Strands dedicated to Brahms & Shostakovich among the highlights of Cottier Chamber Project 2014

Strands dedicated to Brahms & Shostakovich among the highlights of Cottier Chamber Project 2014

credit: Andy Catlin

Contemporary ensembles such as Daniel's Beard and Mr McFall's Chamber will also perform

Famine is hardly a word associated with chamber music in Scotland at the moment, but it is very definitely feast time in Glasgow this month. The Cottier Chamber Project, now in its fourth year, presents no less than 43 events over a fortnight, with a separate and new Cottier Dance Project having its own week of activity once the music programme stops. An initiative of horn player Andy Saunders, whose own ensemble Daniel’s Beard shares opening night with Mr McFall’s Chamber, the project is, allegedly, the UK’s largest chamber music festival.

‘We like to keeps things fresh,’ says Saunders, ‘and there is always something slightly different. This year, we are looking at the theme of identity.’ How this manifests itself in a long list of concerts is through music by composers whose national, religious or cultural identity played a defining role in their creativity. ‘For instance,’ says Saunders, ‘we have a lunchtime series of free Bach concerts, with the six cello suites and the violin partitas. Across ten lunchtime performances, it will be interesting to see how seven completely different players approach the same composer’s work for solo strings.’

Shostakovich is another composer with special emphasis. In the Currie and Quirk (they are Glasgow opticians who took a fancy to Dmitri’s trademark heavy-rimmed glasses) Shostakovich Series, five different ensembles launch a three-year cycle of all 15 of his string quartets. As part of the sponsorship deal, anyone with their own Dmitri Eyes will be eligible for free entry to concerts in the series. ‘Overall’, says Saunders, ‘there is a huge amount of variety. People can choose their own programme, whether they know what they like or are up for taking a few risks.’

Various venues, Glasgow, Fri 6–Fri 20 Jun.

Cottier Chamber Project

The Cottier Chamber Project is a lively, genre-hopping festival hosted by the enterprising chamber group Daniel's Beard, bringing top-flight professional chamber musicians to the West End and promoting chamber music, jazz, nu-folk and world music to Glasgow audiences. The 2016 programme is still being finalised but will…

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