The new concert season starts in 2015 with the Scottish Opera on Feb 24th. Details below and tickets are now on sale for that event. In the meantime there will be a season of films open to the public, see the listings below in date order and don't forget to sign up for our email newsletter if you live in the area. (Enter your email address in the box on this website).When the new season's concerts and events are confirmed, tickets (except films which are pay on the door) will be online at http://www.wegottickets.com/UniversalHall (10% booking fee per online ticket), and in the Phoenix Stores (01309 690110 - no fee) usually two or three weeks before each event. Phone 01309 691170 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or for space rental enquiries. Phone 01309 690110 to actually book tickets at the Phoenix Stores after events are posted.
Scottish-Indian fusion as Scotland's contemporary new music ensemble Red Note is joined by internationally acclaimed tabla player Kuljit Bhamra, a pioneer of the worldwide Bhangra phenomenon, and the superb piper-and-multi-instrumentalist Fraser Fifield. A virtuosic instrumentalist and highly skilled composer Kuljit has worked on numerous film scores and West End musicals such as Bombay Dreams. Described by the Sunday Herald as "… one of today’s outstanding talents" Fraser Fifield has wowed audiences here at the Universal Hall in previous years with his virtuosity on all kinds of woodwind and pipes. Red Note's performing ensemble is drawn from the deep talent pool of Scottish new music expertise. From this collaboration expect new pieces and new sounds that explore tabla rhythms, love songs, dance music, a hint of Bollywood and plenty you'll recognise immediately even in their new guise.
The first of the full-time professional Celtic bands to arise on the international scene, Boys of the Lough now occupy a unique position of respect in the world of traditional music. They have completed over seventy tours of the USA and their performances and recordings are spread over five decades. Featuring players from Ireland and the Shetlands, all true originals, the Boys have earned respect on both sides of the Atlantic and continue to act as role models for countless younger musicians. Their concerts, recordings and compositions were crucial in bringing about the current explosion of interest in all facets of Celtic music. This promises to be a great night out with traditional music at its best.
"One of the finest bands in Celtic traditional music…"The New York Times
An evening of Yiddish Song and Dancing with live music featuring Klezmer melodies and Yiddish songs in authentic Ashkenazi style – an imaginative use of original recordings and texts from the earliest folklore research in the Eastern European Yiddish tradition. This is part concert part participatory evening where all the dances will be taught. Freylekhs Brider features Amit Weisberger on violin and vocals, Jerome Block on accordion and Laurent Clouet on clarinet.
For local Jewish people and others interested in hearing about what's behind the headlines, the concert will be preceded by a discussion about being Jewish in Scotland. This will take place in the Hall Upper Foyer at 6.45pm and is a chance to respond to SCoJeC's Scottish Government funded survey about the same subject. Free Kosher snacks will be available. For further information please contact Fiona Frank, tel 07779 206522 or Peter Vallance 01309 691986 Sponsored by SCoJeC, the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities www.scojec.org
Between 28th March and the 3rd of April, The Earthsings Conference will be in full voice again and the the event is open to the public. And if you don’t want to participate but would like to be an audience member at some singing concerts then we will have one-off evenings with Bella Hardy and Mairi Campbell (more details posted here later) and a version of Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet with music and spoken word. Each of these three events will be evening concerts at 8pm with bookable tickets or entry on the door.
An opportunity to experience the wisdom of the famous work by Kahlil Gibran, through music, spoken word and song. Originally published in 1923, The Prophet is a book of 26 prose poetry essays written in English by the Lebanese artist, philosopher and writer Kahlil Gibran and contains a timeless message that is distilled in this performance. Internationally successful singer songwriter, Sarah Warwick, will be joined on spoken voice by Malcolm Stern, the founder of Alternatives in London. Other musicians include Peter Coyte on keyboards, singers Barbara J Hunt and Chloe Hunter (Away with The Faeries), Ailon Freedman and Camilo Tirado on percussion, Dinah Beamish (Royal Philharmonic Orchestra) on cello, Rob Smith (Bliss) on guitar and Martyn Elliot (the Michael Nyman Band) on bass.
Bella Hardy, BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Singer of the Year 2014, tours her eagerly anticipated new album With The Dawn; a heartfelt collection of self-composed songs which tell a story of travel, of choices, of lessons unlearned. One of the most creative, prolific and original singers in the UK, her captivating voice inhabits her music and narratives with an equal balance of strength and sensitivity. The With The Dawn Band compliment Bella’s breath-taking vocals and narrative fiddle with a powerful and evocative mix of banjo, piano, electronics and drums.
"…unveiled, committed, uncontrived, persuasive, passionate, empowering, and utterly wonderful”fRoots
Mairi Campbell draws on Scottish traditional music and a long and fruitful songwriting collaboration with David Francis (their version of Auld Lang Syne was used in the first Sex and the City movie). With her natural ability to improvise she draws in listeners with stories of ancestry, songs of hope, love and passionate, soulful soundings. Blending the rugged beauty of a great Highland tune, ancestral storytelling and the power and simplicity of her voice, Mairi draws on her own deep well of Celtic ancestry to find a music that is both ancient and new. She was last seen in the Universal Hall in 2014 – gaining new admirers as the support for Joan Armatrading. Support provided by Too Many Kooks, female acappella singers who have made a name for themselves locally with their stylish performance and exquisite close harmonies.
‘Campbell’s voice can stop the clock’The Scotsman.
to hear Mairi and David's version of Auld Lang Syne click here
to buy tickets online click here (10% booking fee)
A music concert combined with the spoken word, this intertwines the music of the American ensemble Chance, and the writings of Scottish born naturalist, John Muir. As performed by actor Thomas Clyde Mitchell, Muir's words take us on a journey spanning his childhood in Scotland, his young life in Wisconsin, and his profound and influential experiences in the great Sierra Nevada Mountains of the western United States. The music by Chance layers contemporary, classical, and Celtic music to beautifully enhance the spoken word.
Shetlander and sublime fiddler, Jenna Reid was awarded 'Best Up and Coming Artist' at the 2005 Scots Trad Music Awards and Best Instrumentalist in 2007. A member of Blazin' Fiddles since 2010, she appeared on the third and fourth series of the Transatlantic Sessions, performing with many great artists including Martha Wainwright, Aly Bain, Jerry Douglas and Nashville fiddle legend, Stuart Duncan. Accompanied by guitarist Kevin Mackenzie, Jenna will be showcasing material from her new album Live in Shetland.
"She and guitarist Kevin MacKenzie were terrific together, as he added snap and swing to her lissom hornpipes…" The Scotsman
The sound of Blueflint is defined by the sublime close harmonies of Deborah Arnott and Clare Neilson. Their voices are accompanied by a five-piece line-up mixing banjos, fiddle, piano, electric guitar, double-bass and drums in their beautifully-crafted songs. In 2012 Blueflint supported The Proclaimers for six weeks, and their atmospheric and evocative performances put them on the map, gaining them a strong reputation and following through the UK at the same time. They are delighted to be releasing their new album in Spring 2015 and this Universal Hall show is part of their national tour.
"If you are going to The Proclaimers get there early to see Blueflint."Steve Lamacq BBC Radio 2
Two of the most major talents in contemporary Celtic piping, Scotland's Ross Ainslie and Tyrone-born Jarlath Henderson first met back in 2003. After taking their time to hone and perfect their unique partnership of Scottish bagpipes and Irish uilleann pipes, each also playing a variety of whistles, the pair exploded onto the scene with 2009's stunning debut album, Partners in Crime. Taking a couple of years off, Radio 2 Musician of the Year Award nominee Ross performed with Salsa Celtica, The Treacherous Orchestra and Dougie Maclean whilst Jarlath became a doctor. With last year's album Air-Fix a critical success they are back on the road doing what they do best. Ross and Jarlath will be backed by the wonderfully talented Ali Hutton on guitar.
Renowned across America for their exhilarating performances and great material, The Railsplitters, from the Colorado Rockies, have made a huge impact in recent years. Characterised by powerful vocals, great harmonies and breathtaking instrumentals, the band has an impressive raw power. They call on everything from roots/Americana, country twang, 50's doo-wop, modern pop and rock 'n' roll to provide an extra sparkle. Since starting out in early 2011, the band has won two major awards. This will be their first visit to the UK so come and give them a warm welcome in the Universal Hall.
"…brilliantly uplifting bluegrass that pays its dues but is resoundingly modern,"Spiral Earth
The award-winning Scottish Chamber Orchestra presents an evening of joyous classical and romantic music, expertly lead by French conductor Alexandre Bloch. The programme, sparkling with energy and summer warmth, includes: STRAVINSKY Dumbarton Oaks, IBERT Flute Concerto (Alison Mitchell soloist), MOZART Divertimento in D, K136, BEETHOVEN Symphony No 1
“What poured out from the SCO all evening was some of the most utterly exhilarating orchestral playing you will hear anywhere from anyone.”The Herald
Breabach have earned international recognition on the world and roots music scene as one of the UK's most dynamic and influential bands. Their career has already seen them voted 'Best Group' and 'Best Live Act' at the Scots Trad Music Awards as well as being nominated twice as 'Best Band' at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Recent years have seen them performing across the globe; at WOMAD New Zealand; the Sydney Opera House, and on home soil at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. The haunting strains of twin bagpipes have become a defining signature of Breabach — a chiming herald of Scottish folk being embraced by a new generation. The energetic five-piece deliver a thrilling and unique brand of contemporary folk and this is a welcome return to the Universal Hall.
"Breabach once again displayed all the artfulness, ambition and imagination that set them so decisively apart from the pack.”Scotsman