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Ryder Cup concert to showcase the best of the nation

A £1 million concert featuring leading pop acts, sports stars and Scotland's national performing companies will mark the 2014 Ryder Cup.

POISE AND STYLE: Scottish Ballet is one of the major talents to be featured in the Ryder Cup Gala at the end of September. Picture: Mark Mainz
POISE AND STYLE: Scottish Ballet is one of the major talents to be featured in the Ryder Cup Gala at the end of September. Picture: Mark Mainz

The Ryder Cup Gala Concert at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow will take place two days before the golf tournament begins at Gleneagles, and is the first concert to feature the talents of Scottish Opera, Scottish Ballet, the National Theatre of Scotland as well as the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO).

Acts confirmed for the four-hour event, which will also feature the two teams competing for the cup, are Jake Bugg, Texas, Twin Atlantic, Nina Nesbitt, Eddi Reader and Midge Ure, with more to be announced in the coming weeks.

The show, tickets for which go on sale on Saturday, has been directed by Kim Gavin, the artistic director for Take That and creative director of the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony.

The concert, on September 24, will also be broadcast, most likely by the BBC.

Pop acts will be backed by 50 musicians from the RSNO on a stage set designed to represent the landscape of Scotland. Films and dance will also be part of the show.

The 2014 Ryder Cup takes place between September 23 and 28, with the teams engaging in their first practice on the day of the concert.

"Even bigger" performers will be named in the coming weeks, the organisers said last night.

Scottish Ballet will perform a sequence from Jealousy, choreographed by James Cousins, set to the melody O God Protect Me by composer Ben Frost.

The NTS will stage an excerpt from their successful show Glasgow Girls, by Cora Bissett and David Greig, while Scottish Opera's Andrew McTaggart will perform Dark Island, a traditional Scottish song, arranged and accompanied by Scottish Opera's head of music Derek Clark.The RSNO will also be playing a selection of the works of Scottish composer Craig Armstrong, providing the soundtrack to a short film created by Kim Gavin.

Geoff Ellis, chief executive of DF Concerts, which is organising the event, said: "This is one of the most exciting events I have ever had the privilege to be involved with. It's a cultural smorgasbord of musical artists, four of the national companies in the same concert with the RSNO as the musical anchor of the evening.

"The purpose is to celebrate a huge, huge occasion for Scotland and this is the first event of its kind at one of the top five venues in the world, with some collaborations that have never been seen before and will never be seen again.

"It is not just about music, it is about the whole cultural tapestry of Scotland in one place — we are showcasing the very best of Scotland."

Ms Gavin, executive producer of the show, said: "The way we have designed it is that there is a big landscape image, so we can fit in the Highlands, the whole of Scottish culture.

"One of the great moments will be introducing the two teams, and it will be a big moment and we have a big idea for that."

He added: "The Ryder Cup is one of the most exciting events in the sporting calendar and to have the opportunity to work on two of the biggest sporting events in the world is a dream come true for me."

Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland, said: "The 2014 Ryder Cup is an incredibly exciting, important event for Scotland, so we had to create a celebration concert that was unique, bringing together in one place the culture, history and sporting tradition of our remarkable country."

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