June 14, 2013 by Sam Khan-McIntyre in Edinburgh Reporter.
The Mendelssohn on Mull Festival will be celebrating 25 years of musical performance this year. This free festival of chamber music takes place between 1-6 July 2013 on the island of Mull and offers an opportunity for the young musicians taking part and music lovers alike.
The musicians are invited by artistic director Levon Chilingiran, a professor at the Royal College of Music, in London. They perform in various venues, such as the tiny Creich Church seating 50 or the grandeur of Duart Castle’s Great Hall. For the young professionals, who this year will include some from Edinburgh, it is an important way to gain performance experience and hone skills with the mentorship of experienced chamber musicians, in a beautiful setting.
Participant and freelance musician, Jessica Hall, 23, from Edinburgh who plays violin, viola, clarinet and piano said: – “Living in Edinburgh was a fantastic place to enter the music profession. I was lucky enough to attend St Mary’s Music School. The city was inspiring for me musically due to its festivals. Edinburgh also hosts an international festival of the arts every Easter where people will come from all over to compete. This was a very motivating thing to look forward to and work towards.” She also cites the witnessing of music from all over the world, in all types of venues, including bars and street performances during the Edinburgh International Festival as important to her.
Jessica has won numerous awards and prizes in her home city, such as the Winifred Gavine Medal for solo violin playing, the Edinburgh Quartet Prize, in the Advanced Duet Class and was finalist in the Edinburgh Concerto Competition.
The idea of the Mull festival is to bring a new generation of musicians into contact with seasoned professional mentors in relaxed and stunning surroundings, away from the treadmill and stresses of the professional music circuit. In this regard, Jessica said :-”The festival is my number one commitment giving me the opportunity to play chamber music with wonderful mentors in such a peaceful place.”
Of the relevance these days of such a festival, she said: – “Classical music is sadly something that a lot of young people aren’t interested in – it is viewed as dated and ‘un-cool’. I hope that the festival reaches people of a younger age and shows them how varied the world of classical music can be.”
She added:-”We did get a fair amount of younger audience last year and I think the fact that the musicians are made up of young people who are obviously passionate about music and having a fantastic time performing shows them a different side to classical music that they wouldn’t have previously experienced.”
As to who might enjoy attending the festival, Jessica said: – “I couldn’t recommend this festival enough. There is something for everyone. I strongly believe that even if you are not passionate about classical music witnessing such enjoyable concerts from such young players is an experience in itself. The location of the festival is incredible. The festival grows in size every year as people come and love it and recommend it to everyone they know.”
In conclusion she said: – ”If you want a fantastic introduction to the world of classical music it’s perfect, and if you are somebody who already loves classical music then it’s the ideal venue to come and enjoy some performances of the highest quality.”
The festival is based on the island because the young composer Felix Mendelssohn made a life changing trip through Scotland to Mull, which inspired him to write ‘The Hebrides Overture, Fingal’s Cave’- one of his most famous pieces.
The young professionals are divided into three groups which workshop repertoire with experienced mentors. Jessica is in group 2.
This year’s mentors are Levon Chilingirian, Gaby Lester, Susie Mészáros, Marcia Crayford, and Stephen Orton.
Due to the popularity of some venues, start times have been staggered to allow travel to another venue if capacity is reached. Concert goers at Glengorm and Duart Castles should arrive at least 30 minutes before the start of the performances. All concerts are free of charge but an entrance fee is charged for access to Iona Abbey.
For further information about the festival, the venues and the participating musicians, visit: www.mendelssohnonmull.com
Workshop and Concert Diary 2013
Monday 1st July 2013 19.30 TOBERMORY PARISH CHURCH – All Groups
Tuesday 2nd July 2013 14.00 DERVAIG HALL – Group 3
19.30 SALEN CHURCH – Group 1
20.00 CRAIGNURE HALL – Group 2
Wednesday 3rd July 2013 19.30 SALEN CHURCH – Group 2
19.30 GLENGORM CASTLE – Group 1
20.15 MULL THEATRE – Group 3
Thursday 4th July 2013 11.30 IONA ABBEY – All Groups (This concert will include a performance of the Barber Adagio for Strings. Please note visitors must purchase a ticket to the Abbey. Entrance to the concert is free.) 19.00 CREICH CHURCH – Group 1 19.00 BUNESSAN BAPTIST CHURCH – Group 3 20.00 DUART CASTLE – Group 2
Friday 5th July 2013 15.00 AROS HALL – Mendelssohn on Mull Music Makers 19.30 SALEN CHURCH – Classical Ceillidh – This concert will include a performance of the Mendelssohn Octet, to celebrate the Mendelssohn on Mull Festival’s 25th anniversary. Saturday 6th July 2013 19.30 ST JOHN’S CATHEDRAL, OBAN – This concert will include performances from all groups.
Group 1 – Mentor: Levon Chilingirian Haydn Op55 No2; Shostakovich 8; Mendelssohn Op18
Group 2 – Mentors: Gaby Lester and Susie Mészáros Schubert Quartettsatz in c minor ( D7030); Mozart K593; Brahms Op111
Group 3 – Marcia Crayford and Stephen Orton Mozart K575; Boccherini a cello quintet; Brahms Op18
Filed under Culture, Festivals · Tagged with Chamber Music, Edinburgh local news, Edinburgh news, Edinburgh Reporter, Jessica Hall, Levon Chilingiran, Mendellsohn on Mull, Mendellsohn on Mull 2013, Mull, Western Isles