Classic FM have announced that as part of their 25th-anniversary celebrations, on 6th September, they will be broadcasting live from Dumfries House between 06:00hrs and 22:00hrs. The day will culminate in a special recital in the presence of Their Royal Highnesses, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall (known as HRH The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay and The Duchess of Rothesay when they are in Scotland. This year also marks a decade since Prince Charles rescued the house and estate for the nation.
The recital will be hosted by Aled Jones and includes performances by him and fellow Classic FM presenter, Myleene Klass. Other performers include Student musicians from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (of which Prince Charles is the patron), together with the world-renowned pianist Ji Liu and award-winning folk singer Josie Duncan. Perhaps the highlight of the evening, which unifies both celebrations, is a world premiere of Twilight Falls on Temple View by the acclaimed Welsh composer Paul Mealor – written about Dumfries House.
Dumfries House has been described as one of Britain’s most beautiful stately homes and best-kept heritage secrets. The house was built for the 5th Earl of Dumfries in the middle of the eighteenth century, by John & Robert Adam in the Palladian style. The property also had one of the largest inventories of eighteenth-century furniture including items designed and built specially by Thomas Chippendale. In the twenty-first century, though the upkeep of the property proved too much for the owners, and it was due to be auctioned.
The property was saved at the eleventh hour by a consortium led by the Prince and is now administered by the Great Steward of Scotland Trust (Great Steward being another of the Princes titles as the heir apparent). Since 2007, the Trust has gone from strength to strength, and the loan from the Prince’s Charitable Foundation was repaid in 2012.
The student musicians are not the only young people in Scotland to benefit from the efforts of the Duke of Rothesay. Since he rescued Dumfries House, he has used the location for many enterprises to support the training and employment of young people in the area. The latest project on the estate has been the building of the village of Knockroon, a similar principle to the village of Poundbury built in the South-West of England.