Prominent figures in the world of classical music have expressed shock and dismay at the cut of funding to one of Scotland's leading music festivals.

The Sound festival, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, applied for three years of regular funding from arts body Creative Scotland, but lost out. It is now officially appealing against the decision.

Leading composers James MacMillan and Sally Beamish, as well as one of the nation's most successful percussionists, Colin Currie, have voiced their concern for the festival, which is based in the north-east.

Mr MacMillan said music in Scotland would be "significantly damaged and undermined" if the annual festival was not funded.

The festival stages concerts across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, including the Woodend Barn, Banchory, as well as churches, community halls, galleries and museums.

It is known for commissioning new classical music work and was recently shortlisted for a Royal Philharmonic Society Award.

It has received £285,000 in revenue and project funding from Creative Scotland in the last two years, but did not make the list of organisations to be awarded money between 2015 and 2018 announced last week.

Sound representatives will meet Creative Scotland officials today to discuss the festival's future.

Mr MacMillan, a patron of the festival, said the decision to not grant regular funding is a "strategic mistake". Mr Currie, who officially opened this year's festival with a performance at Cowdray Hall, Aberdeen, said if the festival was unable to continue it would be an "embarrassment and a real indictment of how everything is organised" in the Scottish arts world.

He said he was "distraught" about the decision.

Ms Beamish said: "I am deeply saddened and disappointed to hear Sound Festival Aberdeen is not being funded.

"Sound is an extremely important part of cultural life in Scotland. It seems very surprising this unique and vibrant festival, which champions and commissions new music outside the Central Belt, alongside educational workshops and opportunities, should not be celebrated as part of Creative Scotland's portfolio for the healthy maintenance of the arts throughout Scotland."

Mr MacMillan said the festival had been one of the strongest developments for contemporary music in Scotland in recent years.

Over the years Sound has commissioned more than 40 new compositions and premiered hundreds of works of new music.

Mr MacMillan added: "It is as vitally important for the north-east arts sector in particular, as it is for new music in Scotland generally.

"It is imperative any appeal is heard sensibly and seriously so a solution can be found. Otherwise, music in Scotland will be significantly damaged and undermined."

It appears Creative Scotland wishes the festival to apply to its Open Funding pot, which allows a maximum of £150,000 funding a year.

Festival director Fiona Robertson said the festival was upset by the decision. She added: "It is particularly distressing finding out in the middle of a hugely successful festival that has seen performers from across the world coming to Aberdeen, and world premieres of pieces we have commissioned specially from composers living and working in Scotland and beyond."

Planning for the 2015 festival is being re-assessed in light of the funding decision.

Professor Pete Stollery, chairman of Sound, said: "We are encouraged by the invitation from Janet Archer [chief executive of Creative Scotland] to discuss our situation.

"We are looking forward to working constructively with Creative Scotland to identify a way forward that will enable us to secure the long term, guaranteed support without which we will be unable to commission new work or work internationally."

A Creative Scotland spokeswoman said: "We value the work of Sound and realise how disappointed they will be in not accessing three-year funding this time round. We are aware this is especially difficult as the news has come while the 2014 festival is under way.

"We are working with all applicants not included in this Regular Funding portfolio to discuss existing and future funding routes open to them."