Court and Country fusion to launch the arts festival
A world-class collaboration between some of the finest musicians in Scotland will launch the Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival programme next month.
Top contemporary string orchestra Scottish Ensemble will be joined by traditional music’s super-duo Chris Stout and Catriona McKay for a performance of Court and Country – a concert fusing classical strings with bristling traditional styles.
Festival chairman Ken Gouge said: “This cross-genre concert of internationally recognised artists is a fantastic way to launch one of our strongest programmes.
“As always, this year’s programme brings international award-winning theatre, music, dance and stand-up comedy from around the world to the region. It also showcases the very best of our own performers..”
Shetland fiddle player Chris Stout and Dundee harpist Catriona McKay are recognised as two of the foremost soloists in the Celtic tradition.
With their roots firmly in Scottish folk music, Chris and Catriona were driven to use this grounding as a starting point to challenge their instruments and develop new music.
The result is a dynamic and adventurous sound that retains the identity of their traditions yet allows the music to have a freedom and connection to other musical styles.
The Scottish Ensemble, above, require little introduction. This dynamic group of Scotland’s top string musicians are renowned for their dynamism and flair.
They are regular visitors to the arts festival and return to the region at the end of May for a third residency, featuring a series of concerts, workshops and a few surprises.
The orchestra’s ongoing creative relationship with Stout and McKay dates from their collaboration on Sally Beamish’s Seavaigers which was commissioned by Celtic Connections in 2012.
Court and Country is described as a toe-tapping adventure through rhythm, melody and time.
It includes Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No 3 with second movement by Sally Beamish and Violin Concerto in E major; Beamish’s Seavaigers; and Bartók’s Divertimento. Audiences will also have a chance to enjoy a mini folk set by Chris and Catriona.
The concert takes place at the Theatre Royal, Dumfries, on Thursday, March 15 at 8pm.
Visit Traditional music super-duo Chris Stout and Catriona McKay will join the ensemble