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One of Scotland’s best loved folk singers announced for Virgin Money Fireworks Concert

Scottish traditional music star Karen Matheson joins the Scottish Chamber Orchestra on stage at the iconic closing event of the International Festival.

Karen Matheson of Celtic super-group Capercaillie will join the world-renowned Scottish Chamber Orchestra at this year’s Virgin Money Fireworks Concert, as the annual Festival event features a solo artist for the very first time. She joins them on stage to perform new versions of her songs specially arranged for the occasion by founding member of Capercaillie Donald Shaw.

Karen joins a concert already full of Scottish flavour, with foot-tapping pieces by renowned Scottish composers Sir James MacMillan and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies featuring in the part of the evening with fireworks. Macmillan’s Stomp starts proceedings with ceilidh-inspired energy, while Maxwell Davies’s epic An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise – a riotous setting of traditional folk tunes which concludes with the special appearance of a solo bagpiper - closes the concert.

The first part of the evening extends the event by approximately 20 minutes, kicking off the grand finale to Edinburgh’s summer festival season. Organisers hope the enhanced Virgin Money Fireworks Concert will enrich the concert going experience for audiences across the city, with a new dimension for the event in its 36th year.

The announcement came as event organisers celebrated the annual children’s Fireworks Concert Poster Competition at Edinburgh’s Virgin Money Lounge.  The competition, supported by Fireworks Concert broadcasters Forth One, is now in its 6th year and attracted hundreds of entries from children across Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife. Read our blog to see the winning artworks and get to know talented young designers behind them.

The Virgin Money Fireworks Concert is one of Edinburgh’s favourite annual events, bringing together families, visitors and communities from across the city and further afield for the grand finale to Edinburgh’s summer festival season. The event - the largest fireworks concert of its type in the world – is enjoyed annually by around 250,000 people at various vantage points across the Scottish capital and its surrounds.

Fergus Linehan, Edinburgh International Festival Director said: "The addition of a solo artist to the Virgin Money Fireworks Concert is an exciting development to the event format, and we’re delighted to present new arrangements by Karen Matheson and Donald Shaw in the grand finale of our 70th Anniversary Festival.  Having an artist of Karen’s calibre take part in the concert is a hugely exciting development for the event, and we’re really looking forward to her bringing a new dimension to this most Scottish of celebrations to close the International Festival".

Gavin Reid, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra added:  This will be the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s 34th festival fireworks concert and we are thrilled that the brilliant Karen Matheson will be joining us this year. We are also delighted that Virgin Money are our event sponsors once again. Their engagement with Scottish cultural life is hugely impressive and highly valued, helping us to reach out to communities right across Edinburgh and beyond.”

Photo: Karen Matheson © Yannica Honey 

Read more:

Learn about the Virgin Money Fireworks Concert

See the winning designs of the Fireworks Concert Poster Competition

Book one of our luxury picnics to make your Virgin Money Fireworks Concert extra special

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