There are three keys to a great festival. First the location must be small and easy to navigate - no great classical festival exists in New York, Paris, or Berlin. Second the place must be somewhere you would want to visit even if no festival were taking place, and thirdly it must be possible to create unique pairings between venue and performance. Scotland is incredibly lucky with its classical festivals. Its summer sequence which begins in Perth in May. Next is St Magnus, founded by Peter Maxwell Davies in Orkney and the the East Neuk Festival in Fife founded by my predecessor in Perth Svend Einar-Brown drawing on the beautiful landscapes of Fife. Then comes Paxton in July set in a striking stately home setting and it is followed by the jewel in the crown of the Edinburgh International Festival in August. All the venues can be reached within a 20 minute walk and the castle forms the backdrop for the amazing Fireworks Concert. Oh, and a bit of special pleading here! My own Lammermuir Festival is taking place online at the moment with 12 concerts in 12 days. Stunning East Lothian offers some remarkable venues ranging from Tantallon Castle to Concorde at the National Museum of Flight. Let's hope that all these vibrant festivals are back to something approaching normal next year.
Sir Peter Maxwell Davies conducts an Orkney Wedding with Sunrise click here
The Edinburgh Festival Fireworks Concert click here
The Lammermuir Festival 2020 click here