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Monday, 2 July 2012

St Magnus Festival

Each midsummer Orkney hosts the St Magnus International Festival with lots of art and cultural events going on around the County.  I missed most of it this year as I was away on holiday. However I was lucky to get a ticket for one of the lunch-time concerts in St Magnus Cathedral. This was a performance of Arakaendar, a choir from Bolivia, plus Florilegium. Both have been touring the UK this summer singing and playing a range of baroque music. The Bolivian Choir has been described as "exuberant" and "captivating" and they were certainly that! And more!  Florilegium played beautifully, some pieces with the choir and some on their own. It was a wonderful hour long concert really suited to the splendour of the St Magnus Cathedral. 

I love the cathedral and it was even more beautiful with the sun streaming through the windows.

As always with such events in Orkney, the street was buzzing with visitors. The weather was even good enough to sit outside the cafes!

And outside one cafe a local musician was "busking".

Meanwhile the carriage and horses were giving visitors a tour of Kirkwall.

There are various reviews and photos on the St Magnus Festival Facebook page (you don't have to be on Facebook to read them).

There are also some YouTube clips 

The RSNO orchestra arrive in Orkney

- this one filmed by one of the orchestra members who, it seems, were "glamping" (glamorous camping - though it doesn't LOOK very glamorous) outside the Pickaquoy Centre before the concert!

And a trombonist and Tuba plaery went to the Ring of Brodgar too!


  1. Marvelous. I'm not sure what else I can say, except I LOVE "Glamping" and what on earth is "Busking?"

    1. As Sybil explained, Busking is performing music (or juggling, magic tricks or whatever) on the street usually with a hat or box for passers by to throw money into. In London it was very popular (though illegal) on the Underground train system. Around many cities you will find musicians "busking" on the street.

  2. Hi there! I just "stumbled upon" your blog and thought I'd leave a comment! It's so interesting reading about living life where you are, especially since I'm from a completely different part of the world. I look forward to reading more! Happy travels!

    1. Welcome! Happy Travels to you! Once life calms down a bit this summer and I'm home for more than a few days I'll drop by and say hi to you too.

  3. Oh I love that cathedral. I'm listening to the first interview/story and revelling in the lovely accents.

    We call it "busking" here in Nova Scotia too. Busking (for Jeannette) is performing for money. Usually just on the street. We have a busker's festival here each summer.

    1. I love the Orcadian accent. Although it's very soft and not at all like most "Scottish" accents (and Orcadians don't consider themselves Scottish anyway but that's another story!).