THE Sound festival of new music has revealed its programme for 2018, which will take place in 19 venues across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

The annual event will this year run from October 24 to November 4, and will feature 40 concerts.

A theme in the festival this year is the showcase of the viola, the second in sound’s “endangered instruments” series, following the bassoon last year.

Work by female composers is also being highlighted.

Fiona Robertson, the director of the festival, said: "There will be new commissions from John De Simone, our current composer-in-residence, Diana Burrell, who this year celebrates her 70th birthday, Sally Beamish, Christopher Fox, Rafaële Biston, Oscar Strasnoy, Ailie Robertson, Pippa Murphy, Diana Salazar, Gemma McGregor, Rose Dodd and James Dillon as well as new works developed by Scottish-based female composers in a residential project later this month.

"Our international collaborations are continuing to develop.

"This year we are delighted to be presenting the World Premiere of Raphaële Biston’s new work for flute, clarinet, cello and guitar which was co-commissioned with our partner festival in France, Musiques Démesurées, and the UK Premiere of a new work by Oscar Strasnoy which we have co-commissioned for Garth Knox with Donaueschinger Musiktage."

Violist Knox returns to his childhood home in north-east Scotland as artist in residence.

Work by more than female composers are to be featured in the festival.

These include Burrell, whose 70th birthday on 25 October is marked by a special concert, and Sally Beamish whose new work for 6 violas will have its World Premiere in a concert which also features Garth Knox’s Ockeghem Fantasia.

A TRIBUTE to the music of David Bowie will take place at Aberdeen's True North Festival, and will feature the Irish musician, vocalist and actress Camille O’Sullivan as well as actor Aiden Gillen.

The concert, at His Majesty's Theatre on September 23, will also feature Duke Special, Eliza Carthy, Kathryn Williams, Cathal Couglan, Christopher Green and Paul Noonan.

True North has recently paid homage to the work of Kate Bush, Neil Young and Fleetwood Mac.

Ben Torrie, Aberdeen Performing Arts’ director of programming and creative projects, said: "This is sure to be an unforgettable evening with this fantastic line-up of top talent celebrating the music of one of the industry’s biggest stars.

"David Bowie has such a rich catalogue of amazing songs for Camille and co to explore and reimagine, and I know they’ll produce something really special for True North."

Gillen is an Irish actor, best-known for portraying Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish in the HBO series Game of Thrones, Tommy Carcetti in the HBO series The Wire, Stuart Alan Jones in the Channel 4 series Queer as Folk, and CIA operative Bill Wilson in The Dark Knight Rises.

True North is Aberdeen’s music festival and takes place between 20 and 23 September.

A NEW exhibition in Edinburgh is inspired by the life of Mary, Queen of Scots.

Helen Flockhart's Linger Awhile is at the Arusha Gallery from September 14 to October 7.

It includes 17 new oil paintings by the Glasgow-based artist.

The exhibition will travel to Linlithgow, the birthplace of Mary, from October 2018 to January 2019, after the Edinburgh show.

Ms Flockhart said: “Immersing myself in the story of Mary, Queen of Scots plunged me into an imaginative place filled with such rich imagery that it propelled me through a whole year.

"I became particularly interested in the way her gender impacted on the events of her life and ultimately her death, and the strands which weave together to form the legend."