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Cantilena depends on help, whether it's in the form of financial assistance or volunteers distributing posters and providing accommodation during the Festival. The help you give us means that we can continue to bring the pleasure of great music to the people of a wonderful island where such music is rarely heard, and to give a unique opportunity to young music students who benefit greatly from the experience of playing and rehearsing away from their academic pressures.

Become a Cantilena Patron

Cantilena needs funding beyond ticket sales to be able to take our music to Islay. In particular, however, we always give the opportunity to at least five selected students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to perform beside our professional players, giving them a unique experience of learning and performing to the highest standards – an experience which is both invaluable to their careers and hard to find elsewhere. The students do not receive any fee, but Cantilena pays for their travel to Islay, accommodation, meals, and of course the personal tuition and direction from our professional players.

To help us take these talented students to Islay, we are offering the opportunity for those wishing to support our work to become a Cantilena Patron, by donating either annual payments of £100 or £250 or monthly payments of £10 or £20. Other amounts may be specified if you wish.

giftaid Eligible UK taxpayers can also GiftAid, meaning that a donation of £100 is worth £125 to Cantilena.

If you are interested in becoming a Patron please either:


Online Patron Form
(quick and easy, includes setting up Direct Debit)

Printable Patron Forms
(right-click the button and choose "Save as..." to download to your computer)


Cantilena Funders

We take world-class chamber music to a place it is not normally available. We also give talented young musicians the chance to perform with us to our high standards, learning from some of the most experienced professional orchestral players in Britain.

For 2015 and onwards, we are looking at ways of reaching further into the communities on Islay by arranging smaller performances in places like village halls and community centres. Our Artistic Directors have already visited some venues - we are pleased to announce that we will be hosting an evening of light classical music in Portnahaven Hall on Friday 3rd July. Taking such an ensemble to a remote part of the country, however, is expensive, and Cantilena is deeply indebted to our funders who help to make it all happen.

If you would like to join our list of funders, please contact us. Like many arts organisations, our outgoings cannot be met by ticket sales alone, and we need your support to be able to continue our unique Festival.

Our funders include:

  • Marigold Whittome Memorial Trust
  • Schroder Foundation
  • Jennie S Gordon Memorial Foundation
  • James Wood Bequest
  • Hugh Fraser Foundation
  • Mary Salmond Trust

Could you help?

If you are interested in helping to fund Cantilena or would like more information, please contact .

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.

Latest News

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Latest News


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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