Robert Burns: "Had We Never"

  • Adults | Music concert
  • Scottish National Portrait Gallery
  • The Great Hall
  • Thursday 17 August, Friday 18 August, 9-9.50pm and 11-11.50pm
  • Tickets available from the Edinburgh International Festival box office

Poet and Makar Jackie Kay, singer-songwriter Ghetto Priest, bass Brian Bannatyne-Scott and renowned countertenor David James come together with members of the Scottish Ensemble for four very special late-night concerts exploring Robert Burns, slavery and Scotland, in the magnificent and atmospheric Great Hall of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

The concert is inspired by two Burns-related exhibitions featuring the work of the eminent contemporary Scottish artists Douglas Gordon and Graham Fagan. Sally Beamish's new setting of Burns's The Slave's Lament will receive its first live performance by Ghetto Priest and the Scottish Ensemble. David James, formerly of the Hilliard Ensemble, will sing Arvo Pärt's exquisite and haunting arrangement of Burns's My Heart's in the Highlands, a piece that was specially written for him. Jackie Kay will give a reading of a poem that she has composed for the occasion.

Part of the Edinburgh International Festival

Jackie Kay writer
David James Countertenor
Brian Bannatyne-Scott Bass
Ghetto Priest Reggae singer
Scottish Ensemble
Jonathan Morton Violin
Alison Lawrance Cello
Diane Clark Double bass
Jan Waterfield Chamber organ
Music Sally Beamish, Arvo Pärt, traditional
Burns settings