Express & Star

First Minister meets organisers of world peace concert for Armistice

The main event will be at the site of a former hospital which treated First World War poet Wilfred Owen.

#iPlay4Peace online Armistice Day concert

Nicola Sturgeon has met the organisers of a concert to be held on Armistice Day which is campaigning for world peace.

University of Aberdeen senior lecturer Neil McLennan, composer and fiddler Thoren Ferguson and violin maker Steve Burnett talked Scotland’s First Minister through final preparations for the global crowdsourced orchestra.

Musicians from Shetland to South Africa and the US to Ypres have committed to play in the global event, which is being shared on social media with the hashtag #iPlay4Peace.

Mr McLennan said: “This is not to replace the reverent and respectful two minutes silence in the morning, it should continue for 100 years more.

“This is an international reflection on war and demonstration of how the world has moved forward since the Great War.

“People and societies want to cooperate and share creatively together not to be in conflict.”

#iPlay4Peace online Armistice Day concert
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon takes a closer look at the Wilfred Owen violin (Jane Barlow/PA)

Mr Ferguson will play the Wilfred Owen violin – named after the First World War poet – in the concert from Edinburgh Napier’s Craiglockhart Campus.

During the war the building was a hospital for shell-shocked officers, including Owen.

The composer said: “I was struck by the idea and honoured to be asked if I’d write a piece to be played by a global orchestra for peace, reconciliation and remembrance.

“Armistice was a monumental moment in our history, and although it signified peace, it was wrought with so many emotions.

“Loss, anger, celebration, remembrance, fear, tragedy, joy, sorrow, grief, destruction and the horrors of war.”

The main concert will be streamed from Edinburgh Napier University’s Craiglockhart War Hospital using the hashtag #iPlay4Peace.

It will also use special technology to connect musicians together in different venues.

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