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Latest News

Cantilena Virtual Festival 2021

Friday 9 July / 7:30pm / YouTube Premiere

In keeping with the other cultural highlights on the Islay social calendar, the 2021 Cantilena Festival on Islay was enjoyed online. With the power of the internet, the event was a global, rather than local, celebration of music.

The concert features music by Vivaldi. Beethoven, Bach, Prokofiev, Mozart and a traditional selection all performed by the Cantilena Players, Students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the Scottish Fiddle Concept.

You can view our Virtual Festival Performance below.

With special thanks to the Cantilena Musicians and RCS Students:

Allan Neave guitar
Angus Ramsay violin
Angus Anderson violin
Stephen Shakeshaft viola
Martin Storey 'cello
John Clark double bass
Nicholas Ashton piano

Tessa Henderson RCS Student, violin
Ayla Mascarenhas 'cello




Read more: Cantilena Virtual Festival 2021

2020 Festival (5 – 10 July)


It is with extreme regret that the 2020 Festival has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We do hope that you can join us at the 2021 Festival where we will celebrate our postponed 20th anniversary.

Our Artistic Directors have been busy working on the programme for the 2020 Festival, and there are two themes this year; the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth and of no less importance, Cantilena’s 20th season on Islay. To help us celebrate, we’ll be joined by our old friend and player, Angus Anderson (violin), and towards the end of the week by oboe and horn players for a performance of Mozart Symphony No. 26 and a symphony by Haydn. Earlier in the week the Festival will commence with Beethoven’s Archduke Piano Trio and Schubert’s Trout Quintet. The rest of the week will have old favourites, new works and the popular Students’ Showcase. Look out for the publication of the full Programme in late Spring, along with more information about the Festival and tickets, and be sure to sign up so that you don’t miss it! If you have any questions, please email us at

Read more: 2020 Festival (5 – 10 July)

New Coordinator

We are delighted to announce that Lauren McCormick is our new Coordinator. Lauren is currently the Music Operations Manager of the Junior Conservatoire at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS), of which she is an Masters graduate. Lauren is also the co-founder and Manager of the Gorbals Youth Brass Band. We are thrilled to welcome Lauren on board and we are sure that she will very soon have Cantilena running like clockwork and wish her well in the post.

Read more: New Coordinator