East Neuk Festival 2018

Booking opens soon for the 2018 East Neuk Festival, with a fantastically varied programme in some stunning venues across the East Neuk of Fife. Tappit Hoose is the ideal place to base yourself from to enjoy all the festival has to offer.

East Neuk Festival was the idea of Donald and Louise MacDonald. Having known the area for decades, they knew that its many churches would make great venues for summer music. The first concert in 1999 featured Beethoven’s Septet and Mendelssohn’s Octet, performed by players from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. This led to an annual SCO concert series, “Summer Evenings in the East Neuk”, and then, in 2004, Svend Brown joined them to create the East Neuk Festival.

In the decade since then, we have hosted some of the world’s greatest artists and have steadily developed the range of our activities. Once artists come they often return, relishing the intimacy and close connection with the festival audience. Christian Zacharias has returned regularly since the first festival, as have Llyr Williams and the Belcea and Elias String Quartets. Other distinguished artists include the Alban Berg Quartet, Tokyo String Quartet, The Tallis Scholars and Paul Hillier. Every year sees new events, venues and artists in the East Neuk along with new audience members discovering the Festival. Our audience has grown from around 700 in 2005 to an estimated 25,000, who annually enjoy our events and exhibitions.

The heart of the Festival is classical chamber music, but we also present world, jazz, folk and electronica. In addition to our musical celebrations, we’ve commissioned films, exhibitions, art installations and literature events as well as guided walks.

We use a range of venues throughout the area, from small churches, an ex-nuclear bunker, caves, an RAF base, a Scout hut to stately homes & gardens. We take great pride in ensuring that the high standards on-stage are matched by the care and consideration given to all our attendees. One thing is guaranteed – each festival presents something new and unusual!

A new venture for the festival in 2015 was The Retreat, which seeks to encourage, support and inspire exceptional young musicians by offering a matchless opportunity to spend time with outstanding world-class players, to learn both specific repertoire and also more general aspects of musical wisdom that will influence their work for years to come.


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