Live Music Now Scotland celebrates its 25th anniversary this year with a range of special events taking place during the anniversary month of August. Over the years, classical and traditional musicians working on behalf of the organisation have performed live music in a variety of venues throughout Scotland from community halls, residential homes and hospices to prisons and special schools. As well as reaching out to people who might not have access to live music, the network gives young musicians an opportunity to develop their performance skills. Live Music Now Scotland alumni include singers Lisa Milne and Jamie MacDougall, violinist Clio Gould, leader of the London Sinfonietta, and Rosemary Eliot, currently principal flautist with the BBC SSO.
The August events include a series of high profile free public concerts at the National Museum of Scotland over three weeks during Edinburgh's Fringe festival, performances in Fife at the Aberdour Festival and the launch of a major project for adults with disabilities. The Edinburgh Fringe concerts are also linked to community performances for elderly people with dementia at the Royal Victoria Hospital in the capital.
When director Carol Main established the LMN Scottish office in 1984, she was working one afternoon a week and had six musicians on her list. Twenty-five years later Main now works full-time and the organisation has grown substantially with 60 young musicians, in effect 26 ensembles, giving around 350 performances a year. Further expansion is planned following a Scottish Arts Council flexible funding award which has enabled Main to appoint a development officer to broaden the scope of the network by recruiting young jazz and rock/pop musicians as well as managing a range of community projects and developing new partnerships, particularly with local authorities. This leaves her free to expand the international network of LMN on behalf of the whole of the UK.
Commenting on the achievements of Live Music Now Scotland over the past 25 years, Carol Main said: 'Keeping true to Yehudi Menuhin's vision in founding Live Music Now, our work in Scotland continues to focus on ensuring that all members of society, whatever their circumstances, have access to the joy and pleasure of live music as part of their lives. At the same time, in supporting the developing skills of outstanding young musicians, Live Music Now gives invaluable experience for their future professional careers in orchestras, ensembles, concert halls, broadcasting and educational establishments throughout the country.'