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l STIRLING Folk Club has announced its programme for February when the Celtic Connections effect wears off and everyone returns to their regular haunts.

The Godfather of Scottish Folk, Archie Fisher, brings his eloquent singing style and smart fingerpicking guitar accompaniments to the Causewayhead Road venue on February 4, followed by singer-composer Duncan McCrone (February 11), singers and storytellers Cairdeas (February 18) and former Battlefield Band singer-guitarist Alastair Russell (February 25).


l GAELIC vocal group Cruinn precede their Celtic Connections show – at Glasgow Art Club on Friday February 1 – with the release of their self-titled debut album on their own label. The quartet of James Graham, Fiona Mackenzie, Brian O hEadhra, and Rachel Walker made their live debut at last year's Celtic Connections and their calendar this year includes a residency at the Blas Festival. The album was recorded by Stuart Hamilton at Castlesound studio in Pencaitland and produced by Jim Sutherland. It features self-composed and traditional material as well as songs from as far afield as Hungary, translated into Gaelic, and will be available to buy or download from January 31.


l THE Seattle Symphony Orchestra, where former RSNO chief executive Simon Woods is now executive director, has announced a packed 2013/14 season that includes the US premiere of a new work by James MacMillan, The Death of Oscar. That concert, in April 2014, which also features British pianist Paul Lewis playing Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto, will be conducted by none other than from RSNO music director Stephane Deneve. MacMillan's one-act chamber opera Clemency, which was acclaimed at last year's Edinburgh International Festival will have its first US performances in Boston at the start of next month.

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