Arts club for Ayr Spice

Mafiz Ali’s Ayr Spice Restaurant in Minishant is to vastly increase its events this coming season as it adds a full arts club to its programme.

The pianist, James (Jack) McChesney, now retired from his position as conservatory teacher in Austria and back in South Ayrshire after 38 years of life in Vienna and a career that has spanned four continents, has taken charge of the project.

He wishes to cover visual and literary arts as well as his own beloved music with the new project which will consist of an annual season including art exhibitions and a Burns Supper as well as concerts by promising young artists.

The idea of the new arts society is not to compete with existing facilities, but to concentrate on encouraging local talent especially from Ayrshire. The young musicians involved will be from two main groups: those still at school and already achieving outstanding things while still in their teens, and those still studying, or who have their foot on the first rung of the long and precarious ladder to a professional career.

With his wide international experience on the concert platform, as adjudicator and competition juror, and as a highly successful teacher who has taught at all stages including first prize at international competition level, Mr McChesney is well-equipped to find appropriately gifted people to ensure the highest possible standards.

A full list of activities will be published in the late summer and will contain all promotions for the coming season until the summer of 2014. This represents a considerable contribution to culture in the area, and both Jack McChesney and Mafiz Ali hope that this initiative achieves the support it deserves.

Artists wishing to book exhibition space should e-mail piano.vienna@btinternet.com or call Mr McChesney on 01292 281061, and talented young musicians in their teens or twenties and who are interested in performing should use the same contact details to apply for audition or, in the event of having been heard by Mr McChesney in performance, may be invited to take part.