L-R : Lorna Gourley; Michael Hitchon; Patricia Crook; Jim Coutts; Councillor Brian McGinley
One of Scotland's premier classical music concert programmes is back with a bang with the line-up for the Ayr Concert Series confirmed for 2017/18. Now in its 31st year, the events are being staged by volunteers from the Ayr Arts Guild on behalf of South Ayrshire Council.
From Friday 6 October 2017 to Friday 20 April 2018, seven professional orchestral concerts will be performed in Ayr Town Hall. The series features three visits by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, two of which are being recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 3, two from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, one by The Orchestra of Scottish Opera, and a Beethoven album launch from the SCO Wind Soloists.
The series features a number of leading artists including conductors Joseph Swensen, Stephen Bell, the Russian Mikhail Agrest and director/soloists François Leleux (oboe), Laura Samuel (violin), and singers Jamie MacDougall, Laura Zigmantaite and Claire Booth.
The programme includes performances of Beethoven, James MacMillan, Mozart, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Christmas Classics, and the New Year gala concert. One performance from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in November brings a world premiere for a new piece of work from the award winning Scottish composer, Tom Harrold.
Councillor Brian McGinley, South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Tourism and Leisure said he was confident this year's line-up would strike the right chord, "Year-after-year the concert series brings first rate musicians to play some of the world's finest music at Ayr Town Hall, a venue that has proved to be a popular draw for both musicians and music lovers alike.
"By having events like these on our own doorstep people are given the opportunity to see renowned orchestras play the classics, with two of the concerts from the BBC Symphony Orchestra also being recorded for broadcast on UK national radio.
"I hope that the public continues to show their support for this worthwhile series and I'd like to wish the organisers the best of luck as we move closer to the first performance at the start of October."
Jim Coutts, Chairman of Ayr Arts Guild added, "The fine acoustics in Ayr Town Hall continue to attract leading names from the world of classical music, with a world premiere from contemporary Scottish composer, Tom Harrold, just one of this year's highlights.
"We're kicking off this year with a lively concert from director François Leleux who promises to bring an 'unforgettable presence and playing' in bringing to life arias by Mozart in a concert also featuring Beethoven and Schubert.
"We think we've pulled together a fantastic programme of music and we're hoping people from across Scotland vote with their feet and support these wonderful musicians in what we think will be a Concert Series to remember."
Season tickets are now on sale, which offer savings of up to £14. Brochures containing details of all concerts in the Ayr Concert Series 2017/18 are available from all Ayrshire libraries, Ayr Town Hall, Ayr Tourist Information Office, and from the South Ayrshire Events section.
The full programme is available here.