Local connections abound as Music in Peebles brings another successful season to a close at the Eastgate Theatre on Tuesday.
The occasion will be a homecoming for violinist Colin Scobie, who grew up in Peebles and has played in many concerts in the town since his childhood outings with Peebles Orchestra.
Now, as an established professional violinist with a busy schedule of orchestral, solo and chamber music work, he returns as leader of the Maxwell Quartet, hailed as “one of the front runners” among young UK ensembles.
The quartet, founded at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2010, is committed to the performance of works by contemporary composers alongside established masterpieces.
It is therefore fitting that their programme features two pieces by Ronald Stevenson (another local connection) alongside works by two of the greatest of all composers for the string quartet.
Stevenson is represented by his string quartet Voces Vagabundae and the short Recitative and Air written in memory of Dmitri Shostakovich, a composer he much admired.
The concert also includes Shostakovich’s own First Quartet – a much sunnier (and shorter) work than many of the 14 quartets that followed it.
The final work in the programme, and of the season, is the last of Schubert’s string quartets, written two years before his death at the age of 31.
It is monumental, almost symphonic, in scale and contains some of the finest music ever written for this, or any other, form.
It promises to be a memorable finale to the season.
The Maxwell Quartet and Music in Peebles share a belief that music has the power to communicate to everyone, at all stages of life, and this has led both to pursue outreach programmes aimed at making music available to the widest possible audience.
In recent years, Music in Peebles has arranged music workshops in local schools, presented by visiting professional musicians.
During their time in Peebles, the Maxwell Quartet will be visiting a local nursing home to play for residents and carers, who may be unable to attend public concerts. Pupils from Peebles High School will also be making their own contribution to this delightful afternoon of music-making.
Music in Peebles is most grateful to the Peebles Common Good Fund for the generous financial support that made this very special event possible.
The evening concert is open to all and starts at 7.30pm. Tickets are on sale from the Eastgate Theatre (01721 725777) or online at www.eastgatearts.com and cost £14 (£7 if accompanying a child under 12). Entry is free for school students.
Music in Peebles is a chamber music club based in Peebles. It was founded in 1947 as Peebles Music Club, at which local musicians met in each others’ homes to play music.
Over the years, it began to introduce concerts by professional musicians and held its concerts in local halls.
Now, as Music in Peebles, it promotes an annual series of seven or eight chamber music concerts between October and April in the Eastgate Theatre & Arts Centre, plus an additional concert in August as part of the annual Peebles Arts Festival.