammermuir Festival, Seacliff Beach, East Lothian. Picture: Ian Georgeson

James Waters, co-director of the Lammermuir Festival, said: “We were absolutely thrilled to be able to deliver 36 concerts of beautiful music in beautiful places to live audiences.

“2021 was our biggest festival ever!

“Audiences were very strong in our socially distanced venues and the atmosphere at the concerts was brilliant. We were fortunate to be able to present some really wonderful performances by our artist-in-residence Jeremy Denk, as well as by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and our series of lunchtime song recitals was broadcast live by BBC Radio 3.

“We are deeply grateful to St Mary’s and Holy Trinity Churches in Haddington, as well as Dunbar Parish Church, who were so supportive in making this really exciting festival possible.”