Linlithgow Arts Guild lines up varied and exciting programme

Red Priest, described as the 'Rolling Stones of Baroque Music' are in town on March 9.
Red Priest, described as the 'Rolling Stones of Baroque Music' are in town on March 9.

Linlithgow Arts Guild has come up with another wide selection of top professional musicians and ensembles, bringing an exciting programme of events to the town for their winter Saturday nights season.

The concerts include folk, jazz, choral music from English cathedral singers, a children’s event with the poems of Roald Dahl, the ‘Rolling Stones’ of baroque music, and several other classical items for piano, strings and wind instruments.

The performers come from Japan, Spain and Slovakia, as well as from the UK.

The fun starts on September 22 with the exciting and unusual Budapest Café Orchestra, who share “as many blood cells with the folk of Hungary as the Penguin Café Orchestra do with the web-footed fellows of Antarctica”! The four top-class players include “Pavarotti’s favourite accordionist” and Christian Garrick, one of the UK’s top improvising jazz violinists, presenting themselves as a street band from the Balkans. Their lively performance will include gypsy music and klezmer and czardas styles.

On October 20, the arts guild is delighted to welcome much admired Japanese pianist, Yu Kosuge, winner of the Suntory Music Award in 2017, Japan’s most prestigious music award. She performs a wide-ranging programme on the theme of ‘Fire’, with music by Liszt, Debussy, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky and De Falla.

On November 17, at 3pm, children of all ages will be welcomed, along with parents and grandparents, for a selection of Roald Dahl’s ‘Revolting Rhymes’, with ‘Marvellous Music’ provided by the Magnard Ensemble comprising a pianist and wind quintet with narrator Rebecca Kenny. The event will be supported by Far from the Madding Crowd. The production was launched in 2016 with the support of Roald Dahl’s literary estate to mark the centenary of his birth.

In the evening of November 17, the Magnard Ensemble will return with a concert for wind quintet and piano. The players all perform with major UK classical and opera orchestras and they made their debut as an ensemble in Switzerland last year. Their programme will include music by Roussel, Ravel, Dodgson, Poulenc and Mozart.

On December 8, the winners of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s award for young British string players, the Ruisi Quartet, play music by Purcell, Bartok and Beethoven. There will be a special bonus of mulled wine and mince pies in the interval!

Singers from English cathedrals join the arts guild on January 19. The Gesualdo Six, a consort of some of the finest young a cappella choristers, present a wide-ranging programme of unaccompanied vocal music in the wonderful setting of St Michael’s Parish Church.

The group promises a wonderfully varied programme of choral music ranging from the atmospheric and spiritual to the light hearted and tuneful. They travel from the renaissance to the present day and from sacred to secular with mastery.

This concert features works from their debut album, English Motets, with highlights by William Byrd and Thomas Tallis, alongside pieces by Arvo Pärt and Eric Whitacre.

Their performances this year will include events in Poland, the Netherlands, Kosovo, Belgium and Monaco.

On February 9, the principal flautist of the London Symphony Orchestra, Adam Walker, will play with pianist James Baillieu. Adam was nominated by Classic FM as one of the top five flautists worldwide. Their programme includes music by Raineke, Widor, Schumann and Franck.

This promises to be a wonderful concert with two brilliant musicians.

The ‘Rolling Stones of Baroque Music’, Red Priest, come to town on March 9 with their programme ‘Truly Madly Baroque’.

They perform in a “rock-chamber music” style and have a strong following nationwide. Led by the extrovert recorder player Piers Adams this extraordinary acoustic foursome has been described by music critics as “visionary and heretical”, “outrageous yet compulsive”, “wholly irreverent and highly enlightened”, “completely wild and deeply imaginative”, with a “red-hot wicked sense of humour” and a “break-all-rules, rock-chamber concert approach to early music”.

Their programme includes music by Bach, Albinoni, and Locatelli.

Their last visit to Linlithgow, about 10 years ago was highly successful.

The season comes to an end on April 6, following the AGM, with a concert by soloist and chamber musician, Lana Trotovsek, violin, with Maria Canyigueral, piano, who has been described by La Vanguardia as “a pianist of great personality”.

They will play pieces by Bach, Beethoven, Prokofiev and Clara Schumann. This event will include including an interval where you can indulge in Prosecco and chocolates.

All of the concerts are open to everyone. Ticket prices for most concerts are £12, with Red Priest and the Gesualdo Six priced at £14, and the family concert at £5. Tickets for school pupils are free of charge, except for the family concert.

Season tickets are available online at for £48 for all of the events.

Tickets for individual events will be available online as well as from outlets in Linlithgow High Street including Far from the Madding Crowd, the Post Office and Peterkin and Kidd.

Linlithgow Arts Guild – a voluntary not-for-profit organisation run by volunteers from within the town – is very grateful to its sponsors including West Lothian Council, Alan Steel Asset Management, Peterkin and Kidd, JMK Print and Design, Peebles Financial and Creative Scotland through Enterprise Music Scotland.