Live Music Now Scotland is launching a project for children at Edinburgh's Dunedin School with a free concert featuring the 'Sherlock Violin' at the National Gallery on Thursday, 17 December 2009. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Holmes' creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as well as the formation of the National Galleries of Scotland. The 'Sherlock Violin' was made by Steve Burnett from the wood of a diseased sycamore tree in the garden of Liberton Bank House where Conan Doyle grew up, now home to the Dunedin School for secondary school children who don't fit into mainstream education.
Violinist Feargus Hetherington and guitarist Matthew McAllister of the Live Music Now duo Maelasta will perform repertoire appropriate to the time Conan Doyle created his legendary sleuth against a backdrop of paintings from the period in the National Gallery on 17 December at 6.00pm – 6.30pm.
Carol Main LMN Scotland director, is delighted that the 'Sherlock Violin' has provided the catalyst for the project at the Dunedin School which begins in February with a taster session. 'We're starting off with two traditional musicians so the children have the opportunity to hear the violin up close, followed by a classical flute and guitar duo. Once we see how the children respond to the different styles of music we can tailor a project specially for them to take place during the summer holidays.'
Christopher Baker, Deputy Director at the National Gallery of Scotland commented, 'We are delighted to be involved in hosting the free concert on 17 December, which so ingeniously contributes to the celebrations of these two important anniversaries. We wish the Dunedin School project every success and hope many people will take this rare opportunity to enjoy live music in the atmospheric surroundings of the Gallery.'
Burnett, who gifted the 'Sherlock Violin' to the Dunedin School and is in charge of its artistic direction, says he made the instrument to support and raise money for local and international childrens' and environmental charities. 'There are lots of kids in Edinburgh and other cities whose lives can be more enhanced by the introduction to music in some way. Hopefully, through Live Music Now, the 'Sherlock Violin' will reach out to kids in more deprived areas and give them a chance to express themselves in an artistic manner and really make their lives more fulfilled.'