The Night With . . . puts classical music into informal venues

The Night With . . . puts classical music into informal venues

Emma Lloyd

Matthew Whiteside's new concert series aims to give classical concerts a rock concert vibe

Who to spend the night with? Audiences are spoiled for choice with the second series of Glasgow and Edinburgh concerts that opens up a new style of concert-going. Salon-style concerts that present classical and contemporary music in informal settings, The Night With … is the brainchild of composer Matthew Whiteside.

'I like going to concerts,' he says, 'but often the concert hall invites a certain way of listening. I also enjoy going to rock concerts and I wanted to bring that aesthetic closer, and to make a more relaxed atmosphere. That's why I've programmed three thirds rather than two halves. There will be time between each section to get to the bar and refresh your drink.'

Seating, too, will not be like conventional classical music concerts. Whether The Hug and Pint in Glasgow or The Rowantree in Edinburgh, it will be mainly cabaret style with a few rows standing at the back.

'While people can really listen and be sitting quietly, The Night With … is about making a classical concert as close to a rock concert as possible,' says Whiteside, 'and it's important to get it set up the right way. It took a while to get the right kind of venue.'

The Night With … Emma Lloyd and Joanna Nicholson, which is in both Glasgow and Edinburgh, features music for violin and clarinet, as well as electronics. One piece is Timothy Cooper's 'Shimmering', which Whiteside describes as being 'very, very beautiful.' There is also new work for the duo by Whiteside himself and by Nina Whiteman. In all, eight composers with whom to spend the night.

'The whole programme is fairly meditative,' says Whiteside, 'and even though there are a lot of notes, there is still a real sense of stillness to the music.'

The Rowantree, Edinburgh, Mon 11 April; The Hug and Pint, Glasgow, Tue 12 April. The Aurea Quartet, The Hug and Pint, Glasgow, Wed 3 May.

Emma Lloyd & Joanna Nicholson

Lloyd (violin) and Nicholson (clarinet, electronics) in recital.