The Cumnock Tryst Festival, founded by Genesis Foundation associate James MacMillan, shortlisted for an RPS Music Award

8 April 2016

The Cumnock Tryst Festival, established just two years ago by composer Sir James MacMillan with support from individuals and organisations including the Genesis Foundation, has been shortlisted for a prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award. 65 independent jurors considered 350 nominations across 13 categories; the Festival is one of only three organisations to be shortlisted in the Concert Series and Festivals category.

“We are thrilled that the Cumnock Tryst Festival has been shortlisted for these prestigious awards in only its second year. The nomination recognises the incredible hard work and valued contribution of so many different people.” Festival Founder and Artistic Director, Sir James MacMillan

On Thursday 2 October 2014, Harry Christophers and The Sixteen opened the inaugural Cumnock Tryst Festival, performing the Scottish premieres of three Genesis Foundation Stabat Mater commissions by Alissa FirsovaMatthew Martin and Tõnu Kõrvits. In 2015, Eamonn Dougan, associate conductor of The Sixteen, lead the first ever performance by The Cumnock Tryst Festival Chorus at a concert funded by the Genesis Foundation. The chorus, a special ensemble made up of members of the local community and joined by alumni of Genesis Sixteen, will return to the festival in 2016, again with support from the Genesis Foundation:

“As well as bringing great musicians to perform in Cumnock, The Tryst aims to give people in the area as much opportunity as possible to make music themselves … and mould [them] into a Chorus that can perform masterworks from the repertoire.” Sir James MacMillan

The Genesis Foundation’s association with James MacMillan dates back to 2008 when he was commissioned by the Foundation to compose musical settings for Padre Pio’s Stay with Me Lord. In February 2016 it was announced that the Foundation had commissioned MacMillan to compose a new Stabat Mater, with its world premiere being given by Harry Christophers, The Sixteen and Britten Sinfonia at the Barbican Centre, London on 15 October 2016. Surrounding the premiere of the piece will be a series of concerts and talks dedicated to MacMillan; at 60 minutes in length and for choir and string orchestra, Stabat Mater will undoubtedly be one of his most important works to date.

The Genesis Foundation first commissioned Roxanna Panufnik to compose Westminster Mass 15 years ago. Since then, the Foundation has committed itself to ensuring that new pieces of sacred music are commissioned, performed and recorded. Other associated composers include Will Todd, Tarik O’Regan and Roderick Williams.

The winners of the 2016 RPS Awards will be announced on Tuesday 10 May, whilst the programme for the 2016 Cumnock Festival will be unveiled on Wednesday 25 May.

To find out more about the Genesis Foundation’s rich history of commissioning new music, click here. To learn about the Foundation’s free young artists’ scheme, Genesis Sixteen, click here.

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