Celtic Connections - Opening Night: The GRIT Orchestra 'The Declaration'
Thursday, January 16, 2020
2 Sauchiehall Street,
Glasgow G2 3NY
Five years on from its landmark debut concert at Celtic Connections, the trailblazing GRIT Orchestra, an 80-piece ensemble of folk, jazz and classical musician originally founded to perform and celebrate the late Martyn Bennett’s music, breaks yet more new ground with its first performance of newly-composed works. Supported by the Scottish Government’s Festivals Expo Fund, six members of the orchestra have been commissioned to create new symphonic compositions inspired by the Declaration of Arbroath, ahead of its 700th anniversary in April. Also marking 15 years since Bennett’s untimely passing, the project is described by Donald Shaw as “a declaration of intent to grasp the thistle and give a sense of confidence to orchestral works from Scottish folk composers. It’s about freedom, exploration and intent.” Under the baton of founding conductor Greg Lawson, the orchestra will première pieces by multi-instrumentalist Fraser Fifield, saxophonist Paul Towndrow, fiddlers Chris Stout and Patsy Reid, harpist Catriona McKay and cellist Rudi de Groot.