See all stories
27 Sept 2021

10 years of Haddo Arts Festival

An exterior view, on a sunny day, of a very grand Georgian country house with large wings either side. A large lawn lies in front of the house, with tall trees in the foreground.
Haddo House
A special programme of events, running from Fri 8–Sun 17 October, will showcase both local and international art in celebration of ten years of the Haddo Arts Festival.

Working in partnership, Haddo Arts, the National Trust for Scotland and Haddo Country Park Forum will host this programme of events in the stunning Haddo House and Country Park.

Haddo Arts was established in 2016 to provide a creative home for all the arts in the heart of North-East Scotland. Its mission is to develop the rich musical and artistic heritage of Haddo House as a centre of excellence, entertainment and enlightenment.

Performances for Haddo Arts Festival 2021 include a concert from international pianist Joanna MacGregor; a show from North-East Scotland theatre company Ten Feet Tall; Scottish traditional musicians The Whistlebinkies; and renowned baroque specialists The Bach Players.

Katy Neithercut, the National Trust for Scotland’s Operations Manager for Aberdeenshire North said: ‘The Trust is so pleased to be playing its part in celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Haddo Arts Festival, especially as our charity is also celebrating a big birthday this year – our 90th. We hope to welcome the many people who love this place, for this special programme.’

“The house and the people who lived here have always had such a connection to art and music, so it’s wonderful to be bringing that to life for our visitors.”
Katy Neithercut
Operations Manager for Aberdeenshire North

Haddo Arts Festival 2021 programme

Lights on Haddo

Friday 8 October, 7.30pm – booking is not required

A unique spectacle in light and sound kicks off the celebration of 10 years of Haddo Arts Festival, using images from festivals past and present projected onto the exterior of Haddo House and accompanied by music and song. This is a one-night-only, unique experience that should not be missed!

Art in the Park

Saturday 9–Saturday 16 October – booking is not required

Haddo Country Park, better known for its majestic and ancient forest and woodland, offers itself again this year as a fabulous backdrop for art. Following meandering pathways and lush green foliage, the artworks from Kimberley McPherson (‘Love with Light’) and Sarah Calder become a seamless part of the visitor experience. These art installations offer gentle reflections of the fascinating history of Haddo House and the Gordon family, still very much at the heart of Haddo.

Kim from ‘Love with Light’ explains: ‘A community is built on human connections, which Haddo was and continues to be about. Art in the Park hopes to bring a little play to this subject using the photography of staff and those active in Haddo’s current community to emulate the paintings and history of those from the past. These will be displayed as portraits on a trail in the park linked to the art in Haddo House, for everyone to enjoy for the duration of the Festival. “Love with Light” portraits are located in Haddo House and are a social enterprise providing portraiture photography, which in turn supports our work with adopted children.’

Sarah Calder, an Aberdeenshire painting student at Gray’s School of Art said: ‘By working with oil paint on canvas, using classical still-life painting techniques, I will be exploring aspects of Haddo that may go unseen or under-appreciated, bringing their focus to the foreground. This exhibition of paintings incorporates the use of light to accentuate objects and different surfaces, allowing the light to bounce and reflect around the compositions, drawing focus to the significance of the objects themselves. By taking inspiration from Haddo House and the history of Haddo, I hope to bring significance to the pieces of history within Haddo, showing their beauty and bringing history to the modern day.’

Haddo House – A Different Light

Fri 8, Sat 9, Sun 10, Mon 11, Fri 15 and Sat 16 October

Book your tickets now

Come along and view Haddo House in ‘a different light’. Designer James Johnson, during the National Trust for Scotland’s Experiencing Collections project in 2019, worked with the team at Haddo House to create new and enhanced atmospheres for a visitor tour on the themes of light and dark, heat and cold. From ‘dark forgotten’ and ‘dark utilitarian’ spaces to ‘dramatic opulent’ and ‘sumptuous warm with flickering gas light’, join us as we tour this beautiful building and hear some of its fascinating stories, as well as admiring the paintings that have inspired Art in the Park.

Online performances

Saturday 9–Saturday 16 October

This year’s outstanding programme of events by Haddo Arts features classical ensemble The Bach Players, international pianist Joanna MacGregor, Scottish traditional musicians The Whistlebinkies, and pianoforte recitals from Steven Devine and Kate Semmens.

Together with Ten Feet Tall Theatre’s production of The Proposal by Chekhov, all performances were recorded at Haddo and will be available to view as a series of YouTube Premieres, hosted by broadcaster and baritone Jamie MacDougall.

Further details can be found on the Haddo Arts website.

Explore Haddo House

Visit now