Dalkeith Palace celebrates ‘A Passion for Music’

Thursday June 15th 2023


Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

Where can you find connections between Mary Queen of Scots, Bonny Prince Charlie and castrated male sopranos? Dalkeith Palace provides the answers on Saturday 17th June with a Symposium and Concert that explore the relationships between Italian opera and Scottish traditional music.

Dalkeith Palace was a thriving musical centre in the years around 1800, a crucial pole in Edinburgh’s cultural landscape. Long closed to the public, Dalkeith Palace opens to visitors this summer, from 18th June to 3rd September, for an exhibition highlighting its musical story.

The pre-concert Symposium, open to all, brings scholars from leading university music departments and conservatoires to illuminate strands of Dalkeith’s fascinating musical past. The following Concert will give visitors the opportunity to hear this music brought to life in The Great Gallery, where it first resounded over 200 years ago
Drawing on repertoire from the magnificent Montagu Music Collection assembled by the 3rd Duchess of Buccleuch and her daughters, we will meet familiar figures such as Haydn and Mozart in unfamiliar guises, and rediscover gems by other composers who lived and worked in Dalkeith. These include the Italian singer, vocal pedagogue, and musical companion to Prince Charles Edward Stuart, Domenico Corri, and his Edinburgh-born daughter, the harpist and composer Sophia Dussek.

Visitors will also enjoy music written especially for The Palace by Ignatius Sancho – the first Black Briton to publish his compositions – by the legendary Scots fiddlers Niel and Nathaniel Gow.

Other characters in Dalkeith’s story include the castrato singer Giuseppe Giustinelli – who lived in Dalkeith – and Corri’s rival Pietro Urbani, conductor, violinist, and friend of Robert Burns. Soprano Mhairi Lawson will be joined by leading historical performance experts Jean Kelly (harp), Aaron McGregor (violin), and David McGuinness (piano) and singers Lu Ren and Brianna Robertson-Kirkland for the event.

The Symposium followed by a drinks reception in Dalkeith Palace will run from 14:00 to 18:00 with tickets costing £15pp. The Concert will follow from 18:15 to 19:30, tickets cost £15pp. If you would like to attend both the Symposium and the Concert a joint ticket can be purchased for £27.50pp.

For futher information CLICK HERE.

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