City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Concert for Trees

By Editor - Posted on 15 November 2011

"Sherlock" Violin
Event details
The Usher Hall
Telephone (info): 
01738 658187
Telephone (box office): 
0131-228 1155.

A Concert for Trees, celebrating the United Nation’s International Year of Forests, is set to fill Edinburgh’s Usher Hall on Saturday 26th November, with a string quartet made from an old sycamore tree that once stood in the garden of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s childhood home, taking centre stage.

The Concert for Trees is the brain child of Edinburgh-based violin maker and environmental artist Steve Burnett who created the Sherlock Violin to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Sherlock Holmes’ author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in 2009. The latest additions to the quartet, which have also been made from the 200 year old sycamore that stood in the author’s childhood garden, are a second violin, a viola and a cello to form the “Conan Doyle Quartet”.

The Conan Doyle Quartet will be premiered at the Concert for Trees in the Usher Hall in Edinburgh on November 26th, an official part of the Scottish programme of celebrations for the United Nation’s International Year of Forests, and as part of the country’s St Andrews Day celebrations.

The evening is set to be an inspiring, family evening of music and dance which includes poetry written and read by local school pupils on the theme of woods and trees, a varied music programme including acclaimed violinist Ani Batikian on the Sherlock Violin and the St Patrick’s Baroque Ensemble on the Conan Doyle Quartet. Hungarian gypsy fiddler Jani Lang and band will also perform at the event which is all set against the backdrop of a day in the forest.

Having spent much of his early childhood struggling with chronic asthma, Burnett believes this gave him “an acute awareness of the importance of air quality, and formed a bond and loving respect for the oxygen-giving tree.” He has described the concert as “a celebration of these beautiful, helpless, living, life supporting giants – the lungs of the earth.”

He commented“I am happy to say my instruments are now played around the globe, but my main sense of achievement is having the knowledge to make a tree sing and to give a unique tree a complete voice, which in itself can become an environmental envoy.”

James McDougall, national co-ordinator for International Year of the Forests in Scotland, said “The UN’s International Year of Forests celebrations are all about recognising the importance that trees and forests play in our everyday life. This event has just one single tree at its very heart and we are really pleased to be able to assist such a special creative project which will have a lasting legacy for many years to come.”

The concert is being endorsed by and will be aiding four different charities, World Wildlife Fund, TreeAid, Survival International and the Royal Scottish Geographical Society. All proceeds from the November concert will be used to help promote further projects involving young people and trees, in Scotland and internationally.