Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Vote Splore in the Trad Awards 2010!

The Splore Traditional Music School has been a long-running successful project of Aberdeen International Youth Festival, warmly welcoming hundreds of youngsters from Aberdeen and the surrounding areas to develop and showcase their skills during a residency at the festival. Every year, talented young performers and several mentors put in a lot of hard work for results they can be proud of. This year, there is a chance for these efforts to be rewarded with a TRAD AWARD.
Hands up for Trad are an organisation dedicated to increasing the profile and visibility of Scottish traditional music, and their coveted annual awards; the Trad Awards, recognise people and groups that promote these goals through the work that they do. The Splore has been nominated in the category EVENT OF THE YEAR.
This is a category where the winner is decided by popular vote, so to make sure Splore gets the recognition it deserves, make sure you vote for it! Please take the small amount of time to do this - simply go to the Hands up for Trad website (http://www.handsupfortrad.co.uk/index.htm), and follow the instructions for voting found there.
Splore needs you!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

All new Jazz Scotland

Aberdeen International Youth Festival has relationships with other charities and festivals across Scotland and beyond, the newly created Jazz Scotland being just one. Jazz Scotland, formerly Jazz Aberdeen, is committed to presenting the best of International and Scottish Jazz with shows mainly in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow. They will also present the Aberdeen, Dundee, Fife, Islay, Lockerbie and Tay Jazz Festivals throughout the years. AIYF has kindly agreed to take on the management of Jazz Scotland. You can read more about them, and their first ever gig, right here in Aberdeen, below:

Two of Scotland’s foremost jazz promoters have joined forces to form a new and exciting company called Jazz Scotland.

Assembly Direct who currently promote jazz festivals in Dundee, Fife, Islay and Lockerbie and Jazz Aberdeen, the company who transformed Aberdeen into one of the leading jazz cities in the UK have announced the formation of Jazz Scotland.

The new company’s Chair, Neil Gibbons, says “This is a great opportunity for jazz in Scotland. Together we will be able to present a programme of live jazz of the highest quality throughout Scotland. We are already planning a range of initiatives and collaborations which will enable us to present top international and Scottish artists to our audiences."

Regular jazz concerts will be presented in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow with annual festivals in Aberdeen, Dundee, Fife, Islay, Lockerbie and Perth.

Jazz Scotland is also actively developing a network of partnerships with other jazz clubs and promoters to increase the number of venues and opportunities available for jazz. Such partnerships have already been established with Jazz at Hospitalfield in Arbroath, the Jazz Bar in Edinburgh, the Arts and Theatres Trust in Fife, the Islay Arts Association, Dumfries and Galloway Arts Association, the Byre Theatre in St. Andrews and Horsecross in Perth.

Jazz Scotland is supported by funding from Creative Scotland, local councils and other arts support organizations and sponsors.

Jazz Scotland’s first concert will be in Aberdeen and will feature legendary jazz/rock guitarist, Mike Stern in a rare club appearance at the city’s Blue Lamp venue on Sunday 31st October. Stern, who made his name with Miles Davis, Jaco Pastorius and The Brecker Brothers, co-led a brilliant band with Bob Berg and has led one of the most successful contemporary/jazz groups for over 20 years. This concert will feature French jazz and fusion violin superstar Didier Lockwood as a special guest.

For more details please visit www.jazzscotland.com .

Thursday, 16 September 2010

AIYF Recommends 'Faith Healer'

It may be about almost eleven months until the Aberdeen International Youth Festival comes round again, but there is still plenty to see and do in the city. There are still arts performances, and today we can recommend one in particular.
Tonight sees the premiere performance of "Faith Healer"; the start of a 3 night run. Presented by Blue Tiger Theatre, it is a compelling and poignant play about the power of faith - of all kinds - and the unreliability of memory by one of Ireland's greatest playwrights; Brian Friel.
Critical acclaim: "The writing is beautiful, supple, rhythmical, charged with the slow, sure throb of despair and enchantment... Brian Friel is the most profound and poetic of contemporary Irish dramatists" - The Observer
You can see it at the Aberdeen Arts Centre, 7.30pm, Thursday 16th - Saturday 18th September. Tickets are reasonably priced, available from Aberdeen Box Office on 01224 641122, or www.boxofficeaberdeen.com.

Friday, 27 August 2010

AIYF 2010 - That's a wrap

So here we are, at the end of August, looking back with a definite sense of satisfaction and pride. It is now 20 days since festival participants signed off with our customary grand finale, the International Variety Gala. Now that's how to end a festival! The audience practically raised the roof off His Majesty's Theatre with a standing ovation that continued for a good few minutes after the curtain fell. They were then serenaded out with uplifting tunes from Diamond Vale Government Primary Steel Ensemble. After nearly two weeks' solid work, we can definitely say: It was worth it.
By now we have stopped to catch our breath; we have recharged our batteries and we are looking forward as well as back. We have left our summer office and are back at our normal residence at Regent Quay, where we shall be based until June 2011. The postal address is:

Aberdeen International Youth Festival
Custom House
35 Regent Quay
AB11 5BE

Other than the fact that we are very pleased with our efforts, it is too early to draw any definite conclusions about the success of this year's festival, with a couple of exceptions. We have had a tremendous response in feedback from almost all of our shows and have taken a keen interest in what you've got to say. We will not require any number crunching to determine that AIYF 2010 has to go down as one of the best ever in terms of quality of shows. An overwhelming 84.1% of you said that the show in question was excellent. Almost everybody else said the show was good. Clearly this was the big success of this year's festival. It is great to know how highly appreciated the events this year were and we thank everyone who took the time to tell us.
We will remember this year fondly. So much hard work was done by so many people to ensure it ran as well as it did. The list of people that deserve thanks is so long that I'd be here all night and most of tomorrow typing it all out. So we shall simply say: "Well done everyone!"
As stated above, we are looking forward as well as back. We are taking the salient information from this year and applying it to next year with a view to making AIYF 2011 even better. Constant improvement is the continuous goal. We would like to remind all that THE APPLICATION PERIOD FOR 2011 IS OPEN. That's how it is; one festival has ended so the work towards the next one has already begun. It is already on the calander: 27th July - 6th August 2011 is Festival time!

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Chamber Music Competition - monetary prize!


If you are 25 or under and part of an orchestral ensemble there is still time to enter the prestigious Norman Cooper Chamber Music Prize.

The competition, part of Aberdeen International Youth Festival is looking for groups of two up to 13 players from Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire or Moray to take part.

The competition, which has a monetary prize, takes place as a public concert on Tuesday August 3 at 2pm in Queen’s Cross Church, Aberdeen.

To find out more about the event contact Aberdeen International Youth Festival on 01224 273740.

Tickets for AIYF are available from Aberdeen Box Office on 01224 641122 or online at www.boxofficeaberdeen.com, and also directly from venues.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Calling all volunteers!

Every year at AIYF, we are lucky enough to be supported by a team of volunteer staff. As AIYF 2010 approaches, we are looking for volunteers to help with a variety of tasks from now until the end of the Festival (7 August).

Jobs include helping distribute our promotional material far and wide (within Aberdeen City and surrounding region), helping out in the AIYF office with administrative tasks, and helping out front of house at performances and outside events.

As a small token of our appreciation, all volunteers receive free tickets to a Festival show of choice and transport expenses will be covered.

Are you available for even a few hours to help out? Just get in touch at volunteer@aiyf.org

Thanks very much!

Friday, 25 June 2010

Festival Update

Another week draws to a close, and we are officially past the longest day of the year, and for us at AIYF that means two things: Loads of work and a new office! Monday was a flurry of activity as we said goodbye to Regent Quay for the next wee while, moving to larger accomodation at the University of Aberdeen which will be our base right on through the festival.

The longest day of the year, Monday, was our moving day. Into the van went our remaining brochures, (yes, we still have plenty for those who would like any!), computer/ office equipment, and enough juice and water to satisfy a mini marathon. (You don't need my help to draw a comparison).

The University staff have been doing all they can to help us, and they are a major reason for a relatively smooth transition. We would like to thank the University for its continued support. Also instrumental in our big move were Capital Solutions, and we also pay tribute to them for their part in getting the new office up and running as quickly as possible.

So, right on into August, we are to be found at the New Kings building in the heart of the University of Aberdeen, Kings' College Campus. Our main office is located in room NK11 (left door as you face the building, up one flight of stairs, on the right). It will be our thriving hive of activity. One feature of our time here is that we all have direct lines:

Reception - 01224 273740 (All numbers preceeded by Aberdeen code 01224)

Stewart Aitken (Chief Executive) - 274339

Ruth Fisher (Festival Manager) - 274336

Flora Cook (Festival Administrator) - 274335

Andrew Youngson (Manager, Marketing and Communications) - 274333

Alisdair McLeod (Administration, Marketing and Communications) - 274338

HotDesk - 274334

Fast forward a few days and everything is up and running. Final preparation is beginning to take shape. There is now little more than a month until the start of the festival, and we are gearing up for more than a hundred shows, each with different groups, acts performers - and audiences. Because Festival Staff, busy as they are, work with the intended outcome of yet another successful festival, which means an extensive list of shows that are well worth seeing. You can find details about every single one at http://www.aiyf-listings.org.uk/. (Promise kept!) Our efforts for the whole year shall, ultimately, be judged between 28th July and 7th of August. But this is your festival as much as it is ours. So to ensure the Aberdeen International Youth Festival 2010 is every bit as good as you deserve it to be, make sure you are there to see as much of it as possible!

Friday, 11 June 2010


Aberdeen International Youth Festival officially launched its programme for 2010 with a 5-hour variety performance at Union Square. The launch began at Cineworld with a welcome to an audience predominantly comprising of friends, supporters and sponsors. The general public were then treated to a variety display in the main atrium.
The place was packed as dancers from Brigham Young University Ballroom Dance Company took to the floor with a visually enthralling set of pieces including a dance from Travis and Jamie Tuft. The company, from Utah, America were here in Aberdeen as part of their tour and we are so glad they could join us for this curtain raiser.
The show continued with a rendition of songs from Chalmers Mackay School of Music, including their band Celtallica. This was just a small preview of what Chalmers Mackay will be bringing to the festival this year. If their performance at Union Square was anything to go by, they will be well worth seeing.
And so it continued, right on up until closing time, with acts that had everything from more music to street dance. If this is just a small glimpse of what will happen when the festival is actually underway, Aberdeen will be the only place to be come the 28th of July.
The event could not have gone as it did without the tremendous response we received from our team of volunteers, as well as present members of our office staff, who were on hand to give out as many brochures as the public demanded. We would like to say a heartfelt thank you to all those who gave their time to ensure the event ran smoothly.
We would also like to thank Cameron Presentations for staging the show. Their technical display and sound expertise were vital in making the show the best it could be. They were great to work with and the fact they are now in Aberdeen is very good news.
The press were also in attendance. In particular, coverage of the event can be seen on the front page of This Morning's Press and Journal. A video of the event is also available online from the Evening Express. We would like to thank them for their support.
So, full steam ahead for the festival, from 28th July - 7th August. Yesterday was just the beginning. Our full and varied programme will have something for everyone, and details are available in our brochure, and we have plenty! Alternatively, visit www.aiyf-listings.org.uk for a guide to all the shows.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010


This year's Programme Launch will be at Aberdeen's Union Square on Thursday 10th June. The Launch of the programme will start at Cineworld on the Upper (First) floor, and will continue in the main atrium with a show performance from as yet un-named groups. (So watch this space). However, a launch event of this scale does not happen all by itself. If you are, or can be in Aberdeen that day, why not get involved? Our Festival Manager can find something suited to your individual expertise.
If you want to help, get involved by contacting Ruth. You can get in touch by comment on this site, on Facebook, or any of our other sites. (Link for our website in title link) Direct emails should be sent to: ruth@aiyf.org; our office telephone number is (01224) 213800.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Free orchestral concert!

Hello all,

Just blogging to let you all know about a unique concert that's coming up at the Music Hall on Thursday 27th May.

The Music Hall will play host to a live streamed concert straight from The Royal Festival Hall in London. The real-time broadcast will feature the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, led by Ivan Fischer, and featuring Julia Fischer on Violin. Here's the programme:

Rossini Overture - The Italian Girl in Algiers
Mendelssohn - Violin Concerto
Rossini - Variazioni a piu istrumenti obbligati
Schubert - Symphony No.5 in B Flat

And, oh yeah, wait a minute. It's totally FREE! This is courtesy of Shell who are doing this as part of their 2009/10 International Concert Series.

If you're interested (and you should be - it's International-quality culture for FREE!) just follow this link that will take you to the Aberdeen Box Office page when yu can book tickets.

See you there!


Friday, 23 April 2010

Tickets go on sale for youth arts festival.

Aberdeen International Youth Festival (AIYF), one of the world’s leading celebrations of youth arts, has announced that tickets for performances in Aberdeen’s main venues have been released for general sale today (Monday 19 April).

Following a ten day priority booking period for members of the AIYF Friends, a total of eleven performances that will be hosted in His Majesty’s Theatre, the Music Hall and the Lemon Tree are now on sale to the general public.

Performances include many of the musical, dramatic and dance highlights of AIYF 2010 such as the Festival Dance Gala on Thursday 5 August and the ever-popular International Variety Gala on Saturday 7 August that will take place at HMT. Music Hall performances now on sale include the Welcome Ceremony on Thursday 29 July, an evening with the Edinburgh Youth Orchestra featuring Soprano Lisa Milne on Friday 30 July, and A Serenade to Music on Sunday 1 August – a choral recital featuring the works of Vaughan Williams. Performances by the Scottish contemporary dance group, Project Y, and the Mitchell School of Drama are now on sale at the Lemon Tree Studio.

Aberdeen International Youth Festival has long been one of the world’s leading participatory youth festivals and 2010 will see musicians, dancers and theatre acts showcase their talents over a 10 day period running from 28 July to 7 August.

AIYF Chief Executive, Stewart Aitken, said: “I am delighted to make some of our key shows available sooner than we have been able to in the past. With more than 70 unique acts from across the world now signed up, AIYF promises to be one of the Festival’s most exciting and diverse years.”

The Aberdeen International Youth Festival 2010 runs from July 28 until August 7.
Tickets for AIYF are available from Aberdeen Box Office on 01224 641122 or online at www.boxofficeaberdeen.com

For the most up to date programme information visit www.aiyf.org

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

AIYF 2010 Residency Courses Now Open!

Hi everyone,

We are pleased to announce that the residency opportunities for AIYF 2010 are now available. They will give participants the chance to improve your talents and work with some of the best artists from around the world.

Balmoral Splore Traditional Music School: 2 - 6 August 2010

Splore is aimed at musicians between the ages of 12 – 16. It gives young musicians the chance to explore and develop their skills in traditional music. All participants must be grade 2 or above. Classes will be taught in fiddle, whistle, guitar, accordion, piano, clarsach and percussion along with other instruments depending of Splore numbers and time.

For more information or to apply please click here.

Ceol Mor Trad Music Big Band: 30 Jul – 7 Aug 2010

Ceol Mor is AIYF’s trad big music band. It consists of some of the most promising musicians from Scotland and North America. They perform unique arrangements of trad Scottish music by mixing it with different, exciting, musical styles.

The band will have a 9 day residency at the 2010 AIYF, including a week of rehearsals and gigs in Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire, including a performance at His Majesty’s Theatre.

Ceol Mor is open to musicians aged 16 – 26, grade 5 and above.

For more information or to apply please click here.

Dance Lab: 27 Jul – 5 Aug 2010

Dance Lab gives young dancers of varying levels the chance to explore dance styles indepth with leading tutors from Scotland and across the globe. It consists of three master classes and a youth option listed below:

  • Master Class 1: 27 – 29 Jul 2010 with Robert Lori
  • Master Class 2: 30 Jul – 1 Aug 2010 with Scottish Ballet
  • Master Class 3: 2 – 5 Aug 2010 with Andy Howitt Artistic Director of Y-Dance
  • Young Dance Lab, is open to dancers aged 8 - 14 and gives younger dancers the chance to learn different dance styles and stimulate their imaginations.
For more information on either Dance Lab or to apply please click here.

Chamber Music Project: 2 – 6 Aug 2010

The AIYF Chamber Music Project is new to 2010 and gives musicians the chance to work with The Hebrides Ensemble (www.hebridesensemble.org.uk) and Director Will Conway. There are 20 places available in the Chamber Music Project with no accommodation or tuition fees.

For more information or to apply please click here.