Preview: Cottier Chamber Project
The chamber music festival adds a dance strand into the mix
It’s difficult to believe that there used to be summers in Glasgow without the Cottier Chamber Project. Hardly a project any more, it is now a full blown festival in its fifth year with at least 60 events going on over almost the whole month of June. While there is now a newer dance strand to the festival, it is chamber music that remains as its core activity. Built up around Scotland’s own top quality chamber ensembles, a whole host of familiar names return with ever inventive programming.
Andy Saunders is artistic director, and finds it difficult to pick out particular highlights from such an eclectic mix, with concerts organised into different strands of series within the overall festival frame. ‘Shostakovich is going to be exciting,’ he says, ‘with some interesting pairings of pieces.’ The Maxwell Quartet, for instance, pair up the 'String Quartet No 10' with Carl Nielsen’s first quartet in celebration of his 150th birthday year. There is also a Lunchtime Lieder series at the Hunterian Museum with just one song cycle to digest in each concert.
‘There are ten completely different programmes, all are free, and each is about 20 minutes long,’ says Saunders. Plenty of time left for more usual lunchtime fare then. Even more imaginative is the intriguing contribution from violinist extraordinaire, Alexander Janiczek. ‘He’ll be appearing with shadow puppets,’ explains Saunders. ‘It will be bizarre. He’d read a book about a Russian violinist who worked with an Italian puppeteer and has wanted to do something similar with puppets for years, but no-one had let him.’ Saunders granted that permission, and Janiczek is delighted to fulfil his dream by being part of a puppet show, playing his violin, but unusually lit from behind in Bach, Biber and Berio by the puppet masters of Vision Mechanics.
Fri 5–Fri 26 Jun, Various venues, Glasgow