Violin and Improvisation
Greg Lawson is a violinist, composer and conductor who has explored music from many genres.
As a classical violinist he has held principal and leading positions in most of the orchestras in Scotland and has been a regular player with the John Wilson Orchestra and the World Orchestra for Peace.
He has also worked in many other fields including for many years a member of Mr McFalls Chamber, a group who explored many genres including Tango and the music of Astor Piazzola. He has also played regularly with Salsa Celtica, the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, the Jazz singer Carol Kidd, Indian Violinist Sharat Chandra Srivastava, and Traditional Scottish Musicians like Donald Shaw, Duncan Chisholm, Dougie MacLean and Ross Ainsley’s Sanctuary Band.
He has arranged string and orchestral scores for many bands and musicians including The Delgados, Mugwai, The Trashcan Sinatras, Karine Polwart, Kate Rusby, Eddie Reader, Heidi Talbot, Karen Matheson, James Grant, Donald Shaw, Echo and the Bunnymen, Phil Cunningham, the BBCSSO and the RSNO.
As a conductor he has worked with the RSNO, The Orchestra of Scottish Opera and the BBCSSO for the BBC Scotland Television Programme, Scotland’s Music.
In 2015 he realized Martyn Bennett’s album GRIT for orchestra for the opening night of Celtic Connections. He formed and conducted an orchestra made up of musicians from each musical discipline, Classical, Jazz and Folk that represents the whole musical community in Scotland. In 2016 The Grit Orchestra took GRIT to both WOMAD and The Edinburgh International Festival. Grit was BBC BAFTA nominated and won The Scottish Trad award for event of the year 2015.
In 2018 he was commissioned be Celtic Connections to realize Martyn Bennet’s album Bothy Culture for a performance at The Hydro for the Grit Orchestra with Danny Macaskill and Ariel Dancers in an event called Bothy Culture and Beyond.
The long-term aim of The Grit Orchestra is to offer an opportunity for the musicians in Scotland from Folk, Jazz and Classical backgrounds to write for an orchestra that is made up of musicians representing those different genres and to explore new educational possibilities for children of all backgrounds.
He teaches at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in both the Classical School and the Traditional school and is building with others, awareness and projects between departments to share the differing knowledge of musical forms. To this end, Moishe’s Bagel have just been appointed as Associate Artists at the RCS and run a course in Music and Performance.
In the summer of 2020 Greg was commissioned by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra to write a piece about the environment for COP 26. Covid 19 has postponed the performance till COP 26 2021. The piece is called Symbiosis and is for 24 individual strings, directed by Pekka Kuusisto, and to be premiered at the conference