Paxton House to fall silent as annual music festival is postponed

Usually home to some of the country’s leading classical musicians, Paxton House will be silent this summer, following the cancellation of its annual music festival.

Monday, 20th April 2020, 2:19 pm
Music fans enjoy last year's Music at Paxton festival.

Social distancing measures introduced by the government aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus has forced the cancellation of this year’s Music at Paxton festival.

Boasting ten days of the best classical chamber music in the Borders, the main festival was due to take place from Friday, July 17, to Sunday, July 24, with additional free taster concerts in May and June.

Music at Paxton artistic director Angus Smith said: “It is with great sadness that the 2020 Music at Paxton Chamber Music Festival has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 crisis.

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“While we welcome expert opinion that suggests the overall situation may have improved by July, we must also acknowledge the likelihood that any return to restriction-free normality will be further down the line.

“With health and safety considerations for our audience, musicians, staff and volunteers being our top priority, the decision to cancel has therefore become unavoidable.”

With performances from noon until dusk around the Paxton Estate and beyond, the festival usually boasts something for everyone from late night jazz and folk music in the marquee to free choral music on the lawn, family friendly concerts and pre-show suppers.

“There has been extensive planning in the preparation of the 2020 Festival, not least the collaboration with many individuals and partnership organisations,” Angus added.

“We are especially conscious of the seismic impact that current measures are having on the livelihoods of musicians, and in response we are inviting all those due to appear this summer to return to Paxton at the earliest possible opportunity.”

The festival itself, established in 2006, is also a vital money-spinner for the charity.

Angus added: “As a charity, Music at Paxton relies to a major degree on the generous support of individuals. “In order to get through these extraordinary times, and to ensure that we can once again share the joy that live music brings in the unique Paxton setting, we need those contributions more than ever.

“We would be enormously grateful if you would consider making a donation to help us fulfil this aim.”

There’s still hope, though, that this year’s festival can be rescheduled, in part, in the form of a concert later in the year.

“On a more optimistic note, we are exploring the idea of presenting a concert in October which we hope will mark an end to the crisis,” Angus said.

“We invite you to check our website over the coming months for updates on our progress.”

To donate to Music at Paxton visit: www.cafdonate.cafonline.org/12660#!/DonationDetails