Cottier Chamber Project features some of Scotland’s favourite chamber ensembles
Pavel Haas Quartet, Daniel’s Beard and Red Note Ensemble among programme highlights
Sometimes described as ‘the music of friends’, chamber music usually brings to mind small scale and intimate. No doubt that’s the case with individual performances in this year’s Cottier Chamber Project, but otherwise we’re talking big. Now in its third year, the event has quickly gathered momentum to stake a claim for being the UK’s largest chamber music festival with 29 groups staging 38 events in Glasgow during the first half of June.
‘Four years ago, we did a pilot as a bit of an experiment,’ says artistic director Andy Saunders. The result was clearly positive, and the event has grown in popularity both with the Scottish based chamber ensembles taking part and their audiences. There is a huge variety within the groups participating, from string quartets to more unusual, even odd, combinations of instruments, including a trio involving three wineglasses. Of particular note is the Pavel Haas Quartet, who open the series with a special weekend, bidding adieu to their Glasgow residency over the past three years.
‘The lunchtime series at the University of Glasgow is also really interesting,’ says Saunders, ‘as in its chronological sweep, each concert has a 100 years snapshot allocated to it.’ Although French Horn player Saunders will be performing in the Project with his own ensemble, Daniel’s Beard, the draw of other concerts is irresistible. ‘There’s something I’d quite like to go to every night. The Red Note gig, for instance, is going to be completely bonkers. It’s sort of improvised West End musicals, with audience suggestions for plot-lines.’
Based in the stunning Cottier Theatre, with its newly restored interior decoration, the concerts are around one hour in length and feature an intriguing mix of popular, unusual and unjustly neglected music performed by many of Scotland’s favourite chamber ensembles.
Various venues, Glasgow, Fri 31 May–14 Jun