Nicola will play Brahms’ Violin Sonatas. Her performance will be followed by a rare opportunity for the audience to pose any questions they may have to one of the world’s premier violinists. Another of the world’s great exponents of that instrument, Nigel Kennedy, is set to perform on Sunday 21st May. His concerts are legendary and this one will surely be no exception. Hang on to your seat as Nigel takes you through some of the music that his influenced him throughout his life!

For some twenty years the Festival has broadened its appeal from its classical music and opera roots; it now embraces a wide range of musical types – and other art forms. Rock music forms an important part of our programming: this year Dundee’s The View takes prime spot on the first Saturday night. They are ideal headliners who, supported by The Snuts and The Nickajackmen , will appeal to a young audience. Tickets are selling well but some are still available. Justin Currie and The Pallbearers, who have just released a new album, follow on Friday 26th May. The Pallbearers feature local guitarist Stuart Nisbet. The Treacherous Orchestra, Rachel Sermanni and Adam Holmes and The Embers are set to stage a high-quality triple bill featuring Celtic folk-rock.

Other innovations this year include the use of two new venues. South Street’s Loft Nightclub will host a night to celebrate a hundred years of Ella Fitzgerald with jazz guitarist Martin Taylor and singer Alison Burns. Jazz will also be heard in newly-refurbished St Matthew’s Church on Tay Street when Helena Kay gives a Saturday Morning performance with pianist Peter Johnstone. Helena, brought up in Perth, is now forging a successful career as a saxophonist.

A sing-along production of HMS Pinafore will certainly be something different. The audience will be the chorus and can choose even to dress up appropriately for the occasion. This is entirely optional but there will be prizes! Another first is a visit by a choir which is a Classic FM favourite: Tenebrae will sing Russian Orthodox Church music in a candlelit performance in St John’s Kirk.

If you enjoy your comedy then a visit by Marcus Brigstocke will be for you. A regular at the Edinburgh Fringe and on Have I Got News for You, he starred on stage in Spamalot. Let’s face it - with all these elections it’s time for a good laugh. His Perth performance isn’t part of a tour and he’s coming north especially for the Festival, so please give him a warm welcome.

Great Festival favourites include visits from major orchestras. This time it is The Moscow Philharmonic, who will play Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Other favourites include a return visit – featuring Tosca - from English Touring Opera, while Jools Holland’s annual party continues this time with help from Chiris Difford, perhaps best known as half of Squeeze. 1920s New York Hot Club jazz with accompanying dance will enliven Tuesday 23rd and feature Harry Strutters’ Hot Rhythm Orchestra and the Lindy Hop Dance Company. Our ever popular ArTay marquee will be packed with a wide range of very desirable contemporary Scottish Art to admire.

There are many other shows on offer including Children’s Classic Concerts, the Scottish Opera Trailer Tour and the Perth Youth Orchestra, as well as free lunchtime concerts ... more information is available at