NEW faces and new venues are all part of a fast-growing festival of “beautiful music in beautiful places” in East Lothian.

The ambitious programme for this year’s Lammermuir Festival will see 35 live performances at 16 venues in the region to allow audiences the chance to explore and appreciate the beauty of Scotland’s “Sunshine Coast”.

The event will see the Scottish premiere of Massenet’s Therese performed by Scottish Opera in its 60th anniversary season.

Conducted by Anu Tali, the two-act opera set during the French Revolution will star soprano Justina Gringyte.

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra will make its festival debut on September 10, conducted by Rory Macdonald in Sibelius’s 4th symphony and Brahms’s second piano concerto with Jeremy Denk as soloist.

Conducted by Christopher Bell, the newly formed National Youth Choir Of Scotland Chamber Choir will make its debut live performance the next day, September 11.

The choir will deliver a diverse programme featuring James MacMillan’s a cappella Culham Motets, Caroline Shaw’s And The Swallow and Benjamin Britten’s Hymn to St Cecilia.

New artists include Baroque ensemble Spiritato who will perform alongside The Marian Consort for a performance of choral music from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Closing the festival on September 19, Denk will play Beethoven’s 4th piano concerto alongside the Royal Northern Sinfonia, conducted by Dinis Sousa, in a celebratory concert opening with the enigma of Ives’s The Unanswered Question and ending with Mendelssohn.

Artistic directors Hugh Macdonald and James Waters said this year’s festival was their most ambitious so far.

“Baroque music in different contexts and styles has a special place in the festival as does the thrillingly original music of Ligeti. The RSNO makes its festival debut, and the Dunedin Consort performs Mozart’s great C minor Mass.

“The beautiful sacred music of William Byrd takes us to the secluded monastery of Sancta Maria at Nunraw for the first time and the ancient Collegiate Church of Dunglass will resonate to 15th century music sung by The Orlando Consort – and that’s only to scratch the surface of the programme. We look forward to seeing audiences in September.”