ST MAGNUS INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL is one of the UK's most exciting events bringing extraordinary performances to the remote and inspiring landscape of the Orkney Islands around midsummer every year. Alongside this we run courses for Composers, Conductors and Writers. They offer unique and unrivalled opportunities for composers and conductors to work with professional ensembles, to meet fellow musicians and to experience high quality performance in an intense and unforgettable experience, and for writers to develop their craft.
There are a number of opportunities to attend Courses Sessions throughout the Festival
Participants at the 2015 Composers' and Conductors' Courses following the joint concert of their work in St Magnus Cathedral.
ORKNEY CONDUCTORS’ COURSE
10-21 June 2017
The Orkney Conductors' Course runs for 12 days and attracts participants from all over the world. It is directed this year by Alexander Vedernikov (right) and Charles Peebles. In the first part of the course, sessions are conducted with two pianos, leading to practical sessions with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Festival Soloists and St Magnus Festival Chorus. The pianists for the two piano sessions are Elizabeth Burley and Michael Bawtree. Towards the end of the course, the eight conductors collaborate with the St Magnus Composers' Course and each participant conducts a new work written during the course. This concert is on Wednesday 21 June at 13.00 (Event 27).
Observers are welcome to attend the two piano sessions, which take place in the Peedie Kirk Hall between 11 and 18 June.
OPEN SESSION TIMES:
Daily sessions with two pianos 10.00-13.00 and 14.00-17.00 - King Street Halls, Kirkwall
Monday 12 June
19.30-22.00 - St Magnus Festival Chorus Rehearsal at King Street Halls
Monday 19 June
10.00-13.00 and 14.30-17.30
Orchestral Sessions with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra at Pickaquoy Arena, Kirkwall
Book for the Morning Session or Afternoon Session online
Tuesday 20 June
10.00-13.00 and 14.00-16.00
Sessions with The Assembly Project on Composers’ new works at Peedie Kirk, Kirkwall.
Some of the sessions and venues may be subject to change.
Please check the Festival Programme for up to date details.
£25 season ticket in advance from the Festival Office or £5 per session on the door
(£10 per session for the Orchestral Sessions)
Click here for more information on the Orkney Conductors' Course.
ST MAGNUS COMPOSERS’ COURSE
10-21 June 2017
St Magnus Composers' Course runs in parallel with the Orkney Conductors' Course and is directed by Alasdair Nicolson and Sally Beamish (right). Other Festival artists including Rafał Łuc and The BBC Singers will also join for workshop sessions. The eight participants will work closely with tutors and the resident ensemble, The Assembly Project, in practical sessions. Having been paired with a conductor from the Orkney Conductors' Course, new works will be performed in a final concert on Wednesday 21 June at 13.00 (Event 27).
Observers are welcome to attend the ensemble sessions in the Peedie Kirk starting from Wednesday 14 June and these will be advertised in the Full Festival Programme.
ENSEMBLE SESSION TIMES:
10.00-13.00 - Peedie Kirk, Kirkwall
09.00-12.00 - Composers’ Concert Rehearsal at St Magnus Cathedral
Some of the sessions and venues may be subject to change. Please check the Festival Programme for up to date details.
£25 season ticket in advance from the Festival Office or £5 per session on the doors.
Click here for more information on the Orkney Composers' Course.
ORKNEY WRITERS’ COURSE
17-21 June 2017
For five days across the Festival weekend, eight writers gather in Stromness to work together with course director Pamela Beasant and co-tutor Jen Hadfield, with an emphasis on poetry writing. They will have a session with Festival Poet Jackie Kay (right) and will reveal some of their work publicly in the Poems and Prose event at the Pier Arts Centre in Stromness on Wednesday 21 June (Event 29). They will also work in collaboration with the student composers from the St Magnus Composers' Course.
The writing produced during the course will be quickly published soon after the Festival and will appear on the Festival website. See work from previous years above right.
Click here for more information on the Orkney Writers' Course.
Applications for the 2018 Courses will be sought early in the New Year.