View selected highlights from the 2021 Festival…
2021 Festival highlights

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Music at Paxton 2021 Launch

Join our Artistic Director, Angus Smith, and some of our 2021 festival musicians to hear what is in store for this year’s festival.

16-25 July 2021, Paxton House, Scottish Borders.
Tickets are available now from

Our Journey Towards the 2021 Festival

The team at Music at Paxton has been working very hard to counteract the very considerable challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic. While we are taking nothing for granted, we are feeling optimistic that there will be a return to live music during the course of this year and we will certainly do all we can to present a full programme of events in the summer featuring an immensely exciting range of musicians. They are ready, eager and standing by!

We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to all those private individuals and organisations who have already generously donated to the Music at Paxton Appeal, assisting us enormously in negotiating these testing times. Your contributions have been of crucial importance to us and if any new visitors to this site, or anyone returning to it after an absence, would similarly be willing and able to make a donation then your support will also help us immeasurably in our journey towards the 2021 Festival.

We will be sure to keep you in touch as to our planning progress and we are working extremely hard to ensure that once we are back in the Picture Gallery all health and safety measures will be meticulously and comprehensively followed so that you fully may relax and enjoy listening to great musicians sharing the music they love.

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.

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