Music at Paxton’s new festival manager looks ahead to the opening weekend.

Alina Ibragimova. Photo by Eva Vermandel.

Alina Ibragimova. Photo by Eva Vermandel.

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The 11th Music at Paxton Festival of chamber music kicks off at Paxton House on Friday July 15 and will run until Sunday July 24 with an array of international artists descending on the village of Paxton.

While maintaining a truly international status, this Festival is in fact run by a very small team: Helen Jamieson, who as Artistic Director is responsible for all programming aspects of the Festival, is joined this year by Elizabeth Macdonald, a freelance events manager based in East Lothian.

Elizabeth Macdonald says: “I am delighted to have joined the Music at Paxton team; the Festival has blossomed since its founding in 2006 into a significant cultural event, attracting many visitors to the region. Paxton House is also a hidden gem, tucked away in the Scottish Borders on the banks of the Tweed. This splendid Palladian House provides the perfect backdrop to the Festival, allowing plenty of scope for events in varied settings.

“I am particularly looking forward to finding new ways of widening access and participation; classical music is often seen as elitist and expensive, and we are very keen to show how accessible it can be.”

New to the format this year is a mini-residency. Violinist Alina Ibragimova, and long-standing duo partner Cédric Tiberghien are now regular visitors to the Festival; they will perform over the course of the first weekend alongside Cellist Pieter Wispelwey and the magnificent Doric String Quartet.

One of the Festival’s main aims is to provide a platform for young, prizewinning musicians who are approaching the height of their careers; this year, we welcome the Van Kuijk Quartet, recent winners of the triennial Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition, and BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists. Our close partnership with Live Music Now continues with a Young Artists’ Showcase, and the fabulous Granny Green – who recently wowed Celtic Connections in Glasgow – will entertain audiences in a more informal Sunday afternoon concert in the marquee.

Audiences can expect great things from this year’s Festival! Full details on www.musicatpaxton.co.uk