The 2019 Cantilena Festival was held from Sunday 7th July to Friday 12th July 2019.

Another successful Festival is over!  Our grateful thanks go to everyone who was involved in making 2019 a great success. Our concerts were very well attended and everyone enjoyed the music, especially to hear how our two returning young professionals, Yuan Li (viola) and Alex Webber Garcia (violin) had added yet more to their talents. We were delighted to introduce four new recruits from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Annabel Kidd (violin), Diarmaid Heffernan (violin), Cameron Smith (cello) and Sophie Butler (double bass) to highly appreciative audiences. And later in the week we were joined by two trumpet players Ana Romero and Rebecca Wilson. Wednesday evening saw the welcome return of piano student Daniel Silcock who astonished us with his mastery of Debussy. Everyone will have their favourite highlights of the week, and the Festival ended with the regular light-hearted Classical Ceilidh.

As ever, the Festival relies on hard work from many people and we give special thanks to Rona Fisher and her team of the Friends of Cantilena, to Martine Nouet for her tireless work on our behalf, and in particular for creating and presenting her very popular Whisky Tasting, and to the amazing and unflappable Ishbel Capper who kept us fed and watered throughout the week. Special thanks also go to Lance Green for his hard work and support.

A gallery of this year's photos taken by Peter Ramsden and Alistair Simpson is available HERE.

Cantilena Programme 2019

Sunday 7th July Columba Centre     
Mozart Piano Trio in Bb K502  
Schumann Piano Quartet in E flat  
Shostakovich Piano Quintet in G minor Op.57  
Monday 8th July   Laphroaig  
Young Professional Musicians Showcase and works from the full ensemble    
Tuesday 9th July Lagavulin    
Corelli Concerti Grosso Op.3 no. 8 (Christmas Concerto)  
Vivaldi Concerto for 2 Cellos in G minor  
Rossini String Sonata no. 1 in G  
Erskine Quartet in A  
Mendelssohn String Symphony no. 9  
Wednesday 10th July Columba Centre   
Debussy  Preludes Book 2 (Daniel Silcock - Piano)  
Brahms Viola Sonata in F minor Op 120/1  
Beethoven Piano Trio in E flat Op 1/1  
Thursday 11th July   Ardbeg    
J C Bach Quartet in C  
Telemann Concerto for Two Violas  
Bach/Vivaldi Concerto for Trumpet in D  
CPE Bach Sinfonia  in A  
Handel Suite for Trumpet and Strings  
Bach Brandenburg Concerto No.3 in G  
Friday 12th July Bruichladdich Village Hall   
Vivaldi Concerto for Four Violins in B minor  
Puccini Crisantemi (Chrysanthemums)  
Vivaldi            Concerto for Two Trumpets in C  
Bartok Romanian Folk Dances  
Classical Ceilidh (featuring our 2 trumpet soloists)    

*Please note that this is an outline of the Festival and some details may be subject to change

Additional Events in 2019

Thursday July 4, a short lunchtime free concert at Ardnahoe Distillery.

Thursday 4 July, 8pm Rhinns Hall Portnahaven: an evening of light classical music. Tickets £7 at the door

Whisky Tasting

Our dear friend Martine Nouet has arranged a Whisky Tasting at Islay House Hotel on Wednesday 10 July 3.30pm -5pm. This is a very popular event, where Martine, a well-known food and whisky writer, marries our classical music to samples of special Islay malt whiskies. Tickets are £20 and can be reserved by emailing .

2020 Festival

The 2020 Cantilena Festival will celebrate both Beethoven's 250th anniversary, and our 20th anniversary on Islay:

Visit our News Page for more information, and news of our new Coordinator, Lauren McCormick.

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In view of the unprecedented situation of the coronavirus pandemic and the uncertainty of its term, along with the effect on travel, venues and accommodation, it is with extreme regret that we have taken the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Festival. This is all the more heartbreaking for us as we were so much looking forward to joining our wonderful friends and supporters in celebrating our twentieth year, but we have a duty of care to not only our players but to everyone who is involved in the Festival.

We appreciate the impact this will have on those who have already arranged ferries and accommodation, we are the same, but these are exceptional circumstances and we hope everyone understands.

Cantilena Festival on Islay

March 2020