2020 Programme

Midsummer in Orkney is always a magical time with long hours of  daylight illuminating the landscapes, seascapes and historic sites. We guarantee to add to that magic with a huge array of unmissable events across the islands for the 44th St Magnus International Festival.


Benefactors  Opens Friday 20th March (Online,postal,phone)

Patrons        Opens  Friday 27th March (Online,postal,phone)

General Booking    Online and In person at 10.00am Monday 6th April

                             Telephone  Tuesday 7th April


Click here to go straight to the Events Calendar

At the centre of our theme are two performances of the Ocean Promenade event which brings together many performers in a relaxed sequence of music, art, text and dance in the iconic environment of the medieval cathedral of St Magnus. 

Tabea Debus and Alon Sariel bring a specially created recital with poetic text on the theme of the sea and coastlines and David Chadwick and Marit Fält explore the northern seaways with music for Nyckelharpa and Låtmandola. Dramatic stories about sailing round the world and kayaking round the UK bring real-life sea experiences and the beautiful puppet show for children, A Heart at Sea, tells the story of a young boy who bottles up his heart and throws it into the sea.

Dance old and new features and I’m delighted to welcome back old friends of the Festival, the Hebrides Ensemble, who are collaborating on new chamber versions of Ravel’s music with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland dancers. The beginnings of dance are represented by the Weaver Ensemble and their baroque dance double bill. Returning too, is the choir Sonoro who bring a programme called Star of Sea and Sky and join the Festival Chorus for a performance of Brahms Requiem.

There’s a treasure trove of chamber music ranging from horn quartet to solo harp and mandolin and the renowned Belgian performers the Kugoni Trio are joined by bandoneon player Marcelo Nisinman for a tango extravaganza.

Magfest brings two puppet shows, one for children and one for all ages – don’t miss the Freaky Sequin Cabaret. If you fancy a wild night of singalong and dancing, you could do no better than join the Old Time Sailors in their inimitable raucous romp. Film with live music brings the Festival to a close with David Allison’s new score to the 1922 film Rob Roy.

As ever there is new work scattered through the programme as well as excursions, poetry,
gin and whisky tasting.

All this and more will combine to create the artistic whirlwind throughout Orkney in June.

There is no overstating the potent sense of place that underpins the St Magnus Festival
The Herald

St Magnus International Festival, 13 Albert Street, Kirkwall, KW15 1HP

T: +44 (0)1856 871445

E: info@stmagnusfestival.com

St Magnus Festival is a charity registered in Scotland. Scottish Charity No SC011666. Company Number SC073825.

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