Time to tune up: big cello fest in Aboyne

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Bows at the ready, Aboyne is set to welcome Scotland’s biggest cello festival, as 30 string players come together in Deeside later this month.

Founded by Aboyne resident Myrtle Watt nine years ago, the Cello Festival has now grown to be the biggest of its type in Scotland.

This year, from July 17-24, it will be bringing over 30 cellists together from the UK and beyond, the majority aged between 7 and 25, to venues in Aboyne, Tarland and Banchory.

The Director of the Festival is James Halsey, cello professor at the Royal College of Music, who will be joined by Alice Neary and Philip Higham, both of whom have international reputations as cello soloists and teachers.

In terms of public performances, the festival will consist of four concerts, the first of which will take place on Thursday July 17 at 7:30pm at Woodend Barn. Philip Higham and Ryan Drucker will perform cello and piano music by Reger, Schumann, Piatti and Chopin.

The second concert will take place on July 18 at 7:30pm in the Deeside Theatre Aboyne.

Tarland’s MacRobert Memorial Hall will host the whol orchestra on July 20 performing a repertoire including ‘Jack Sparrow’ from Pirates of the Caribbean.

The final concert takes place on July 22, also in Aboyne’s Deeside Theatre.

Tickets will be available on the door, but for advance tickets or full details of the concerts see www.facebook.com/AboyneCelloWeek.