Friday 29 September 2023

From a 1000 year old Celtic lament to Judith Weir and a Jasdeep Singh Degun premiere with the Scottish Ensemble: Kings Place's 2024 Scotland Unwrapped

Kings Place - Scotland Unwrapped

Kings Place has announced the next instalment of its Unwrapped series. 2024 is to be devoted 
to Scotland Unwrapped, a celebration of music and spoken-word from Scotland encompassing traditional and regional arts as well as the vibrant contemporary scene, with a wide range of musical genres from contemporary composers, folk musicians and Scottish classical ensembles.

Things kick of on 13 January 2024 when sitarist and composer Jasdeep Singh Degun joins the Scottish Ensemble to present work from his Anomaly album as well as the London premiere of a new work [see my recent interview with Jasdeep]. Other premieres during the year include Anna Meredith, LVRA, Donald Grant, Aileen Sweeney, Ninfea Crutwell Reade and Helen Grime. The Colin Currie Quartet present the world premiere of a Kings Place commission, Anna Meredith’s Dodgem Studies arranged for percussion quartet, as well as the world premiere of a new work from Ben Nobuto and the London premiere of Aileen Sweeney’s new work for percussion quartet [7 Dec].

Jasdeep Singh Degun (Photo: Robert Leslie)
Jasdeep Singh Degun (Photo: Robert Leslie)

Scottish classical music includes the earliest-known liturgical music from the 16th century Dunkeld Partbooks from the Marian Consort [18 Oct], the polyphony of 17th century composer Robert Carver from the Sixteen [26 Jan], triumphant anthems of the 1603 union between Scotland and England from ORA Singers [15 Mar], whilst Ensemble Hesperi conjure up a musical evening in Enlightenment Edinburgh, when James Oswald’s music brushed shoulders with Handel and Geminiani [20 Oct].

The Maxwell Quartet will be exploring Scottish folk-music including a a thousand year old Celtic lament [22 Feb], whilst tenor Nicky Spence surveys the astonishing inspiration of Robert Burns on songwriters from Amy Beach to Shostakovich, Schumann, Britten and Coleridge-Taylor in a recital with fellow Scot Eleanor Dennis, featuring a premiere by Helen Grime [24 Apr].

The BBC Singers honour Dame Judith Weir in her 70th birthday year [9 Feb] and the Dunedin Consort and Hebrides Ensemble join forces for James Macmillan’s Since it was the day of Preparation – a Kings Place commission from 2012 - presented in partnership with Macmillan's Cumnock Tryst festival [25 Oct].

The Aurora Orchestra will be presenting a range of concerts through the season from Mendelssohn and Maxwell Davies [3 Feb], to folk-ballads [27 Apr] and Gaelic songs with traditional and contemporary works including premier by Donald Grant [28 Sep].

As well as the Cumnock Tryst, there are festival spotlights from St Magnus Festival, Orkney Folk Festival and HebCelt Festival, whilst songwriter, folk singer and storyteller Karine Polwart is Artist in Residence and guest curators include poet Jackie Kay and folk musician Aidan O’Rourke. There is a strong Scottish folk element to the year's programme and not surprisingly highlights include a Burns Night supper & ceilidh.

Full details from the Kings Place website.

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