The 20th Celtic Connections festival will have a reflective feel, looking back over the success of the last 20 years and the spirit and artists that helped shape it. The Opening Concert at Celtic Connections 2013 will characterize this with a selection of artists taking part who have performed throughout the last 20 years.
As the festival has developed, many of the featured artists have grown up with it, or reached new audiences through its stages. Over the years they have joined the elaborate, ever-expanding and increasingly globe-spanning network of musical relationships forged and renewed each January.
This celebratory concert also reflects back on the Scottish and traditional-based sounds that have always been Celtic Connections’ primary inspiration. Performers include Sheena Wellington, Eddi Reader, Julie Fowlis, Capercaillie, the newly reformed Flook, Cara Dillon, Chris Stout, Dick Gaughan, Finlay MacDonald, the Scottish Power Pipe Band and a specially-convened festival string ensemble directed by Greg Lawson.
Beside the artists performing at the Opening Concert who have been involved with the festival since its inception there are many acts returning in 2013 that performed at the maiden festival in 1994.
Irish singer-songwriter Paul Brady is one such artist and he will be returning to the festival to perform highlights from his recent anthology Dancer in the Fire which features 22 of his favorite tracks from his 45-year back catalog of sophisticated songcraft and adventurous, stylistic range.
Also on this double bill is Heidi Talbot, who performed at the first festival with Cherish the Ladies. Heidi has built an international audience for her enthralling voice and singular interpretative finesse with her new album Angels Without Wings. She will be accompanied by John McCusker, Ian Carr, Ewen Vernal, Phil Cunningham, Julie Fowlis and Louis Abbott.
As one of the first performers at the festival, Galician piping superstar Carlos Núñez requires no introduction. This fascinating performance will be alongside ex-Albion Band member, turned early music specialist, recorder virtuoso Philip Pickett. Scottish and Irish tunes’ prominence in the 16th century mix is the Celtic Connection behind this concert.
The New Voices strand has traditionally brought together creative musicians and allowed them to experiment and showcase their new work within this established series. Since its inception in 1998, New Voices has showcased 70 new commissions and given audiences the chance to hear new work from brilliant young composers. To celebrate these connections at the heart of the festival for so many years there will be a reprise of Duncan Lyall’s Infinite Reflections and Angus Lyon’s 3G.
Celtic Connections 2013 takes place in Glasgow between January 17th and February 3rd.
Tickets for Celtic Connections are available at www.celticconnections.com, by phone at 0141 353 8000, or in person at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, City Halls and Old Fruitmarket.