Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Another string to Tasmin’s bow

Violinist Tasmin Little plays with the Ulster Orchestra tonight

There may not be any removal of clothing involved, but that doesn’t make Tasmin Little’s Naked Violin Project any less risky.

This bubbly virtuoso violinist has carved out quite a niche for herself since setting up her revolutionary award-winning project, which offers free CD downloads across the internet and introduces her beloved four-stringed instrument to an astonishing number of people of all ages and in all walks of life.

Her unique musical journey, which was the subject of a South Bank Show documentary, has taken her off on just about every beaten track imaginable — to schools, homeless shelters, prisons, oil rigs, you name it.

Young or old, everyone she meets falls under her spell and she received the ultimate accolade from one young fan, who told her: “Miss, I think you should go on Britain's Got Talent. I think you'd stand a really good chance!”

This week she has been performing in schools and a young offenders’ centre, but this evening she will put on a posh frock for not one but two appearances — a big concert entitled Polish Passions with the Ulster Orchestra in the Ulster Hall and an interactive recital in the beautiful surroundings of May Street church at 10pm.

This is far from Tasmin’s first visit to Belfast. In fact, she just loves the place.

“I've been coming to Belfast for a long, long time,” she says. “My very first visit was in 1991 or 1992, when I made my début with the Ulster Orchestra. I have returned many times since.

“I love the city and the Belfast audiences are great.

“I’ve played all over the world but the audiences here are some of the warmest and most appreciative that I have ever encountered. This is my first time of playing at the festival though and I’m delighted to have been invited.”

Looking to tonight, Polish company Biuro Podrozy will be hoping for some respite from the terrible weather which has lashed its spectacular outdoor production of Macbeth Who is that Bloodied Man? this week.

The forecast is not good for the next two days, but the 65-minute show will go on regardless, with spectators offered waterproofs to protect them.

Finally, festival director Graeme Farrow and his wife Gillian have just had a baby son. Sorley joins Charlie and Flyn as the third Farrow boy, the second offspring to arrive into the world smack in the middle of the festival.

Joy and congratulations all round.

Further information www.belfastfestival.com

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