Donald founded East Neuk Festival in 2004 with his wife, Louise and co-founder, Svend McEwan-Brown. It was their shared passion for chamber music which inspired the idea, as well as their instinct that the East Neuk of Fife was an ideal place for a festival. Donald brought decades of experience serving on the boards of national arts organisations including his distinguished service as Chair of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (of which he is now Life President), the Scottish Arts Council, Edinburgh International Festival Council and the National Trust for Scotland. A graduate in arts and law from the University of Edinburgh and a Chartered Accountant, Donald is joint founder of City Inn Hotel Group. He is also a past president of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce; Deputy Chairman of Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh and Lothian; Chairman of Standard Life UK Smaller Companies Trust and Dunfermline Press Group.
His continued business interests include Harviestoun Brewery and a number of other companies. Donald was awarded a CBE in 1998. Donald and Louise’s generous philanthropy was recognised with the award of The Prince of Wales Medal for Arts Philanthropy.
Svend McEwan-Brown co-founded East Neuk Festival in 2004 with Donald and Louise MacDonald, and he has directed the festival ever since. He brought many years working in different segments of the music industry in Scotland and internationally.
By that time he had spent 8 years producing chamber music and features for BBC Radio 3 and BBC Scotland, as well as producing broadcasts from many festivals around Britain including Edinburgh International Festival, St Magnus Festival, Bath, Cheltenham and Spitalfields. He left the BBC in 2001, to become Head of Projects and International Touring for Van Walsum Management. After enjoying 3 years working internationally, he returned to Scotland in 2004.
Since then he has worked freelance, and held Artistic Director posts at Perth Concert Hall and Glasgow Concert Halls as well as producing Glasgow’s successful bid to become a UNESCO Creative City, and going on to manage the title for the city. Aside from making concerts up, McEwan-Brown writes and speaks on music. Chamber and choral music are his passions, together with a deep commitment to community music.
Ian Gray joined the ENF team in 2006 and became its General Manager in 2014.
He has worked in many different music and event related roles including events, venues, promotion, profile raising, research. For ENF, Ian oversees the general management of the Festival and works closely with the team on the artistic planning, marketing, fundraising, box office and event planning.
He is responsible for ENF’s highly successful Patron scheme which generates up to 50% of the festival’s income annually.
Tuesday McPhail is producer of wide array of events and festivals ranging from poetry to site-specific theatre installations, tracing the history of parkour to massive custard pie fights. She joins the ENF team this year.
East Neuk Festival Trustees oversee the company and safeguard its interests.
They offer advice and practical help to the team. They meet 3 times a year.
Donald MacDonald CBE, Chair
Svend McEwan-Brown, Secretary
Shields Henderson, Treasurer
Elizabeth Riches MBE
Helen is a freelance illustrator and designer. She has brought her distinctive style and imagination to the last 6 festivals. You can spot her her works in many different contexts – from the calendars and mugs she produces for craft fairs, to books and promotional materials to designing the tins for Aldi’s shortbread for the past two Christmases.
See more of Helen’s work HERE