Our annual Opening Concert is always a much-anticipated celebration of the start of Celtic Connections, and is famed for being a spectacular multi-genre showcase of the talents of some of the world’s greatest musicians. This year’s event promises to marvel music lovers once again as it will see the staging of the European premiere of ATTENTION! – the remarkable new symphonic work by Chris Thile.
The renowned Grammy-winning American musician, hailed as ‘the best mandolin player in the world’ by Billboard Magazine, is also a singer, songwriter and composer who is perhaps best known from his work in progressive acoustic bands Nickel Creek and Punch Brothers.
In ATTENTION! – which was commissioned by some of the leading symphony orchestras in the States – Thile explores a narrative song cycle which combines his passion for storytelling with his love of orchestras and orchestral music. He says: “I adore orchestras. Whether scaled up for grandeur, or down for intimacy, nothing makes me prouder to be human that hearing a stage full of highly skilled orchestral musicians practicing their craft together, It’s magic…”
For this special performance of his new work, Thile joins forces with one of Scotland’s best-loved orchestras, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, as well one of our country’s most celebrated voices, Rachel Sermanni. The renowned Scottish singer-songwriter is an accomplished contemporary folk musician who is influenced by a wealth of genres including jazz, rock, old-time and traditional music. Sermanni’s enchanting performances and lyrics draw from a deep well of mysticism, dreams, nature and the human experience, and her latest album, Dreamer, has already received great critical acclaim since its release in September 2023.