Live Music Now was set up by the legendary violinist, Yehudi Menuhin, with a two-fold purpose – to support outstanding emerging artists at the start of their professional careers through performing experience and training and, at the same time, to widen access to high quality live music to people throughout our communities, especially those who would otherwise not have such an experience. 40 years later, Menuhin’s vision is kept very much alive in Scotland with 774 performances and workshops taking place in 2016/17 throughout the country for older people, including those with dementia, for children with additional support needs, people in rural and island areas, pre-school babies and toddlers, hospice and hospital patients, as well as public concerts in festivals, museums and art galleries. The performances, which are generally participatory and tailored to each audience group, are given by specially auditioned and trained musicians from a range of genres – classical, jazz, world, rock/pop and traditional. Several BBC Young Traditional Musician of the Year winners and finalists are part of Live Music Now and all musicians are selected not just for exceptional musicianship but for their ability to engage and connect with people of all ages, backgrounds and levels of ability.
Coming up in August is a major showcase for the traditional musicians who are part of the scheme, as Live Music Now, in partnership with National Museums Scotland, will be presenting daily afternoon concerts for the full three weeks of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe at the National Museum of Scotland in its Chambers Street Grand Gallery. Linking with this summer’s major exhibition Bonnie Prince Charlie and The Jacobites, each of the 23 performances will be inspired by this turbulent and endlessly fascinating period in Scottish and European history. Musicians taking part include Ainsley Hamill/Alistair Paterson, Kilda, Mohsen Amini/Craig Irving , Aonach Mor, Morag Brown/Lewis Powell-Reid, Routes Quartet, Kristan Harvey/Tina Rees, Hannah Rarity/Luc McNally, Barluath, Ryan Young/Seán Gray, Gráinne Brady, David Foley/Jack Smedley, Grant McFarlane/Ron Jappy and Gary Innes.
Performances are free of charge and take place daily 2pm – 2.45pm between Sat 5 and Sat 27 August inclusive. The full programme can be found here.