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St Magnus Festival – programme announced for 2011

June 17, 2011 - June 20, 2011

St Magnus International Festival

Featuring over 50 events and activities, the 2011 St Magnus Festival is set to be one of the highlights of the year, on and around Orkney.

St Magnus International Festival

St Magnus International Festival

Founded in 1977, the annual festival attracts visitors and audiences from around the globe to see and participate in the arts, music and performance.

The programme for the 2011 St Magnus Festival features the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, The London Sinfonietta, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies as well as a number of master classes.

Festival learning

Overlapping with the St. Magnus Festival, the 10-day Composers’ Course (11th to 22nd June 2011) provides an opportunity for eight composers to share in an intensive period of study in a stimulating and supportive environment.

The course is directed by composers Alasdair Nicolson and Sally Beamish and includes sessions led by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and opportunities to hear, meet and work with professional musicians performing at the Festival.

The course runs concurrently with the Orkney Conducting Course, a unique opportunity to collaborate with eight professional conductors.

Individual tuition gives each composer the chance to present scores to one of the resident composers, allowing for critical comment and feedback on a one-to-one basis.

Writers course

In partnership with Orkney-based literature organisation, the George Mackay Brown Fellowship, the Orkney Writers’ Course will run over the weekend of the Festival, 17-20 June 2011, in the Pier Arts Centre in Stromness.

Directed by Orkney-based poet Pamela Beasant, with guest tutor, Shetland-based poet Jen Hadfield, this inaugural course will offer intensive poetry workshops and the opportunity for participants to perform their work as part of the festival programme.

A Cabinet of Curiosities

As well as the musical side to the St Magnus Festival is the drama and performance side to the festival.

Appearing at Jewson’s Yard in Kirkwall, sorceress-puppeteer Nicole Mossoux endows random objects, collected from tours around the world, with human desires and animal impulses and reincarnates them as actors. The production is called Kefar Nahum.

Les Enfants Terribles present their multi-award winning show, based upon a series of twisted tales by Oliver Lansley and illustrator/designer Sam Wyer. Blending puppetry, live music, physical theatre and storytelling into a highly sensory theatrical feast suitable for big kids and small grown-ups the show features recorded narration by Judi Dench.

More details can be found on the Magfest leaflet

Exhibitions capturing Orkney life

Possibly one of the most powerful exhibitions during the festival will take place at Stromness Museum.

‘Stromness at War – Manning the defences ‘ is the story of how World War II changed Stromness, in the words of the people who were there.

The exhibition also focuses on Ness Battery, the most complete coastal defence site in the UK, where a wooden hut contains a mural that has been described as ‘the British Italian Chapel’.

Orkney 24 hours:

For this exhibition Orkney residents were asked to use their mobile phone, digital camera or box brownie to record a photographic image on 14 February,2011 showing a day in the life of Orkney.

The results are to be displayed across various foyers during the course of the 2011 Festival, showing the many views of landscape, weather, people and events of one day on the Orkney Islands.

More details about the exhibitions is available here

Further information and tickets

The Festival box office is open for postal and in-person bookings from Monday, 18 April 2011, and for telephone bookings on Tuesday 19th April.

  • By telephone, to +44 (0) 1856 871445.
  • By fax, to +44 (0) 1856 871170
  • In person, at St Magnus Festival Office, 60 Victoria Street, Kirkwall.

The online booking facility is also available from 18th April.

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