Character is back in town

This season’s Music in Peebles concert series aims, once again, to capture the wonderful variety that characterises chamber music.

From Europe in 1720 to America in 1988, the programme spans centuries and continents, whilst the instruments featured include the usual strings, wind and piano, but also the human voice, an accordion and even some electronics.

As usual, the music is performed by visiting professional musicians who range from the world-famous to some of the finest of the new generation; from some familiar faces who have appeared in Peebles before to some making their first visit.

Two of the finest young musicians around, who have appeared separately in Peebles before, are brought together for the opening concert. Cellist Laura van der Heijden (BBC Young Musician, 2012) and pianist Tom Poster (Scottish International Piano Competition winner, 2007) were both hugely popular on their first visits and look set to pack the house for a great start to the season. Pascal Rogé is one of the world’s leading pianists and is also sure to be a season highlight in an all-French programme, including works to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of the ever-popular Erik Satie. Schubert’s epic song cycle ‘Winterreise’ will be performed by two of its greatest exponents, tenor James Gilchrist and pianist Anna Tilbrook – suitably chilling music for a February evening!

Returning to Peebles are Athenaeum Winds, one of Scotland’s most exciting young ensembles and violinist Steve Bingham, this time with his renowned string quartet who will combine Beethoven and Janacek with Minimalist masters Steve Reich and Philip Glass.

Our own Colin Scobie also makes a welcome return, this time as a solo violinist with the superb pianist Simon Lane as his accompanist.

The season is completed by Kosmos Ensemble, in which three outstanding young virtuosi of violin, viola and accordion perform a unique fusion of classical and world music in a concert like no other!

In addition to the concerts, Music in Peebles also undertakes outreach work consisting of music workshops in local schools and concerts for residents of local care homes. Music in Peebles is grateful to local businesses whose advertisements in concert programmes help to support this outreach work, and to Enterprise Music Scotland which subsidises the concerts.

You can find full details of the concerts by picking up a leaflet from the Eastgate Theatre and other selected locations, or by visiting www.musicinpeebles.org.uk. The concerts are open to all; tickets are available from the Eastgate Theatre box office (01721 725777) or online at www.eastgatearts.com, and cost £14 (£7 for an adult accompanying a child under 12). Admission is free for school students.