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Orchestral Works

Orchestral piece created for Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park to celebrate Sir Walter Scott's Lady of the Lake poem. Performed in January 2011 at Celtic Connections Glasgow Royal Concert Hall with an orchestra, folk band & Bill Patterson narrating.

Phil Cunningham's The Highlands & Islands Suite
Phil Cunningham's The Highlands & Islands Suite

The creation of this work, written for 178 performers began in 1990 and was completed in 1996. The World Premiere took place at The Glasgow Royal Concert hall on January 15th 1997.

Composed by Phil Cunningham
Orchestrated and Conducted by Dave Heath
Gaelic Song Lyrics by Aonghas Mac Neacail
Performed by The Scottish Chamber Orchestra 73 piece
The Glasgow Pheonix Choir led by Marilyn Smith
The Highland Fiddle Orchestra led by Doug Stuart, featuring lead fiddles by Charlie McKerron, Duncan Chisholm, Ian Hardie, Alan Henderson, Ian MacFarlane and Bruce MacGregor.
Lead soloists: Karen Matheson (Capercaillie) - solo vocalist, Aly Bain - solo fiddle, Angus, Alan and Iain Macdonald - Highland Pipes, Patsy Seddon and Mary MacMaster (Sileas) - Clarsach, Manus Lunny (Capercaillie) - Guitar, James Mackintosh - (Shooglenifty) - Percussion
Presented by Ian Anderson.

" This was care personified... the Cunningham talent for a delicate tune... a pleading oboe meoldy, a brooding french horn... the Scottish Chamber Orchestra's pert and pertinent string commentary on the fiddle orchestra's toe tapping sally... bright meetings of Karen Matheson's lovely Gaelic lyricism and the Phoenix choir's soaring vowels... twinkling harps, rollicking bouzouki and those spinning basses... and a conductor who'd told us to enjoy ourselves and proceeded to lead by example.
The Glasgow Herald January 16th 1997

"Not only did it work-sometimes brilliantly, sometimes surprisingly... the style of the perfromance also managed to bend most of the social rules that divide us - Phil Cunningham managed to demonstrate that it's all good; that high brow and low brow can meet; that ceilidh and concert can crossover... there was a dicernible shudder of excitement when Phil Cunningham himself appeared onstage picking his way through the musicians to stand resplendent and conspicuous in a green velvet jacket."
The Scotsman January 17th 1997

"By 7.30 the hall was packed and the excitement was palpable... two ours and one standing ovation later, as friends, musicians and admirers flocked to offer their congratulations, Phil's relief had been superseded by euphoria."
The Inverness Courier January 21st 1997

Within one week of the premiere a further perfromance was commissioned, which took place at Eden Court Theatre, Inverness on June 4th 1997. The suite was performed again in January 2000 as part of Phil's 40th birthday celebrations.

Phil Cunningham's Ceilidh
Phil Cunningham's Ceilidh

A percussion concerto for Evelyn Glennie, orchestra, fiddle sections and soloists.

Following on from the success of The Highlands and Islands Suite, Phil was invited by world renowned percussionist Evelyn Glennie to write a percussion concerto for her. Phil began work on this piece while in hospital recovering from a heart attack in late 1997. The completed work was premiered once again at The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall in January 2001. Another resounding success,'Ceilidh' met with a standing ovation from a packed concert hall.

Celtic Colours Festival

Since 2001 Phil has had a number of his compositions arranged for Orchestra and in October 2002 was delighted to perform along with an orchestra in Cape Breton in Canada, some of his own compositions as part of the Celtic Colors Festival.

In 2005 Celtic Colours Festival asked Phil to be artist-in-residence and commissioned him to write a suite for the Cape Breton Orchestra. The Full Circle was performed two times during the festival.

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