Folk singer Luke makes Scots return
Double BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards nominee, singer-songwriter Luke Jackson, pictured, returns to Scotland next month, following a successful visit last year. The twenty-year-old from Canterbury was shortlisted for both the Young Folk Award and the Horizon Award for best emerging talent at the BBC awards in 2013 and released his second album, Fumes and Faith, to enthusiastic reviews in February this year. He opens his tour at Hootenanny, Inverness, on Thursday, August 7, and plays Belladrum Festival the next day before going on to Forres, Aviemore, Oban, Tobermory, Montrose, Turriff and two nights on the Edinburgh Fringe at the Acoustic Music Centre @ St Bride's on August 17 and 18.
Pountney has more to cheer
Opera director David Pountney, pictured, has a unique track record in the Home Nations, having been director of productions at Scottish Opera in the second half of the 1970s before serving a decade in the same post at English National Opera. He is now chief executive and artistic director at Welsh National Opera, who announced last week that he has added to his international honours with the award of the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science & Art.
The award honours Austrians and leading foreign figures who have "distinguished themselves and earned general acclaim through especially superior creative and commendable services in the areas of the sciences or the arts" and is conferred by the federal president. It recognises his service as artistic director of the Bregenz Festival since 2004, and from which he steps down this year. Pountney, who has written the librettos to operas by composer Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, has already been made a CBE and a Chevalier in the French Ordre des Arts et Lettres and was last year presented with the Cavalier's Cross of the Order of Merit for his contribution to the promotion of Polish culture.
Star turns for folk singers
GLASGOW'S Star Folk Club welcomes Young Scottish Traditional Musician of the Year, Scots singer Robyn Stapleton tomorrow. Stapleton joins forces with fellow singer Claire Hastings, who also comes from Dumfries and Galloway, and will be performing songs from their region as well as contemporary material. The Star Folk Club meets every Tuesday at the Admiral Bar in Wellington Street and future attractions include singer-songwriters and Burns interpreters Ian Bruce and Ian Walker (August 5) and Nashville-based country-folk duo Cathryn Craig & Brian Willoughby (August 12).