2020 Festival – a message from our Artistic Director Angus Smith

In light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, we are sad to announce the cancellation of the 2020 Music at Paxton Festival. Please click here for a full statement.

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2020 Festival Cancellation

It is with great sadness that the 2020 Music at Paxton Chamber Music Festival has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 crisis. While we welcome expert opinion that suggests the overall situation may have improved by July, we must also acknowledge the likelihood that any return to restriction-free normality will be further down the line. With health and safety considerations for our audience, musicians, staff and volunteers being our top priority, the decision to cancel has therefore become unavoidable.

There has been extensive planning in the preparation of the 2020 Festival, not least the collaboration with many individuals and partnership organisations. We are especially conscious of the seismic impact that current measures are having on the livelihoods of musicians, and in response we are inviting all those due to appear this summer to return to Paxton at the earliest possible opportunity.

As a charity, Music at Paxton relies to a major degree on the generous support of individuals. In order to get through these extraordinary times, and to ensure that we can once again share the joy that live music brings in the unique Paxton setting, we need those contributions more than ever. We would be enormously grateful if you would consider making a donation to help us fulfil this aim.

On a more optimistic note, we are exploring the idea of presenting a concert in October which we hope will mark an end to the crisis. We invite you to return to this site for updates on our progress.

For now, all of us at Music at Paxton would like to send you our very warmest wishes and look forward to welcoming you back to the Festival in 2021.

Angus Smith

Angus Smith,
Artistic Director

Inaugural Associate Ensemble

It is with great pleasure that we announce the appointment of the outstanding Maxwell Quartet as the Music at Paxton Associate Ensemble for the years 2019-2021. Winners of the 2017 Trondheim International Chamber Music Competition, the Quartet is now rapidly expanding from its Scottish base and is enjoying tours throughout Britain, Europe and the United States.

It is our particular pleasure to demonstrate our commitment to Scottish music by supporting a young professional group that has risen through the ranks of the Scottish music education system. The Maxwell Quartet’s brilliant and arresting performances of the classical string quartet repertoire, combined with their exuberant championing of the Scottish folk music tradition and their passion for leading outreach activities with children and families, are an ideal complement to Music at Paxton’s ever-growing ambition to engage people of all ages and backgrounds in the very best experiences that chamber music has to offer.

On their appointment, the Maxwell Quartet said:

“We are overjoyed to be beginning a really special musical journey with Music at Paxton this year. When we first came to the festival in 2018, we found it to be such an inspiring place to make music. There is something very special about the warmth of the audiences, the clarity of the acoustics, and the ambience and history of the house and surrounding area. We have so many exciting ideas about what we might get up to at Music at Paxton in the coming years, from ground-breaking programming, to exciting new collaborations, and bringing together classical and folk music repertoire. We hope there’ll be something for everyone to enjoy, and we are particularly looking forward to bringing our music not just to the Paxton audiences, but to the wider community in the borders too.”

Audience Feedback survey 2018

Music at Paxton values your views, and we would be extremely grateful if you would spare a couple of minutes to complete our audience survey.

To thank you for participating, we are offering you and a friend the opportunity to win tickets to a piano recital followed by afternoon tea in the Georgian grandeur of Gilmerton House in East Lothian, kindly donated by Gilmerton House.

To enter, simply download and complete the audience survey, add your email address and return to us by Sunday 22 July. You can either hand the form to any of our Stewards during your visit or email the form to us at .

Download audience feedback survey 2018

Thank you.

New Artistic Director appointed

Music at Paxton is delighted to announce the appointment of a new Artistic Director. Angus Smith will take over from Helen Jamieson in October 2018 and will lead the creative direction of the Festival from 2019 and beyond. Currently Artistic Director of Music in the Round in Sheffield, Angus is best known as a founder member of the award-winning Orlando Consort, one of the world’s leading chamber vocal ensembles.

On accepting the position, Angus said “I am absolutely delighted to have been given the opportunity to contribute to the wonderful Music at Paxton Festival. Throughout my music career I have found it to be a hugely rewarding and enjoyable experience to work in a chamber music environment, both as a performer and as a programmer. The close dialogue that takes place between musicians and the audience in this most intimate form of music-making is incredibly exciting and sharing the resulting experiences with others is a true joy. I am of course aware of the brilliant work of Helen Jamieson and her colleagues in establishing and developing Music at Paxton as a major and vital organisation promoting the very best music and musicians. I am looking forward to bringing something of my own individual perspective to future programmes and activities, but my starting point will unequivocally be to maintain the record of excellence and imagination provided by Helen.

2018 programme launch & priority booking

Join us for ten days of glorious chamber music at Paxton House from Friday 13 to Sunday 22 July.

This year’s programme will feature a star-studded line-up of young prizewinning musicians and international artists, full-length evening recitals in the Picture Gallery, folk music in the marquee, lunchtime lieder, Friday evening double bills, and much more… with Paxton House offering house tours, extensive gardens, woodland trails and boat trips along the Tweed, there is something for all tastes.

Priority booking for Friends, Patrons and Benefactors opens on Monday 09 April, and public booking will commence on Monday 23 April.

© 2020 Music at Paxton

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Music at Paxton. is a charity registered in Scotland No SC037392 and a company limited by guarantee, registered in Scotland No 305241. Registered office: Paxton House, Paxton, Berwick-upon-Tweed TD15 1SZ. Email: