Perfect Partners

A successful collaboration between a classical music charity and a Crichton business has provided the opportunity for a Dumfries musician to create a new piece of chamber music.

Absolute Classics and BDS, a company delivering award-winning data, web and design services, came together last year out of their shared interest in classical music.

This year the company has agreed a further two years of sponsorship which will include provision for Absolute Classics to commission a new chamber work from composer and BDS’ resident classical music expert, Fraser Clark. The piece will be premiered at the Absolute Classics Festival in 2019.

Festival Director Alex McQuiston said: “Absolute Classics has become well-known for bringing world-class musicians to Dumfries and Galloway audiences through our annual festival and concert series.”

“Many people do not realise that our important work extends to providing educational masterclasses to the region’s aspiring young musicians and we are also delighted to be providing opportunities for our homegrown musicians to showcase their talent.”

“Developing good local partnerships is key to the success of our charity and it is important for us to give something back to our sponsors.” Fraser is BDS’ classical music expert as well as an able musician and composer. Some of his work has been performed by a variety of professional musicians, including the Scottish Ensemble, Kevin Bowyer, cellist Robert Irvine, soprano Susan Hamilton and local Dumfries amateur choir The Balliol Consort.

“We are looking forward to launching his new composition at the 2019 festival.”

Thirty-five-year-old Fraser studied piano for two years at the junior department of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) and graduated with a BMus degree in 2005 and a Masters degree in Composition in 2007, both from the University of Glasgow. During this time he was also awarded the University prize for organ composition.

Fraser said: “What a fantastic opportunity and challenge. I would like to thank both Absolute Classics and BDS for giving me this amazing opportunity.”

The new sponsorship builds on last year’s successful partnership, which included BDS providing a new website for the charity as well as financial support.

BDS director Lesley Whyte said: “Giving people, especially young people, the opportunity to experience live classical music close to home is a privilege.”

“Alex’s vision is enabling many talented musicians to launch their careers. It is really exciting that we have also enabled the creative talents of one of our own members of staff. We wish Absolute Classics every success and look forward to many great concerts over the next two years.”