Established in 2006, Music at Paxton is a charitable organisation dedicated to bringing exceptional chamber music to a wide audience – both young and old, north and south of the Scottish Borders – to share, inform and inspire.
Music at Paxton has become an established fixture on the cultural calendar, and its unique character reflects the close relationship with Paxton House itself. The Picture Gallery where the main concerts are held creates the ideal setting and acoustic, and provides:
“…the perfect balance of intimacy and grandeur that invites the audience to play an active part in the performance and allows the musicians to feel warmly embraced in a thrilling atmosphere.”Doric String Quartet: 2016 Artists
By special arrangement with Paxton House, the Festival presents more intimate programmes elsewhere in the house, each location adding its distinct quality to create a unique ambience.
Music at Paxton is passionate about opening the world of chamber music to the widest possible audience, and the Festival enjoys a thriving partnership with Live Music Now Scotland. Each spring, they perform in our free ‘taster’ concerts, and deliver programmes in schools, care homes and day centres throughout the Borders in the weeks leading up to the Festival.
“Live Music Now Scotland is delighted to work in partnership with Music at Paxton in ensuring that the high quality live music heard in the summer festival at Paxton House, can also be experienced by people throughout the Scottish Borders communities.”Carol Main: Director, Live Music Now Scotland
Music at Paxton programmes feature artists working on the international stage at major venues, including Aldeburgh, Edinburgh and Salzburg festivals, London’s Wigmore Hall, New York’s Carnegie Hall and Vienna’s Musikverein. The Festival also actively seeks out young prize-winning musicians, including those on the BBC New Generation Artists scheme, Young Classical Artists Scheme, and winners of BBC Young Musician and Wigmore International String Quartet competitions. Many Music at Paxton artists have visited on several occasions, including violinist Alina Ibragimova, harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani, pianists Alasdair Beatson, Steven Osborne and Cédric Tiberghien, cellists Pieter Wispelwey and David Watkins, the Chiaroscuro and Doric Quartets and the Hebrides Ensemble.
In Autumn 2018 Music at Paxton appointed a new Artistic Director to succeed founding director Helen Jamieson. Angus Smith brings with him considerable experience from differing perspectives of the music business. He is a singer with an international reputation, as founding member of the award-winning Orlando Consort. Since 2010 he has also been Artistic Director of Sheffield-based ‘Music in the Round’, the largest promoter of chamber music in the UK outside London and winner of the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society’s Award for Chamber Music and Song in 2012. Angus works closely with Music at Paxton’s General Manager Elizabeth Macdonald, who has extensive experience of festival and event management from her previous work with the Edinburgh International Festival, the University of Edinburgh and her own company, Anwyl Ford Ltd.
Music at Paxton enjoys the support of an enthusiastic and engaged Board of Directors who bring skills from a wide range of fields and contribute enthusiastically to fostering the Festival’s ambitions.. Constituted as a company limited by guarantee with charitable status, the board meet regularly to secure the short- and long-term sustainability of the Festival.
List of Directors:
Marianne Butler (Volunteers Coordinator)
Anne McAlister (Treasurer)
Adrienne Thunder (Friends, Patrons & Benefactors Secretary)
Andrew Walker (Chair)