Piping live! to celebrate a return to in-person events with a packed festival

Piping live! will return this summer with a calendar of in-person and virtual events from Saturday August 6 to Sunday August 14, 2022. The world’s largest festival dedicated to the art of bagpipes, will celebrate its return to the full in-person program for the first time since 2019, providing a mixed showcase of in-person concerts and online events, so local and international audiences can enjoy the range of world-class performances.

Now in its 19th year, the festival attracts over 30,000 attendees to Glasgow each year. Piping live! has put together an eclectic and varied program, including world-class performances, musical sessions, recitals, talks, competitions, book launches, workshops and much more.

Finlay MacDonald, Artistic Director of Piping Live!, said:We are excited to return to our full program of in-person events for 2022. We look forward to welcoming back pipers and drummers from around the world with a slate of new events and favorite festival venues. We are also very pleased to be able to offer live streaming of so many events, as we know there are still many who cannot make it to Glasgow for this amazing week of music.

The flagship event of Piping Live! will take place at the Old Fruitmarket with multi-award winning Celtic folk band Rura, alongside hugely talented multi-instrumentalist Ross Ainslie and winner of the 2019 BBC Radio 2 Horizon Award and 2016 BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award, Brìghde Chaimbeul.

Rura began their journey as a group 12 years ago as one of the “emerging talent” groups at Piping Live!’s Street Café. Since then they have toured the world and this summer the band will headline the festival that launched their career more than a decade ago.

Piping live! prides itself on being at the center of the international bagpipe community and regularly extends a hand of musical friendship to artists and audiences around the world. Liana Sharifian, Iran’s very first professional piper and daughter of the legendary Mohsen Sharifian, will perform alongside her father as well as Habib Meftah. There will also be artists from Estonia – Est Pipes – Uilleann Piper Leonard Barry, and the Hungarian duo Balázs Istvánfi & András Németh will perform their tradition-based contemporary modal music on bagpipes and hurdy-gurdy.

The Pipe Major Alasdair Gillies Memorial Recital Challenge, Piping Live!’s signature evening of solo piping, will make a welcome return this year. The competition will pit five of the world’s top pipers against each other as they take the stage to perform a medley of their favorite songs. Annually a sellout hit, performances this year will come from Callum Beaumont, Finlay Johnston, Sarah Muir, Angus MacColl and Matt MacIsaac.

The International Quartet Competition will feature six of the world’s top freshman pipe quartets, including the Simon Fraser University band and Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia. Each of the six bands from around the world will send four of their best pipers to compete in this one-on-one challenge.

There will be a performance by Allan MacDonald, alongside his hand-picked band of Iain MacFarlane, Finlay MacDonald and Ali Hutton with a guest appearance by bagpiper uilleann Leonard Barry. Tonight’s entertainment, titled We’re a Case the Bunch of Us, will see Allan MacDonald perform music from his The First Hundred and The Second Hundred collections. It will be a double-header concert, featuring a performance by Biera, the up-and-coming girl group that brings together roaring Scottish tunes with mind-blowing songs in Gaelic, Scottish and English.

A special performance will be given by the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland (NYPBS) to celebrate its 20th anniversary at Glasgow Town Halls. The band will present 10 new compositions that were written as part of their Emerging Composers project. The bespoke “Project Band” will feature the 10 young composers themselves as well as pipers and drummers from NYPBS alongside a host of top traditional musicians.

The nine-day festival will feature several bagpipe competitions, including the much-loved Silver Chanter, which will return to Skye. The Pioneer Piping Event, now in its 56th year, is the annual invitational Piobaireachd competition which was established by Dame Flora MacLeod, 28th Chief of MacLeod, in 1967 with the aim of encouraging more top pipers level to participate in the Skye Gathering. The prestigious competition moved under the management of the National Piping Center in 2018, but will now make a welcome return to Skye’s Sabhal Mòr Ostaig in August.

The Masters Solo Pipe Competition will be held at the National Pipe Center. This prestigious competition is the qualifying event for the Glenfiddich Bagpipe Competition and will see the best soloists from around the world compete in Piobaireachd and Light Music.

Piping live! continues to host an eclectic mix of world-class performances and the opening night will be no exception as the festival presents for the first time a performance for a avant-garde “Ceol Nua” or New Music evening featuring Blarvuster des USA and Skye’s Malin Makes Music.

The last day of Piping Live! will feature 2 events, with entertainment starting in the afternoon with the internationally acclaimed Gordon Duncan Memorial Competition. This unique event continues to celebrate Gordon’s ties to Scotland, Ireland and Brittany. A Scottish, Irish and Breton piper and in-person first-time international piper will each play Scottish, Irish and Breton music ensembles and the overall winner will be the best player of all three musical styles.

The closing concert will see none other than the legendary piper Fred Morrison Trio take the stage at the National Piping Center, alongside his trio. Paddy Keenan, one of the founding members of Bothy Band, will close the 19th festival alongside Fred in unforgettable style.

Daytime events, which will take place primarily in the festival’s iconic Street Café on McPhater Street, will include the ‘Emerging Talent’ stage where daily performances will be presented by emerging traditional music groups including GLASTUR, the Ross Miller Trio, Falasgair and Fionnlagh with Gillie O’Flaherty and Eoghainn Beaton.

The Pipe Idol final will see four solo players aged 21 and under compete after winning their heats earlier in the week. The coveted prize is a set of Reel Pipes by Fred Morrison.

Pipe bands from around the world will perform on Buchanan Street from noon each day of the festival, including performers from Canada, the United States and Argentina.

Virtual audiences around the world will be able to enjoy approximately 40 hours of live content, all included in a single Livestream Festival Pass. Content that will be included in this online festival pass will include The Silver Chanter, The Masters Solo Piping Competition, The Allan MacDonald – We’re a Case the Bunch of Us Concert, the Lowland & Borders Pipers’ Society Showcase, The Pipe Idol Final, The Gordon Duncan Memorial Competition and the closing concert with Fred Morrison and Paddy Keenan. Several daytime events and the Learn at Live! Workshops will also be streamed.

Bailie Annette Christie, President of Glasgow Life, said: “Anyone who attended Piping Live! in the past or who knows what it’s like to be in Glasgow in August when the city comes alive to the sound of bagpipes, will be looking forward to this year’s festival. Piping live! is a truly international festival, attracting artists and audiences from all over the world to Glasgow, with the majority of attendees coming from out of town, boosting Glasgow’s tourism economy. Performances, concerts and events provide unmissable experiences of being part of a live audience enjoying some of the best musicians in the world. If you love live music, you’ll love Piping Live!”.

Paul Bush OBE, Events Director of VisitScotland, said: “EventScotland is delighted to support Piping Live!, a key part of Scotland’s annual events portfolio. Events play a key role in our communities and this year’s program offers a wonderful opportunity for the public to connect, enjoy and share memorable moments through a range of performances, competitions, recitals and workshops, whether in person or online.“.

More information at www.pipinglive.co.uk

Author: World Music Central News Department

World Music News from the Editors of World Music Central

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