Splitting Time


“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone” Pascal (French philosopher and polymath,1623 - 1662)

A fascinating weekend in the heart of the Scottish Highlands bringing together internationally renowned musicians and local performers to create a unique festival centred around our notion of ‘time’, curated by Graham Fitkin and Ruth Wall.

The award winning percussion group Ensemble Bash will be in residence performing with Ghanian drums, typewriters, marimbas and telephone bells.  BBC 4 presenter and Professor of Mathematics, Marcus du Sautoy, will present a talk on music and time.  We will be joined by the stunning Australian singer Lotte Betts-Dean, performing Hildegard, Dowland and Pärt, and award winning clarinetist Nick Shipman giving the Scottish premiere of Graham Fitkin’s Clarinet Concerto.   The vibrant Gaia Strings will also be in residence, and there will be workshops for clarsachs, strings, singers and percussion. There will be a sound installation from American composer Alvin Lucier, using the voices of local people, a rare performance of Gavin Bryar’s Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet for strings and harps and Ligeti’s ground breaking conceptual music for 100 metronomes!

Friday 15th May 2020

8.00pm - 9.15pm Evening Concert at St. Margaret's

Musical performances by Ensemble Bash, Ruth Wall, Lotte Betts-Dean and Nick Shipman



Saturday 16th May 2020

10am - 5pm ‘I am sitting in a room’ sound installation, composed by Alvin Lucier.

The Games Pavillion, The Princess Royal and Duke of Fife Memorial Park

Free entry


3.45pm - 5pm Marcus du SautoyTalk at the Village Hall

Braemar Village Hall

Join renowned mathematician, author and broadcaster Marcus du Sautoy for a discussion on the links between mathematics, music and time.



8.00pm - 9.45pm Evening Concert at St. Margaret's 

Musical performances by Graham Fitkin, Lotte Betts-Dean, Ruth Wall, Braemar Choir, Ensemble Bash, Nick Shipman, Gaia Quartet and Braemar Strings



Sunday 17th May 2020

10am - 12pm ‘I am sitting in a room’ sound installation, composed by Alvin Lucier.

The Games Pavillion, The Princess Royal and Duke of Fife Memorial Park

Free entry


12 noon Lunchtime Concert at St. Margaret's  

Musical performances by Lotte Betts-Dean, Ruth Wall, Braemar Choir, Gaia Quartet, Braemar Strings and Harps



A Braemar Music Festival Weekender ticket is available to include:

The Weekender Ticket includes:
- Friday Evening Concert - Friday 15th May 8pm
- Marcus du Sautoy Talk - Saturday 16th May 3.45pm
- Saturday Evening Concert - Saturday 16th May 8pm
- Sunday Lunchtime Concert - Sunday 17th May 12 noon



A Weekend Package is available to include:

-Two nights in the Fife Arms hotel
-Breakfast each morning of your stay
-Two pre-concert suppers
-Tickets for a guest-only drinks reception and talk with musicians and festival curators Graham Fitkin and Ruth Wall
-Tickets to 3 concerts at St Margaret’s Braemar
-Guided Walk to the Music Installation at the Braemar Games Pavillion
-Tickets to a talk and a book signing with Marcus du Sautoy, Media presenter and Oxford Professor of Mathematics



Graham Fitkin

graham fitkin

Graham is a Cornish composer working with acoustic and electronic instruments. Between 1994 and 1996 Graham was resident composer with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and since then commissions have come from the Halle, BBC Philharmonic, Tokyo Symphony, RSNO, Nederlands Radio Orchestra etc. He has conducted orchestras in venues from Lincoln Center to South Bank to Aula Magna. Graham collaborates with many of today's foremost performers including Yo-Yo Ma, Kathryn Stott, Will Gregory, Janine Jansen, Piano Circus, Ensemble Bash and London Chamber Orchestra. Graham’s work has been released on Decca, Factory Classical, Sanctuary’s Black Box, BIS, Sony, EMI and his own label.

Ruth Wall

ruth wall

Scottish harpist Ruth Wall specialises in the development and performance of new music. She performs on lever harp, buzzing Renaissance bray harp, Gaelic wire strung harp and concert harp. Ruth appears as a soloist and as part of ensembles and bands including Goldfrapp, Kathryn Tickell and the Side, Charles Hazlewood, Will Gregory, London Chamber Orchestra, RLPO and Adrian Utley. She has toured the world over and appears regularly on Radio and TV. Ruth has also recorded albums including The Three Harps of Christmas, The Uncommon Harp, Lost, Kaplan, Still Warm, Seventh Tree (Goldfrapp), Vamp and Veneer (Fitkin Band).

Ensemble Bash


Formed in 1992, the British percussion quartet Ensemble Bash has a reputation as one of the world’s most innovative and ground-breaking chamber ensembles. Using the music of West Africa as both core repertoire and a guiding spiritual influence, Ensemble Bash mixes contemporary classical, jazz and music theatre into unforgettable performances.

Since its inception Ensemble Bash has been dedicated to commissioning new repertoire for percussion ensemble and has developed special relationships with composers including Graham Fitkin, Stephen Montague, Nick Hayes, Howard Skempton and Stewart Copeland.

Ensemble Bash has toured the UK and Europe extensively, including regular appearances at the Southbank Centre and BBC Proms, most recently in 2012 performing world premieres of works by Eric Whitacre and Imogen Heap. From the 2018/19 season the group has been be Ensemble in Residence at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In 2013 and then again in 2018, Ensemble Bash were featured artists at the RNCM Percussion Festival.

Ensemble Bash is renowned for its workshops and family concerts and its pioneering education work has included extensive residencies for Dartington International Summer School, Cheltenham Festival, SPNM’s Sound Inventors, Spitalfields Festival and the Victorian College of the Arts as part of the Melbourne Festival in Australia.

Ensemble Bash is supported by Bell Percussion and the PRS Foundation.

Lotte Betts-Dean

Hailed by The Guardian for her “impressive control, irrepressible sense of drama and extraordinary self-assurance” Australian mezzo-soprano Lotte Betts-Dean’s performance experience encompasses opera, oratorio, contemporary music, art song, chamber music and early music. A versatile and sought-after concert artist performing predominantly in Australia and the UK, Lotte has appeared at venues such as St John’s Smith Square, St Martin In The Fields, Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall and the Sydney Opera House, and festivals such as Aldeburgh, Cheltenham, Buxton, and Lewes Festival of Song. Lotte won the 2019 Oxford Lieder Festival Young Artist Platform, and is currently Associate Artist with Southbank Sinfonia after winning the 2017 Peter Hulsen Orchestral Song Award. She also won the 2018 Musicians Company New Elizabethan Award alongside guitarist Andrey Lebedev, and is a member of London-based contemporary music group Ensemble x.y, with whom she has performed numerous world premieres. Lotte is a City Music Foundation Artist, a Yeoman of the Musicians Company, a scholarship holder with the Imogen Cooper Music Trust and a 2020 Samling Young Artist.

Nick Shipman

Nick Shipman Colour

Nick Shipman studied initially with Jack Brymer OBE before gaining a place at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where he studied with Joy Farrall, Michael Whight and Dame Thea King. His studies continued at the Royal Conservatorium for Music in The Hague with Sjef Douwes (Principal Clarinet, Rotterdam Philharmonic). He has appeared as soloist with many orchestras and has performed as soloist and chamber musician in venues such as Wigmore Hall, Barbican Hall, Fairfield Halls Croydon, St George’s Bristol, The Purcell Room, Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Cité de La Musique (Paris) and De Doelen (Rotterdam). He has appeared at the festivals of Aldeburgh, Dartington and Cheltenham and the Muziek in de Maartenskerk International Chamber Music series in the Netherlands. He has played concerts throughout the UK, Europe and the USA.

Gaia Quartet


Katrina Lee is a Yorkshire violinist, who began studying from the age of eight at the Kirklees Music School with Ralph Barker. In 2010, Katrina received a scholarship to study at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland graduating with first class honours in 2014 and masters in 2016 under the tutelage of Andrea Gajic receiving the highest mark for her final recital.

After joining the Scottish Ensemble 2012 tour performing with Anthony Marwood at the Wigmore Hall, Katrina was also selected Scottish Ensemble Young Artist in 2013 and 2015 with opportunities playing with Lawrence Power and joining the ensemble in residencies around Scotland.

Katrina was appointed the Principal 2nd Violin position with Scottish Ballet in February 2017 and has enjoyed learning all of the rich ballet repertoire including Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake,  Prokofiev’s enchanting ‘Cinderella’ and most recently a world premiere of The Snow Queen with music by Rimsky Korsakov.

Scottish born Australian violinist Kirstin Drew began learning the violin at age 6 in country Victoria, later moving to Melbourne to study at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School, going on to the Victorian College of the Arts and The University of Melbourne. In 2016 she relocated to Glasgow and has since become a member of the Scottish Ballet Orchestra, performing in various U.K. locations, and is a regular guest player with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, performing around Scotland and touring Europe with them.

Liam Lynch was born in Dunfermline and studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

During his time there he premiered John De Simone's Violin Concerto to critical acclaim and performed Brahms' Double Concerto for violin and cello with the RSAMD Symphony Orchestra. He continues to perform as a soloist with amateur orchestras and music ensembles in Scotland. As leader of the Alba Quartet for nearly ten years he performed extensively throughout The UK as well as further afield in Europe. He has been a guest with the Auricle Ensemble, the Maxwell, Aurea, and Edinburgh Quartets, Ensemble Thing, and the Red Note Ensemble on both violin and viola. 

As an orchestral musician Liam plays with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Concert and Festival Orchestras, the Orchestra of Scottish Ballet, and plays most regularly with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. 
Alice Allen grew up in Banchory, Aberdeenshire and was formerly young artist in residence with the Scottish Ensemble. She has performed live on BBC Radio 3 and Radio Scotland and has recorded with many leading folk artists including former BBC young traditional musician of the year Robyn Stapleton and MG ALBA Scots Singer of the year Iona Fyfe. Alice's playing has taken her to the BBC Proms, Wigmore Hall, Europe and India. Alice works with many of the country’s leading performing groups including the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Ensemble, Liverpool Philharmonic, London Concertante and the Brodick Quartet. Alice performs regularly with fiddler Alastair Savage and is the Enterprise Music Scotland Ensemble in Resience 2019-21as one half of the duo GAIA.

Marcus du Sautoy

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Marcus du Sautoy is the Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford. He is author of six books including his most recent books The Creativity Code (Fourth Estate 2019). He has presented numerous radio and TV series including a four part landmark TV series for the BBC called The Story of Maths. He works extensively with a range of arts organisations bringing science alive for the public from The Royal Opera House to the Glastonbury Festival. His play I is a Strange Loop (in which he is both actor and author) was part of the Barbican’s Life Rewired season. He received an OBE for services to science in the 2010 New Year’s Honours List and was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2016.