John McEwen: A musical genius with the Borders in his blood

WHERE do Scottish composers come from? The answer is ?all over?. I could list them from Orkney to Sprouston: Skye to Glasgow, but of the three composers in this series, McEwen (1868-1948) was the one

Shipowner’s son Hamish MacCunn sets sail for musical majesty

LAST week I protested that few Scots, even educated ones, could name more than one or two Scottish composers of so-called ?classical? music.

John Purser: How a dying father gave Scotland a musical great

IT is not usual for a 10-year-old lad to be taken by his father to study music in Germany and, on being left there in the ducal town of Sondershausen, told that he will never

How music is attuned with our very identity

WHEN Hugh MacDiarmid wrote his series of articles Contemporary Scottish Studies for the Scottish Educational Journal in the 1920s, he addressed seven specific subjects: literature, language, literary and cultural criticism, music, art, historiography, and education.

Visual arts review: Hinterland, St Peter?s Seminary, Cardross

ON A dark, windless night in early spring, up we go, into the woods near Cardross. The Clyde shore is not far down the hill, and from the road we can see the lights of

Dave Arcari releases fitting tribute to our lamented bard

SO WHAT would Rabbie Burns have been if he was alive today? A musical chameleon such as Bowie? A hip-hop poet such as Chuck D? Or a smooth R&B playboy such as Justin Bieber.

Hirda review ? a well-drawn chamber opera plays to the home crowd

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Mareel, Lerwick
This new work from Glagsow?s NOISE, about the drama that ensues when an actor takes up with his brother?s new wife, is an appealing mix of accessible feisty

Hirda is Shetland’s first opera in the native tongue

Chris Stout is hunched over a vocal score, fiddle set down beside him on the lid of a Steinway grand. The Shetland folk musician is arguing the case for a rougher kind of energy: ?you

Arts News

Impresario and radio presenter Alan Steadman celebrates the 25th birthday of his Jazz at Hospitalfield promotions with a specially assembled line-up in concert at the Arbroath venue on Saturday, October 24. Steadman has invited seven

Arts News

VIP Record Fairs, which bring record collectors and dealers together with regular events in Glasgow, have moved venues to offer easier access. The next fair takes place at The Old Fruitmarket in Candleriggs over the

Major survey on UK arts diversity launched

From Christopher Eccleston to Julie Walters, prominent arts figures have asserted recently that a career in culture is increasingly only for the rich and privileged. Hikes in university fees, alongside the high cost of living

Horse on song for music masterclass in Paisley

SINGER-songwriter Horse McDonald knows a thing or two about the music business having racked up 20 years at the top since her debut album The Same Sky.

Arts News

Tomorrow is National Chamber Music Day 2015, when Enterprise Music Scotland and the network of local promoters across the nation that it funds take their wares out into supermarkets, garden centres, pubs, art galleries and

The pop star and the prophet

Musicians aren’t likely to get rich from selling records today, unlike their 20th Century predecessors – and one man saw it all coming a long time ago. So singer-songwriter Sam York went to ask him

Nominees for Scottish Alternative Music Awards announced

Forty-two of Scotland’s music acts have been announced as nominees for this year’s annual Scottish Alternative Music Awards (SAMAs).

Arts News

Hands Up for Trad’s Scotland Live project has produced its first concerts. Initiated to encourage people to get together, form a committee and promote a regular music club, the project awarded £2000 each to clubs

Arts News

Fèis Rois is hosting concerts featuring musicians from Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Club in the new Ullapool Harbour Ferry Terminal building on Saturday, September 19 and Ironworks in Inverness on Sunday, September 20.

Max Richter’s ‘Sleep’: The longest continuous piece of music broadcast by the BBC

When composers unveil new works, they do not generally want the audience to nod off. Not so Max Richter. The intention behind his latest piece, Sleep – which is eight hours long – is that

Don’t Miss

International Guitar Night, which has showcased a variety of acoustic guitar styles from across the world annually since 1995, tours Scotland from September 28. The 2015 line-up features founder, American Brian Gore, with gypsy jazz

Arts News

Gaelic music promoters Ceòl’s Craic are staging an Americana night at the CCA, Glasgow on Saturday September 19 at 7.30pm. The programme features New Tradition (aka Iain ‘Costello’ MacIver and John Murray), who have been

The Scottish Ensemble take Budapest by storm

Bucharest’s main concert hall is the Sala Palatului: a vast 1960s period piece upholstered in multiple shades of yellow and once used as the conference centre for Nicolae Ceausescu’s communist regime. The auditorium holds a

Arts News

Carnegie Hall in Dunfermline has announced its autumn series of jazz and roots music concerts. Oregon Americana quintet Betty & The Boy open the programme on September 12 with popular Scottish duo Aly Bain and

Arts News

The long-running lunchtime chamber music concert series at the Merchants House at Glasgow’s George Square restarts this week with a move to Wednesdays. The change means that recitals in the city are now spread throughout

Wagner’s Wedding March manuscript goes on sale

If you’re after the ultimate wedding gift for your friend or loved one this year, then the original manuscript of Richard Wagner’s famous “wedding march” composition may be a pricy though decidedly more exciting alternative

It’ll be alright on the night: how musicians cope with performance stress

Jonas Kaufmann was 26 when he forgot how to sing. Kaufmann, who headlines at the Last Night of the Proms on Saturday alongside soprano Danielle de Niese and pianist Benjamin Grosvenor, is today a hugely