Pictures from previous Burns celebrations, including members of the Dumbarton Burns Club.

By Democrat reporter

Tonight people from around the world will come together to celebrate the life and work of Scotland’s Bard, Robert Burns, who was born on this day in 1759. One of history’s most enduring literary heroes, Burns embodies the spirit, passion, and eloquence of the Scots.

An 18th-century fiddle with links to Robert Burns has been touring the United States this month as part of a partnership between the Scottish Government, the National Trust for Scotland, and The National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA. For over twenty years, Americans from across the country have supported the preservation of Burns’s legacy in Scotland via donations to NTSUSA totalling $1.5 million. It has been our delight to share this historic violin, which Burns danced to and likely played, with supporters, friends, and programming partners in the US.

Last week, the historic Gregg Violin began its coast-to-coast tour of the US with a stop at the American-Scottish Foundation Burns Night in New York.

The violin then traveled to Chicago for a musical celebration with violinist Rachel Barton Pine, hosted by Chicago Scots, before heading to Boston where it visited the North Bennett Street School‘s violin making and repair program and the WGBH studios to record A Celtic Sojourn with Brian O’Donovan. (The air date has yet to be announced, but in the meantime, be sure to listen to Brian’s Tribute to Robert Burns playlist.)

The tour continued to Santa Monica for an evening hosted by BAFTA LA, where British stars of stage and screen were in attendance. The violin will next travel to Washington, DC and Chicago for even more Burns Night celebrations as well as visits to community organizations including the Caledonia Senior Living Center.

The violin has been accompanied throughout by David Hopes, the Trust’s Head of Collections & Interiors and played by accomplished violinist Alistair McCulloch, who himself hails from Ayr.

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