Celtic Connections 1998

15th January – 1st February

By 1998 the festival tried diversifying into other arts forms.

There was a season of nine celtic inspired films in the recently redeveloped Glasgow Film Theatre including "Stella Does Tricks" and "Views of the Western Isles".

A new branch of Waterstones had also just opened in Sauchiehall Street and during the festival in 1998 the bookshop brought together the finest of Scotland and Ireland’s writers, poets and storytellers.

Artists appearing at the festival in 1998 included:

Natalie McMaster
The Hothouse Flowers
Luka Bloom
Maria del mar Bonet
David Byrne
James Taylor
The Tannahill Waevers
Christine Collister and Bert Jansch
John Prine
Ossian with Chanton
Martyn Bennett and the Tartan Amoebas
Iris DeMent
Royal Scottish National Orchestra featuring James MacMillan’s "The Beserking"
James Grant
Paddy Keenan with Fred Morrison

What the critics said...

It's the sheer scope which makes Celtic Connections so valuable. On one stage this year you could hear Jock Duncan singing of long ago battles as if he had been a participant; on another Martyn Bennett was taking the piping and fiddling traditions into the next millennium and out to a young eager audience. The Herald 6th February 1998

One of Celtic Connections strengths is that it bypasses the need for sylistic pigeon holes by presenting its programme as a kind of musical buffet. So those of a conservative outlook can stick with their (meaning no offence) pies and sausage rolls, while more adventurous souls lean over to sample something more exotic. Having David Milligan open the three-strong Sunday lunchtime series underlined this approach. The Herald (reviewing the first ever New Voices commission)

The first 'New Voices'

New Voices gives acclaimed musicians the chance to compose something new and often work with many of their Celtic peers. They have now become an important and enduring part of the festival. In 1998 the first three New Voices pieces were performed by:

David Milligan: "Lifting the Lid" – a piece for two pianos

Simon Thoumire: "Celtic Connections Suite" – played by the nine piece Simon Thoumire Orchestra

Corrina Hewat: "Making the Connection" – The Herald said “Let’s hope some enterprising Scottish record company records it for posterity.”

First and Last

Between Two Worlds: Michael O Suilleabhain with The Irish Chamber Orchestra

"At times the Irish Chamber Orchestra played like a wee folk band with O Suilleabhain driving them on like an Irish Jerry Lee Lewis." The Herald

Salsa Celtica

Scotland's masters of the Latin groove took the stage for an exhilarating night of powerful, propulsive and thoroughly infectious grooves.​