Ayr Concert Series scores world first

Councillor Bill Grant and representatives from Scottish Opera and Ayr Arts Guild launch this year's Concert Series.
Councillor Bill Grant and representatives from Scottish Opera and Ayr Arts Guild launch this year's Concert Series.

An annual musical extravaganza in Ayr is to celebrate its 26th birthday with a world premiere performance.

This year’s Ayr Concert Series, which will span 24 October 2012 to 22 February 2013, will feature the inaugural performance of ‘An Ayrshire Suite’ by award-winning Scottish composer John Maxwell Geddes.

Co-commissioned by the BBC and Ayr Arts Guild to celebrate the unique partnership between the orchestras - which have been delivering Ayr Concert Series for nearly 30 years - the suite will be recorded on Saturday December 1 for future broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

The world first forms part of a line-up including performances from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and The Orchestra of Scottish Opera, all of which will take place in Ayr Town Hall.

The concert series will also see the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra with young Scottish guitar player Sean Shibe, tenor Jamie MacDougall (who will also present the Christmas Classics concert) and the BBC Singers, plus a stunning cast of four soloists.

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra will also bring the world-famous cellist Ralph Kirshbaum and soprano Sarah-Jane Brandon for the New Year in Vienna concert, while the Orchestra of Scottish Opera makes a welcome return to Ayr with young Scottish tenor Nicky Spence from Dumfries.

Jim Coutts, Chair of the Ayr Arts Guild, said: “It promises to be another successful season in Ayr Town Hall and the impressive line-up of international musicians will be enhanced by the equally impressive group of acclaimed conductors, Joseph Swensen, Francesco Corti, Andrew Manze, Stephen Bell, Thomas Rösner and Bernard Labadie.

“We’re incredibly proud to have been involved in a very fruitful partnership with the Council, that now goes back more than a quarter of a century. Together, we’ve hosted some of the most famous names in the business: James Galway, Evelyn Glennie, John Wallace, Steven Isserlis, Christine Cairns, Heinrich Schiff, Rolf Hind, Malin Christensson, Elena Xanthoudakis and Nicola Benedetti to name but a few.”

Councillor Bill Grant, South Ayrshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Tourism and Leisure (pictured 2nd from right), added: “Once again the Ayr Arts Guild has scored a fantastic musical result and this reflects on the unique partnership we are fortunate to enjoy with them. Residents and visitors to South Ayrshire will be able to hear world class orchestras, internationally acclaimed musicians and globally successful performers, right here on their own doorstep.”

Season tickets for the Ayr Concert Series 2012/13 are now on sale by post form Ayr Citadel, South Harbour Street, Ayr, KA7 1JB and individual concert tickets will be available from Monday August 13 2012.

Brochures containing details of all concerts in the Ayr Concert Series 2012/13 are available in local libraries, leisure and tourist information centres.