Musical treats at annual festival

Ruthven Community Hall, the venue for the villages annual music festival which this year will be held on June 10 and 12.

Ruthven Community Hall, the venue for the villages annual music festival which this year will be held on June 10 and 12.

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A tiny hamlet on the border of Angus and Perthshire will be transformed into the east of Scotland’s answer to Glyndeborune for the annual Ruthven Music Festival.

Every year for almost 30 years the festival has attracted top class musicians and singers to two concerts of classical music in the acoustically perfect setting of Ruthven Community Hall, the former church, which is halfway between Kirriemuir and Alyth.

And on June 10 and 12, this year festival promises to be no different.

As always, the orchestra for both concerts, which are on the evening of Friday, June 10 and the afternoon of Sunday, June 12, will be The Ruthven Festival Musicians.

The group is an elite ensemble of classical musicians from across Scotland who only play together at Ruthven and are led by violinist Audrey Mattner. At the first concert they will be conducted by Howard Duthie, who is involved in a range of professional performing activities in Perthshire and beyond, with Allan Young, conductor of Perth Symphony Orchestra and Perth Youth Orchestra, conducting at the Sunday concert.

The Friday evening features a performance by highly-acclaimed Perth choir Chansons, which will sing ‘A Time of Gifts’, described by composer Tom Cunningham, who will attend the festival, as “A set of six songs about gifts and giving, some humorous, some moving but all tuneful.”

Lorna Doyle, a 17-year-old cellist from Milnathort, is one of the young performers participating in the Sunday afternoon concert. She will be continuing a family tradition, as her sister Audrey performed last year and her mother Sharon is one of the Ruthven Festival Musicians.

Committee member Evelyn Hood said: “Ruthven Festival’s concerts are often sold out so, with advance bookings very healthy, my advice to anyone thinking of coming along would be to book now.”

Tickets cost £20 per concert (including wine reception, Friday evening buffet/Sunday afternoon strawberries and cream), under 14s will be welcome and free of charge.

Further information is available by e-mailing ruthvenfestival@tiscali.co.uk or by calling 01828 632558/01828 633924.