Category Archives: News

New Music Award Winners

The prize for Best Recording of New Music in this year’s Scottish Awards, sponsored by VoxCarnyx for the first time this year, has been awarded jointly to composer David Fennessy for Letters and to the double disc document The Night With . . .Live Vol. 1.

It was the only occasion in which the judges reached a split decision, although other nominees emerged from last night’s ceremony with a share of the spoils in more than one category.

The Scottish Awards for New Music ceremony was streamed live from the RSNO Centre in Glasgow, hosted by Scottish-based mezzo-soprano Andrea Baker, who will be appearing with the Chineke! Orchestra at this year’s Edinburgh International Festival.

The event included a live performance of Eddie McGuire’s Legend, performed by Nordic Viola (a.k.a. the RSNO’s Katherine Wren) in memory of its dedicatee, James Durrant, teacher of generations of Scottish musicians.

The strong shortlist of nominees reflected the resilience of Scotland’s contemporary music community in very difficult times. The Nevis Ensemble, Scottish Ensemble and composer Aileen Sweeney were big winners on the night, all achieving recognition in more than one of the 13 categories.

The full list of winners of the Scottish Awards for New Music 2021 is as follows:

Good Spirits Co Award for Innovation in New Traditional Music

–      The Declaration: GRIT Orchestra 

Award for Large Scale New Work (11+ performers), sponsored by PRS for Music

–      Above the Stars: Aileen Sweeney

Mark McKergow Award for Innovation in New Jazz Music

–      Corto Alto: Liam Shortall

Award for Installation/Sound Art/Electroacoustic New Work

–      these bones, this flesh, this skin: Martin Suckling with Joan Clevillé and Genevieve Reeves

The ISM Award for New Music in Covid Times

–      Lochan Sketches: Nevis Ensemble

Award for Environmental Sustainability

–      Scottish Classical Sustainability Group: Nevis Ensemble/Scottish Ensemble/various

Award for the Recording of New Music, sponsored by VoxCarynx

–      The Night With… Live Vol. 1

–      Letters: David Fennessy

The Dorico Award for Small/Medium Scale Work, sponsored by Steinberg

–      Plastica: Edwin Hillier

The Dorico Award for Solo Work, sponsored by Steinberg.

–      Skydance: Ailie Robertson

The SMIA Award for Creative Programming

–      2020 programme: Scottish Ensemble

The RCS Award for Education/Community Project

–      StAMP: Wallace Collection/St Andrew’s University

Award for New Music in Media

–    Sayo: Luci Holland

The RCS Award for Making It Happen

–    Aileen Sweeney and Ben Eames: Ear to the Ground

The awards are created by New Music Scotland with support from the National Lottery through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund.www.newmusicscotland.co.uk/awards2021/

RSNO Concert Dates

Those anxious to pencil concert dates into the latter months of their 2021 diaries can look forward to a new RSNO season running from October to December.

In an announcement due to be fleshed out in a full season launch later in the summer, when tickets will go on sale subject to government guidelines, Scotland’s national orchestra has unveiled the headline attractions of seven programmes. All will be played in Glasgow and six of them in Edinburgh, with one-off concerts in Aberdeen, Dundee and Perth.

In a cute terminological nod to the more-indulged sports sector, there are pre-season friendlies away in Aberdeen and Dundee on October 6 and 7 before a home performance of Mozart’s popular Clarinet Concerto in Glasgow on Friday October 8. The season proper begins with Music Director Thomas Sondergard conducting Stravinsky’s Firebird on Friday October 22 and Saturday October 23 in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Sondergard returns to the podium on the first weekend in November and again a fortnight later with Usher Hall and Glasgow Royal Concert Hall concerts of Dvorak’s Ninth Symphony “From the New World”, and then the Second Symphony of Jean Sibelius. On the weekend in between, Michael Schonwandt conducts Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade.

South Korean pianist Sunwook Kim, who stepped in at short notice to play the RSNO’s last concerts before lockdown in March 2020, returns to play Brahms Piano Concerto No1 in Perth, Edinburgh and Glasgow on November 25-27, and Principal Guest Conductor Elim Chan brings the series to a close with seasonal concerts of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker in Edinburgh and Glasgow on December 3 and 4.

rsno.org.uk

New Music Awards

Despite all the extra hurdles that fate has been placed in its path over the past 15 months, the musical life of Scotland has continued to thrive, finding new ways to bring the best in composition and performance to the public, however it can be reached, and this website has been fortunate to be part of that effort.

VoxCarnyx is now delighted to be associated with the Scottish Awards for New Music in their fifth year of recognising innovation and creativity, and today we can exclusively reveal the shortlisted projects for the 13 awards this year. We are specifically associated with one of them, sponsoring the Award for Recording of New Music, to be chosen from Linda Buckley’s From Ocean’s Floor, David Fennessy’s Letters, the Live Volume 1 set of recordings from Matthew Whiteside’s The Night With . . . sessions, and LivMassive and Hessian Renegade’s Erocean.

The shortlist was selected by an impressive list of 22 panellists from across the UK music scene, including musicians, festival directors, composers and funders, and the winners will be announced in an online ceremony streamed live on the New Music Scotland website from the RSNO Centre in Glasgow on Wednesday July 7, hosted by writer and broadcaster Tom Service. The event will include a performance by Katherine Wren, of Nordic Viola and the RSNO, of Eddie McGuire’s Legend, in tribute to the late Jimmy Durrant.

Co-chair of New Music Scotland, Andy Saunders said of the shortlist: “The variety and number of works and projects nominated this year was incredibly impressive, given the situation that the music world has faced over the last year. There were some stunningly creative ideas, and a consistently high level of artistic integrity within the nominations. To see that so much brilliant music making was going on is nothing short of inspirational.”

The full shortlist of nominees for the Scottish Awards for New Music 2021 is as follows:

Good Spirits Co Award for Innovation in New Traditional Music

–      My Light Shines On: Aidan O’Rourke with Brìghde Chaimbeul, Bashir Saade, Rachel Sermani and Graeme Stephen/Edinburgh International Festival 

–      The Declaration: GRIT Orchestra 

–      Down the Line: Alastair Savage and Charli Ashton

Award for Large Scale New Work (11+ performers), sponsored by PRS for Music

–      Above the Stars: Aileen Sweeney

–      Pharmakeia: James Dillon

–      This Departing Landscape: Martin Suckling

–      Night Thoughts: Matthew Whiteside

–      Vigil I: Ninfea Currwell-Reade

Mark McKergow Award for Innovation in New Jazz Music

–      Corto Alto: Liam Shortall

–      Deepening the River: Paul Towndrow

–      Playtime

Award for Installation/Sound Art/Electroacoustic New Work

–      Be Mine in Patience: an embrace in B Minor – Michael Begg

–      Cheap Emotions: Darlene Zarabozo

–      Stolen Voices: Rebecca Collins

–      these bones, this flesh, this skin: Martin Suckling with Joan Clevillé and Genevieve Reeves

The ISM Award for New Music in Covid Times

–      Distant Duets: Drake Music Scotland/Tinderbox Collective

–      Be Mine in Patience: an embrace in B minor – Michael Begg

–      Lochan Sketches: Nevis Ensemble

–      Covid-19 Sound Map: Pete Stollery

Award for Environmental Sustainability

–      Let Them Not Say: Chris Hutchings/Choirs for Climate

–      Lochan Sketches: Nevis Ensemble

–      Scottish Classical Sustainability Group: Nevis Ensemble/Scottish Ensemble/various

Award for the Recording of New Music, sponsored by VoxCarynx

–      Erocean: LivMassive and Hessian Renegade

–      The Night With… Live Vol. 1

–      Letters: David Fennessy

–      From Ocean’s Floor: Linda Buckley

The Dorico Award for Small/Medium Scale Work, sponsored by Steinberg

–      Reflecting Instruments: David Horne             

–      High Energy Music: Nora Marazaite

–      Archipelago: transmissions between islands – Lisa Robertson

–      Plastica: Edwin Hillier

The Dorico Award for Solo Work, sponsored by Steinberg.

–      Skydance: Ailie Robertson

–      Her Lullaby: Martin Suckling

–      Curious-er: Sonia Allori

–      Omanjana: Simon Thacker

The SMIA Award for Creative Programming

–      Sonic Bites: Cryptic

–      Breathe and Draw: Nevis Ensemble/Alex Ho

–      Sound Festival 2020: Sound Scotland

–      2020 programme: Scottish Ensemble

The RCS Award for Education/Community Project

–      StAMP: Wallace Collection/St Andrew’s University

–      Intersections: Exploration 2020

–      Sonic Bothy

Award for New Music in Media

–    The Trial of Alex Salmond: Francis Macdonald

–    Sayo: Luci Holland

–    Henry Glassie Field Work: Linda Buckley

The RCS Award for Making It Happen

–    Aileen Sweeney and Ben Eames: Ear to the Ground

–    Ollie Hawker: The Owen Wilson Elegies

–    Rufus Isabel Eliot: OVER / AT

The awards are created by New Music Scotland with support from the National Lottery through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund.

Announcement of the winners will be treamed online from the RSNO Centre via the NMS website on Wednesday July 7 at 8pm

www.newmusicscotland.co.uk/awards2021/

Edinburgh Festival 2021 Goes Live


In the wake of last year’s swiftly improvised online Edinburgh International Festival, director Fergus Linehan told VoxCarnyx that “2021 will only be the journey back; probably 2022 will be the great celebration.” The announcement of year’s programme, while still cautionary, goes much further than realistic hopes might have anticipated, even if Linehan’s predicted path remains the longer term likelihood.

Classical music fans will be pleased, as the continuing restrictions on social distancing and indoor performance mean that the overriding emphasis of the 2021 Festival programme – which runs from 7-29 August – is on live music performance, facilitated by three major bespoke outdoor venues.

These are to be located at Edinburgh Academy Junior School, Edinburgh Park and Edinburgh University’s Old College Quad, each prefabricated structure open-sided to allow ventilation, and capable of seating between 300 and 700 people. The music programme will be centred on two of these: 26 concerts featuring some of the UK’s top orchestras at the Edinburgh Academy site; 36 smaller-scale recitals at Old College, embracing what would normally have been the Queen’s Hall intimate chamber music series. Repeat shows will open up each programme to a wider audience.

The orchestral series, for obvious practical reasons, has stuck with UK orchestras, opening with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, under Dalia Stasevska, in the premiere of PIVOT by Edinburgh graduate and current associate composer with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Anna Clyne. Vassily Petrenko directs the RPO with guest pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason, Sir Simon Rattle returns with the LSO, and the idiosyncratic Chineke! Orchestra performs Judith Weir’s song cycle woman.life.song with Scots-based mezzo soprano Andrea Baker.

Predictably, Scotland’s own orchestras play a key role. The RSNO performs several programmes, under Thomas Søndergård, Valery Gergiev and Elim Chan respectively, The SCO teams up with Kazushi Ono, while former RSNO principal guest conductor Marin Alsop conducts the BBC SSO in Peter Maxwell Davies’ A Spell for Green Corn and Jessie Montgomery’s Strum.

If staged opera is inevitably limited, it has presented Linehan with one of the few opportunities this Festival has to go completely indoors. It means, of course, that only 370 people at a time (compared to the usual 1800 capacity) can attend Edinburgh Festival Theatre for any of the four performances of David McVicar’s production of Falstaff for Scottish Opera.

Otherwise opera is, says Linehan, “very much in concert form”. Further to its premiere in London this weekend (see latest features in VoxCarnyx), Dunedin Consort perform Errollyn Wallen’s Dido’s Ghost, an imagined continuation of the story in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and starring South African soprano Golda Schultz. Sir Andrew Davis conducts a brand new concert staging by Louisa Muller of Strauss’ Ariadne aux Naxos with the RSNO and a cast led by Dorothea Röshmann in the title role.

It will be hard to avoid the presence of Nicola Benedetti, whose Festival residency makes full use of the Scots virtuoso’s growing versatility. Besides a concert focusing on Vivaldi, in which she appears with her new Benedetti Baroque Ensemble, she teams up with another handpicked ensemble for a performance of Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale, and goes solo in a presentation called The Story of the Violin.

It’s in the chamber recital series at Old College Quad that the Festival has preserved most its reputation for internationalism, given the lesser risk involved in flying single artists from around the   world as opposed to full orchestras. Thus a line-up that includes soloists Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Renée Fleming, Ronald Brautigam and the 20-year-old Anne-Sophie Mutter violin protege Noa Wildschut; notable ensembles such as the Zehetmair, Goldmund and Gringolts Quartets, alongside the Chineke! Chamber Ensemble; and a tribute to the 250th anniversary of Sir Walter Scott’s birth by soprano Elizabeth Watts and pianist Malcolm Martineau.

On a lighter musical vein, Thomas Quasthoff, as well as starring in Ariadne aux Naxos, joins fellow German jazz musicians in an evening of vocal classics, while opera director Barrie Kosky and singer  Katherine Mehrling go cabaret with lesser known songs by Kurt Weill. Pianist Wayne Marshall directs a handpicked cast in A Grand Night for Singing, celebrating the classical musicals of Rogers and Hammerstein.

While the key emphasis of this year’s Festival is on live audience performance, eight of the Classical concerts will be accessible online.

General booking for the 2021 EIF opens on Friday 11 June. Full details are available at www.eif.co.uk

Image: Dalia Stasevska conducts EIF opening concert

Scottish Opera: Live at No. 40

The enigmatic title Scottish Opera has given to a month-long summer festival in the car-park of its rehearsal facility, Live at No. 40, masks an adventurous programme of music and theatre in the centre of Glasgow.

40 Edington Street is the address of its canal-side production studios on the north side of the M8 and the car park was the venue for last summer’s inventive production of La boheme for a socially-distanced audience.

Its successor this year is Verdi’s Falstaff, directed by Sir David McVicar and opening on July 3 for six performances.

The company has now revealed that the outdoor venue will be open until August 1, culminating in two performances by Scottish Opera Young Company of Kurt Weill’s The Tsar Has His Photograph Taken. The stage there will also host Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre and a new production of Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors, directed by Dominic Hill and running from July 11 to July 24 for a total of 11 shows, including two matinees.

Completing the line-up are three concerts by the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, under the baton of Stuart Stratford, playing Elgar’s Serenade for Strings, Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 and brass and wind music by Crespo, Dvorak and Stravinsky, and four “picnic” concerts of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons by the Scottish Ensemble, partnered with charity Social Bite, on July 18 and 19.

Full details and booking information available on the Scottish Opera website.

Live music in Perth

Perth Concert Hall is setting the pace for the return of music performances before a live audience with four lunchtime concerts next week.

The diverse programme of recitals begins on Tuesday with mezzo-soprano Jess Dandy – one of the featured soloists in the venue’s Easter St Matthew Passion by Dunedin Consort – accompanied by pianist Malcolm Martineau.

Perth-raised pianist Alasdair Beatson, who recently partnered cellist Aleksei Kiseliov in an online RSNO concert, leads a piano trio in the music of Faure and Haydn the following day and saxophonist Jess Gillam plays the music of Meredith Monk, Kurt Weill, Graeme Fitkin and Astor Piazzolla on Thursday.

The sequence concludes on Friday May 28 when percussionist Colin Currie is at the marimba and Huw Watkins at the piano to play Helen Grime, Joe Duddell and Tansy Davies.

The recitals will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 as part of its Scotland Week, but crucially there are also 100 tickets available for music-lovers to attend them in person,  the first in-person concerts in the venue in over a year.

Tickets are priced at £11.50 each, including booking fee. www.horsecross.co.uk

EIF al fresco 2021

A concentration on outdoor events has been announced by the Edinburgh International Festival as it promises a full programme from August 7 to 29, to be unveiled at the start of June.

Although no artists have yet been revealed, artistic director Fergus Linehan said that most would be UK-based, “a lot of them Scottish”.

“Large ensembles coming in from overseas is not possible, so ensembles are likely to be UK-based. Individuals are still able to come in, but not a company of 250 Italians,” he said.

Likewise, the socially-distanced audience that will be accommodated in three specially-constructed pavilions is expected to be made up mostly of local people. The Festival will have an on-line element to cater to those further afield.

“There will be a programme of online running throughout, but it is primarily a live festival. What we are doing online is mostly recorded relays of the live events,” said Linehan.

Some small outdoor events are planned, but most will be staged in three locations, where a canopy will protect the stage and audience. One of those remains unconfirmed, but the other two are at Edinburgh Park, close to the Edinburgh Park Central tram stop, and at the Old Quad of Edinburgh University, on South Bridge.

Linehan said he was keen to take the Festival out of the city centre, and the Edinburgh Park pavilion, in the city’s commercial development on its western edge, has “excellent transport links and unlimited parking”.

“The Quad should be beautiful”, he added. That venue provides a link with the cancelled programme of 2020, when the Festival had planned to erect a Spiegeltent in the space, hosting a long series of musical events.

“We offered everyone a return visit and a few of those things have survived,” said Linehan. “We can’t really do anything with an ensemble bigger that 40 or 50, we can’t have very long evenings and we can’t do anything with a lot of brass and wind. And a lot of that would be our bread and butter programming in the Usher Hall.”

Nonetheless, music is expected to form the bulk of the programming announced at the start of June. Concerts will be shorter, and some will be repeated to allow another audience to attend. Public booking will open on June 11 and tickets will be strictly allocated, either to individuals, couples, small groups or families. EIF Executive Director Fran Hegyi said that everything was being planned in accordance with current government guidelines on social distancing and face coverings, and the possibility  of so-called “Covid passports” was not part of the discussions.

She added that considerations were “not just artistic ones, but also our role in having as many people working on the Festival as possible. We have been really conscious over the past 12 months of the responsibility that we have that the industry has work to do, because that is the workforce that has to come back.”

Linehan said that the 2022 Festival is acquiring increasing significance, beyond its existing status as marking the events 75th anniversary.

“It may be the first time that we are able to have unfettered mass gatherings again. So that is not just about concerts in the Usher Hall, but about every choral group and every dance group – all those ways in which we come together as communities that have had to come to a halt. There will a huge surge of activity next year that we will have to think about, and beyond what we normally  do.”

eif.co.uk

Music at Paxton 2021 Revealed

Music at Paxton is confident that this year’s summer festival (16-25 July) will play to a live audience. Outlining the 10-day 2021 programme of chamber music centred in the famous Picture Gallery at Paxton House, artistic director Angus Smith said: “We anticipate that visiting Paxton for great music in the stunningly beautiful setting of the Scottish Borders will once again be a relaxing and joyous experience.”

Included in the international line-up of artists are pianists Steven Osborne (who opens the festival with an all-Debussy solo programme) and Imogen Cooper, tenor James Gilchrist, soprano Elizabeth Watts, the Gould Piano Trio, Maxwell Quartet, Concerto Caledonia and Paxton’s ongoing partnership with Live Music Now Scotland, which presents a series of concerts by young Scottish classical and folk musicians.

Gilchrist and pianist Anna Tilbrook perform Schubert’s Winterreise (17 July). Schubert also features in a solo recital by Imogen Cooper (22 July), who teams up the following day with the Maxwell Quartet to perform Dvorak’s Piano Quintet in A. Watts is accompanied by Sholto Kynoch in a programme ranging from Richard Strauss to some of Britten’s fetching folksong arrangements. 

Baroque specialists, The Brook Street Band, follow the European trail of Patrick Home (the 18th century commissioner of Paxton House) with music by Frederick theGreat, Bach, Handel and Telemann (18 July). They also present “Mr Handel’s Pleasure Gardens”, the first of the Festival’s family concerts (17 July). 

Also for the family, Tracey Renton presents Boogie Beat, an interactive combination of songs, dancing, classical fairy tales and stories for young children, with opportunities after to explore Paxton’s riverside grounds (20 & 22 July).

Among the classical and traditional concerts presented by Live Music Now Scotland before and during the festival are a folk-inspired programme by Sally Simpson (fiddle) and Catrional Hawksworth (17 July), and Northumbrian traditional music performed by Eddie Seaman and Luc McNally (24 July).  

Other concerts with local historical resonance include lutenist Alex McCartney’s The Flodden Flag (the original flag, dating from 1513, can now be seen at Paxton House) on 25 July; and Concerto Caledonia’s tribute to the famous Union Chain Bridge that connects Scotland to England across the River Tweed, built just over 200 years ago in 1820.

New for 2021 are a series of online pre-festival talks and four ‘as live’ broadcast concerts available online. General manager Elizabeth Macdonald said: “Whilst the Music at Paxton team is working hard to ensure that we can reopen safely to live audiences in the Scottish Borders this summer, the addition of an online component to the programme is an excellent opportunity for us to connect with a wider audience, both nationally and globally.”

Full details of Music at Paxton are at www.musicatpaxton.co.uk

Scottish Opera’s Summer Programme

Scottish Opera has announced a summer programme of Covid-friendly opera that includes: a new outdoor production by Sir David McVicar of Verdi’s Falstaff; a Pop-up Opera Tour amounting to over 200 Scotland-wide performances, a new On Screen production of Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore; and a one-off film of Operatic Highlights encouraging local communities to support live opera once the lifting of pandemic restrictions permit.

“We plan to be back in theatres presenting live opera as soon as restrictions allow,” says Scottish Opera general manager Alex Reedijk. “I am delighted that we are preparing to bring live music back to audiences following almost a year without live opera.”

Scots-born McVicar, whose career has included hit productions for New York’s Metropolitan Opera, and who last directed Scottish Opera in its 2017 production of Debussy’s Pelléas and Melisande, applies his creative energy to one of Verdi’s most popular comic Shakespeare operas. This co-production with Santa Fe Opera will be staged – as was last year’s outdoor La boheme – in the company’s Edington Street car park. Exact dates are yet to be confirmed, and a further announcement of additional Edinburgh dates is anticipated over the coming weeks.

Sung in English, the cast includes Roland Wood, Elizabeth Llewellyn, Louise Winter and Jamie MacDougall. Scottish Opera music director Stuart Stratford conducts.

The summer months (provisionally June to September, dependent on the Scottish Government’s timeline on lifting restrictions) also see a repeat of last year’s Pop-up Opera Tour to outside locations around Scotland, this time with a show that fuses together five Gilbert and Sullivan favourites: The Gondoliers, The Mikado, the Pirates of Penzance, HMS Pinafore and Iolanthe. 

During the final stages of the tour around September, Scottish Opera will also revive its children’s entertainment A Little Bit of Bubble McBea, aimed at lower primary school years, and containing an environmental message that coincides conveniently with the run up to Glasgow’s hosting of the UN Climate Change Conference, COP26.

One of the company’s best initiatives over the past year has been its enforced foray into filmed opera, with staff director Roxana Haines at its forefront. After her December success with Cosi fan tutte, she now turns her directorial talents to Donizetti’s playful opera buffa, L’elisir d’amore, which she sets in another “socially distanced” time, the Jane Austen era. 

Scottish Opera emerging artists Catriona Hewistson, Shengzhi Ten and Arthur Bruce star alongside guest principals Roland Wood and Elena Garrido Madrona and an 18-strong chorus in this collaboration with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Filming takes place on 22 May with a release date of 18 June. A special edition of BBC Radio Scotland’s Classics Unwrapped, presented by Jamie MacDougall on 13 June, will feature audio excerpts.

Prior to that, on 23 April, Scottish Opera releases Live in South Lanarkshire, a programme of operatic favourites recorded in Rutherglen Town Hall, designed to fulfil the role of the annual Opera Highlights tour that normally takes place in small venues around Scotland. This filmed version will be released via the Scottish Opera website.
Full information at www.scottishopera.org.uk

Perth Festival

May’s Perth Festival of the Arts has maintained a classical music core to its programme even as it has diversified into other areas of music, theatre and a popular art fair. This year, although it will not be able to welcome live audiences to its concerts, it has doubled down on that commitment, with a fine line-up of local and visiting artists.

The 49th festival opens on May 20 with a concert by the Scottish Ensemble, filmed in the Byre at Inchrya as the string group continues its eye-catching exploration of different venues in its own response to the current crisis. The programme will be an international journey, visiting the Balkans, Central Europe, the Americas and Scandinavia and culminating in Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings, the work that had been due to close Perth’s 2020 Festival.

On the days following there is a concert from Perth Concert Hall, with Spanish saxophonist Manu Brazo, violinist Claudia Uriarte and pianist Prajna Indrawati, a performance by chamber choir The Sixteen followed by a live Q&A with its founder and conductor Harry Christophers, and a solo piano recital by Isata Kanneh-Mason featuring works by Mozart, Barber, Chopin and Gershwin.

The following week, the festival has concerts at Perth Museum and Art Gallery with the Gesualdo Six singing Monteverdi and Palestrina, and at Perth Theatre Studio with the Sitkovetsky Trio playing Schumann and Tchaikovsky and soprano Ilona Domnich, pianist Sholto Kynoch and critic Michael White exploring the songs of Rachmaninov.

The classical series closes at Perth Concert Hall with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and soloist Nicola Benedetti playing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto.

Other ingredients of the programme include traditional music from Ross Ainslie and Ali Hutton and jazz from the Fergus McCreadie Trio and big band Fat-Suit.

Tickets and Festival passes are on sale and full details are available at perthfestival.co.uk

Benedetti premiere

The world premiere of a new concerto written by clarinettist and composer Mark Simpson for Nicola Benedetti will be free to view on Thursday April 22 on Marquee TV and for seven days thereafter. The first performance of the work will be given by the London Symphony Orchestra with its Principal Guest Conductor Gianandrea Noseda on the podium.

The LSO is one of four partner co-commissioners of the concerto, along with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Germany’s WDR Sinfonieorchester and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in the USA. The RSNO had been due to give the first Scottish performances on April 23 and 24 in Edinburgh and Glasgow as part of the season that was announced immediately  before the pandemic struck.

Benedetti is a featured soloist in the new digital season by the RSNO, playing concertos by Karol Szymanowski on April 16 and June 11, however the Scottish premiere of the Simpson concerto is now pencilled in for early in 2022. RSNO chief executive Alistair Mackie told VoxCarnyx that details were still to be confirmed, but a provisional date was being held in the soloist’s diary.

The concerto is of particular interest because Simpson and Benedetti are near-contemporaries whose early fame came through the bi-annual BBC Young Musician Competition. The violinist won at the Usher Hall in 2004, playing the Szymanowski’s Concerto No 1, and Simpson was the winner at the Sage, Gateshead, in 2006.

The decision by Mackie and the RSNO to postpone their performances raises interesting questions about concert scheduling as a result of the move to online streaming, and ones which may persist beyond the health emergency if orchestras build on the experience of making work available that way, as seems likely.

Previously, it would have been perfectly acceptable for a new work to be heard in front of a live audience in London, and then repeated for concert-goers in Edinburgh and Glasgow the same week. However, the RSNO felt that it could not broadcast its performance when the LSO’s would still be available to watch, especially, perhaps, as the London orchestra’s premiere is initially free to view, while the RSNO’s would have been part of a subscription season. Orchestral managements have yet another variable to take into account as they look to a future beyond Covid-19.

The LSO’s chief executive, Kathryn McDowell, has announced the Chief Conductor who will succeed Sir Simon Rattle. Another musical knight, Sir Antonio Pappano, will move from his current position at the Royal Opera House, where his contract ends in July 2024. Pappano will be styled Chief Conductor Designate at the LSO from September 2023 and take up the post a year later.

Keith Bruce

Blended menu in East Neuk

As Scotland looks forward to the possible return of some live performances over the summer, following this week’s announcement at Holyrood by the First Minister, the East Neuk Festival in Fife has come sprinting out of the blocks with a programme of online, on air and outdoor activity.

Running over the weekend July 1 to 4, the Festival, directed since its inception by Svend McEwan-Brown, will be providing pop-up performances by its Band-in-a-Van in the pretty coastal villages.

Its regular sand artists, Jamie Wardley and Claire Jamieson, will be creating work on Elie beach, and the grounds of the National Trust-run Kellie Castle at Pittenweem will see the installation of a labyrinth based on the contours of the Fife Coastal Path, cut into a wildflower meadow.

The programme that will be available online includes many artists who have visited the festival in the past, alongside some making their East Neuk debuts. The Tallis Scholars mark the 500th anniversary of the death of Josquin with a performance of his Missa Ave maris stella alongside music by Gibbons, Byrd and Tallis. The Castalian String Quartet will play Beethoven’s late String Quartet No. 15, Op. 132 alongsideJanáček‘s The Kreutzer Sonata and pianist Llyr Williams will perform Chopin’s 24 Préludes, Debussy’s Reflets dans l’eau, and Mozart’s Sonata No. 13 in B flat major, K333. 

BBC Radio 3 will collaborate with the festival on four concerts. Ranging from Adès to Zacharias, the performances will be recorded on Saturday 3 July and Sunday 4 July for future broadcast. Musicians from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and guitarist Sean Shibe will be joined by composer and conductor Thomas Adès, in his first visit to the festival, in a performance of two of his works – Court Studies from The Tempest and Habanera from The Exterminating Angel – along with music by Poulenc, De Falla, Janáček and the UK premiere of Francisco Coll’s Turia for ensemble and solo guitar.

Pianist Christian Zacharias returns to Fife to perform a programme of Bach, Haydn and Schubert’s Sonata in G, D894 – a work he performed by candlelight in his first ENF recital in 2005. The Castalian Quartet pair Beethoven’s early string quartet, No. 3, Op.18, with Dvořák’s final string quartet, No. 14, Op. 105, whilst violinist Benjamin Baker and guitarist Sean Shibe, both currently embarking on ENF Retreat residencies, will perform as a duo for the first time in a programme that will include Bach, Cage, Piazzolla, Pärt and Steve Reich. At present the festival is unable to offer tickets to these recordings but should it become possible to invite an audience, the festival will make event details and tickets available.

“We know not everybody will feel comfortable coming to a festival this year, so we hope that by giving the opportunity to visit digitally, and – in partnership with BBC Radio 3 – on the radio, we can offer the joy of ENF to as many people as possible,” said McEwan-Brown.

General Manager Ian Gray added: “Following yesterday’s announcement by Nicola Sturgeon we welcome the possibility of a return of performances with audiences indoors, and will respond swiftly to announce more events in Fife 1- 4 July once we have the full details of how this will work.”

Full details of what is currently on offer at ENF this summer can be seen on its website: www.eastneukfestival.com

Easter Passion in Perth

The intrepid Dunedin Consort, whose early lockdown adventures provided the only authentic example of the currently much-invoked “Dunkirk Spirit”, will not be permitting the continuing health emergency to cancel this Easter’s performance of Bach’s epic St Matthew Passion.

With Andrew Tortise as the Evangelist and Matthew Brook as Christus, the ensemble will be presenting a streamed performance of the work on the evening of Saturday March 27 to launch Perth Concert Hall’s Easter festival of classical music.

Broadcast via Vimeo, the concert will be directed by John Butt from the organ, and available to view for a month, with tickets priced at £11.50 per receiving device, including booking fee.

The Dunedin Passion precedes four recitals from Perth featuring musicians from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the award winning Maxwell String Quartet. Running at 1pm from Tuesday April 6 to Friday April 9, in partnership with BBC Radio 3, they will also be available to view in the same way and for the same charge.

The series begins with pianist Steven Osborne playing Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time with soloists from the SCO and continues with clarinettist Maximiliano Martin and pianist Scott Mitchell, the Maxwell Quartet playing Haydn and Beethoven, and pianist Susan Tomes and members of the RSNO with quintets by Mozart and Beethoven.

Full details of the concerts from the Perth Concert Hall website: horsecross.co.uk

Keith Bruce

Tectonics online and on-air

The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra has announced that its annual weekend of new and experimental music, curated by principal guest conductor Ilan Volkov and events promoter Alasdair Campbell, will go ahead this year on May 8 and 9.

Only weeks after last year’s programme had been announced, the 2020 event was one of the early casualties of the pandemic, with an immediate promise that it would return in 2021.

While audiences will still be unable to fill the many spaces of Glasgow’s City Halls and Old Fruitmarket complex for what has become a hugely popular event, a full programme of pre-recorded online performances and late-night broadcasts on BBC Radio 3 is promised this year.

The orchestra has three broadcast concerts before then, two of them also available to view on the BBC iPlayer. The second of those is a 50th birthday concert by Steven Osborne, who is celebrating that same anniversary with a recital at London’s Wigmore Hall on Friday March 12. The Glasgow concert is on Thursday, April 22 and is conducted by Martyn Brabbins. In a programme of music by Copland and Shostakovich, Osborne plays the Russian’s Piano Concerto No.2, which was written a birthday present for the composer’s son, Maxim. It is bracketed by Copland’s Appalachian Spring Suite and Quiet City, and the concert concludes with the suite Shostakovich made from his music for an avant-garde 1930s production of Hamlet.

Earlier in April, violin and piano duo Elena Urioste and Tom Poster, whose kaleidoscopic home music sessions were one of the online hits of lockdown, join the orchestra to co-direct a programme entitled “Dreamscapes”. The title work, for violin and chamber orchestra is by Brazilian composer Clarice Assad, and is based on the composer’s researches into Rapid Eye Movement sleep. It is preceded by Arvo Part’s atmospheric and haunting Spiegel im Spiegel and Gerard Finzi’s Eclogue for Piano and Strings, and followed by Mendelssohn’s D Minor Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Orchestra, 54 years after the orchestra broadcast the UK premiere of the work.

The SSO is also in action next week, again under Brabbins and again available to view on the BBC i-Player. Sheku Kanneh-Mason is the soloist for the Dvorak Cello Concerto, performed on Thursday March 11 in George Morton’s reduced orchestration. The concert begins with contemporary American composer Augusta Read Thomas’s Plea for Peace and concludes with Sir James MacMillan’s signature 1989 work, Tryst.

A Classical Solution…?

A CLASSICAL SOLUTION FOR A NEO-CLASSICAL ICON?

Is the future of Edinburgh’s Old Royal High School reaching a musical conclusion? A series of “cultural conversations” aims to state the case. KEITH BRUCE explains.

He may have been born in Glasgow, and designed buildings and monuments all over Scotland, but neo-classical architect Thomas Hamilton is most especially associated with Edinburgh, and there with two public buildings whose recent fortunes have been very different.

The Dean Orphanage, which sits above the Water of Leith in the West End of the capital, is now styled SNGMA2, an extension, across Belford Road, of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, previously simply the Dean Gallery and before that for many years a teacher training facility.

Beyond the East End of Princes Street, on Regent Road opposite the monolithic Scottish Office building, St Andrew’s House, is “The Old Royal High School”, as it has been identified ever since the school moved to Barnton, far out the Queensferry Road, in 1968.

Some recent media coverage of plans for its future has insisted that the building has been “unoccupied” in the half century and more that has passed, but nothing could be further from the truth. In the years after the school pupils for whom it was designed and built moved out, it has seen a great variety of tenants, and often occupied a very prominent place in the discourse about the future of Scotland.

What is beyond debate is the quality of the building itself. Built in the 1820s, it was greatly admired in its own century by Alexander “Greek” Thomson, and more recent architectural historians have called it “the architect’s supreme masterpiece and the finest monument of the Greek revival in Scotland”. With a commanding position on the side of Calton Hill in “the Athens of the North”, it is unsurprising that it was considered in the 1970s to be the natural home for a Scottish Parliament in the run-up to the 1979 referendum, which failed to clear the hurdle to establish such a body.

Nonetheless the debating chamber that had been created inside was pressed into service as the meeting place for the “Scottish Grand Committee” – as distinct from the Scottish Select Committee – a gathering of all of Scotland’s Westminster MPs. By the time Scotland did vote to have its own parliament, the old school building was judged to be inadequate to the purpose, and had, perhaps, become too closely associated with the campaign for more than devolution.

Pending the construction of a new parliament building at Holyrood on the site of a demolished brewery, the devolved administration set up temporary camp at the other end of the Royal Mile and Thomas Hamilton’s neo-classical masterpiece began a longer and more uncertain phase of its existence, but one which may at last be approaching a conclusion.

What is notable during that time, when responsibility for the building returned to Edinburgh City Council, is that the arts have often enlivened it, and been at the heart of plans for its future.

In 1998, Fringe impresario Richard Demarco moved in with a programme of performances and masterclasses during the Edinburgh Festival in a partnership with the European Youth Parliament.

In 2004 the Edinburgh-resident former press secretary to Her Majesty the Queen, Michael Shea, was the main spokesman for a multi-million pound proposal to convert it into a national museum of photography, an artform in which Scotland had produced a good number of pioneers, but which still lacks a major gallery. The plans failed to find the necessary Heritage Lottery backing.

Ten years later the Old Royal High School was pressed into service as a venue for the Edinburgh Art Festival, then in its own tenth year, with film installations in the main chamber and neon artwork on the façade.

Since 2014 speculation about the future of the building has centred around controversial hotel plans, while a proposal by St Mary’s Music School, currently housed in buildings not far from Hamilton’s Dean building, to return it to the realm of education, for which it was designed, has steadily gained ground.

With planning consent for the hotel proposal now lapsed, and the council open to offers for the site, the Royal High School Preservation Trust and St Mary’s have joined forces on the Perfect Harmony Development Board to drive forward the plan for a national music centre and national music school, with substantial backing promised from Carol Grigor’s Dunard Fund.

Part of that public awareness campaign will be a series of monthly Cultural Conversations online, informing people about the plans for the redevelopment of the building and the work of the school.

Vox Carnyx is delighted to be involved in these, with Keith Bruce and Ken Walton putting questions to key people involved in the project before open question and answer sessions. Architects and engineers, teachers and alumni will be taking part in the webinars running from March to August.

The first of these is on Friday March 5 from noon, when Keith Bruce will be speaking with William Gray Muir of the Royal High School Preservation Trust and Carol Nimmo of the Perfect Harmony Development Board.

Readers who wish to watch should visit https://stmarysmusic.ptly.uk/event/culturalconversations01 to receive an access code.

Image: Students of St Mary’s Music School in front of the Old Royal High School (credit Mike Wilkinson)

Six New SCO Concerts

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra has followed the RSNO in announcing a new clutch of digital concerts which will be recorded at Edinburgh’s Queen’s Hall and Perth Concert Hall and broadcast free on Thursday evenings on the SCO’s YouTube channel and Facebook site.

The six concert season in March and April concludes with a world premiere from the orchestra’s Associate Composer Anna Clyne. Overflow, inspired by the poetry of Emily Dickinson and Jalaluddin Rumi, is for a group of wind soloists and will be directed from the oboe by Nicholas Daniel. That concert, on April 15, also includes music by Caplet and Dvorak, and it will, like everything in the season, be available to view free for 30 days after first transmission.

The season begins with an established showpiece for the orchestra’s principal clarinet, Maximiliano Martin. Sir James MacMillan’s Tuireadh, a lament for the victims of the Piper Alpha disaster in the North Sea, features on Martin’s recent Delphian disc with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Tenerife. It will be played on March 4 in its original version for clarinet and string quartet in a programme that also includes Britten’s Phantasy Quartet and Prokofiev’s Quintet in G Minor.

Piano Quartets by Mozart and Faure feature in the other new Queen’s Hall concert, on March 11, when violinist Maria Mloszczowska, Felix Tanner on viola, and principal cello Philip Higham are joined by pianist Susan Tomes.

The first of the run of concerts from Perth, on March 18, is an all-20th century programme of chamber music, pairing two familiar male names from Russia, Prokofiev and Shostakovich, with a wind quintet by Poland’s Grazyna Bacewicz and a trio for oboe, clarinet and bassoon by Czech composer Vitezslava Kapralova.

The following week has a focus on percussion in a programme that sees Reich, Part, Andriessen and Britain’s Dani Howard, who is still in her 20s, bracketed by two works from Henry Purcell.

The penultimate concert, on April 8, features baritone Marcus Farnsworth, who is also due to appear alongside soprano Susanna Hurrell with the RSNO in May. In Perth he features in a recital of rare baroque repertoire including works by Telemann, Biber, Froberger, Muffat, Schop and J C Bach.

Full details and instructions on watching and listening to the concerts are available at sco.org.ukKeith Bruce

RSNO’s New Digital Season

It is a measure of the confident way that Scotland’s national orchestra has dealt with the restrictions imposed on its work by the coronavirus pandemic – and coped with many enforced changes of plan along the way – that it is able to launch a new season in upbeat and positive style.

The headline news is the extension of the contract of Music Director Thomas Sondergard to the autumn of 2024. The further three years of commitment to the RSNO come as the Danish conductor is preparing to make his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic on Saturday, stepping into the shoes of Sir Donald Runnicles to direct a programme of Prokofiev, Sibelius and Kurt Weill.

For Sondergard, the important analogy is that he has found the same warmth and eagerness to work in the German capital that he encountered in his first dealings with the RSNO. He also suggests that the work the Scottish orchestra has made available to a global audience with its online programme during the health emergency has enhanced reputations far beyond its home audience, which is likely to prove crucial if touring proves problematic in the future.

That optimistic tone is echoed by chief executive Alistair Mackie, whose pre-COVID enthusiasm to develop the orchestra’s online work has necessarily moved to the top of the agenda over the past year. “It is true that we have made progress,” says Mackie. “We have learned a lot from our first Digital Season, and, as many of our audiences will know, we often had to move quickly and adapt to travel and working conditions that changed with very little notice. I want to thank our audiences for the support they have shown us during this time.”

The new season will begin on Friday April 16 when Sondergard conducts a concert in the strand of Polish music announced nearly a year ago, including the Violin Concerto No 1 by Karol Szymanowski with Nicola Benedetti as soloist. Benedetti also closes the season on Friday June 11, when she plays Szymanowski’s Second Violin Concerto, working with the orchestra’s principal guest conductor, Elim Chan.

Says Sondergard: “It is incredible to think that little over a year ago myself and the full RSNO Orchestra were touring Europe with Nicola Benedetti, performing in sold-out venues, and experiencing standing ovations night after night. We could not have imagined the experiences of the past year were waiting just around the corner. 

“The past year has been difficult for all of us, and sadly tragic for so many people. Music is our way of expressing and sharing our moments of grief and frustration, but also the moments of happiness and hope that help get us through these extraordinary times.”

Up until now, the behind-closed-doors concerts have been filmed in the orchestra’s rehearsal space in the RSNO Centre, but the new programme will be recorded in Glasgow Royal Concert Hall next door following its successful use for the online incarnation of the Celtic Connections festival last month.

The move enables compliance with social distancing guidelines for up to 75 musicians on the extended stage, when fewer than 60 could be playing together in the RSNO Centre, making areas of repertoire possible once more. The two concerts Chan conducts in June will include the Concertos for Orchestra by Bela Bartok and Witold Lutoslawski, the latter partnered by Chopin’s Piano Concerto No1 played by Benjamin Grosvenor, recreating the line-up on last year’s prize-winning recording of the work.

Lutoslawski also features in the May 14 debut of Polish conductor Marta Gardolinska with the orchestra, when his Mala suita prefaces Dvorak’s Seventh Symphony, and in a chamber music concert a fortnight later, when principal oboe Adrian Wilson is soloist in his Epitaph for Oboe and Piano and Lena Zeliszewska plays Szymanowski’s Violin Sonata in D Minor.

The season also salvages more of the “Scotch Snaps” planned for the 20/21 live concerts – short pieces by contemporary Scottish composers, with works by Michael Murray, Craig Armstrong and Christopher Duncan. The first of these is included in a chamber music concert featuring pianist Paul Lewis, who featured in the RSNO’s recent all-Grieg concert conducted by Ed Gardner, and the Armstrong precedes Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto, played by orchestra leader Maya Iwabuchi and conducted by Angus Webster.

Principal cello Aleksei Kiseliov is joined by pianist Alasdair Beatson for a programme of chamber music by Beethoven, Strauss and Dvorak on May 7 and conductor Kevin John Edusei is on the podium on May 21 for Schumann’s Second Symphony, Mahler’s Blumine and soprano Susanna Hurrell and baritone Marcus Farnsworth singing Schubert as arranged by Brahms.

An individual subscription to the new season is £85, with a household subscription priced at £150. Individual concerts are prices at £10 and £20 and there is a concessionary rate of £27 for all nine concerts, or £3 each, available to full-time students, those under 26 and people with disabilities or who are unemployed.

Download the season brochure and book tickets at rsno.org.uk

Keith Bruce

Musical movies in the East Neuk

The East Neuk Festival of chamber music in exquisite locations in the Kingdom of Fife is, like many other events, still waiting to see what is possible this year after having to cancel last summer’s event.

In the meantime, it has embarked on a Big Project with its “Arts Activist” David Behrens to which local residents and any of the festival’s regular audience are invited to contribute. Behrens has made a beautiful – and surprisingly musical – little film, 3 Amazing Minutes in St Monans, which can – and should – be viewed on the Vimeo platform (https://vimeo.com/508804285).

It was shot entirely on his smart phone, and now the ENF is soliciting 10 second pieces of phone-made footage from its friends and followers for him to work with. Complete instructions and examples of the sort of thing he’s after can be found at eastneukfestival.com/bigproject. Our picture of the much-snapped breakwater at St Monans is a still from one short video by festival director Svend McEwan-Brown.

New Cumnock Partnership

News that Sir James MacMillan has launched a major new initiative to establish Cumnock as a global centre of excellence in the learning and teaching of composition should come as no surprise. 

MacMillan’s preeminent worldwide reputation as a composer, allied to his establishment of the annual Cumnock Tryst Festival, with its formidable record in fostering new compositional talent and associated schools and community initiatives, positions this latest initiative as a bold and natural advancement in the widening impact and influence of his expanding East Ayrshire project.

The new scheme, a partnership between The Cumnock Tryst and Trinity College London, aims to support composers at crucial stages in their development: those just embarking on a career; those teaching composition in schools; and those studying composition either at school or in higher education. 

“It has long been an ambition of mine to take all the experience and learnings we have built over many years of teaching composition in the schools around Cumnock and East Ayrshire and make those available to teachers and students further afield,” said MacMillan, who will be assisted on the ground by fellow composer Jennifer Martin.

The new Tryst-Trinity partnership will kick off this year with a project for Advanced Higher music students at the new Robert Burns Academy in Cumnock, and the launch of a supporting publication for music teachers and young composers, written by MacMillan and Martin, timed to coincide with the 2021 Cumnock Tryst festival in October.

MacMillan, whose new hard-hitting Christmas Oratorio is reviewed this week in VoxCarnyx, added: “The resources we create will not just be focused on teachers, but also support students studying composition at a higher education level or even self-taught. As part of our work to date we have mentored many emerging composers and supported some incredible talent nurtured here in Cumnock, such as Jay Capperauld and Electra Perivolaris, through commissions for our festival.” 

“I really believe that here we have the skills and resources to create an internationally recognised centre of excellence which will benefit the potential composers in the area, but also those around the world.” 

Future Cumnock Trysts are also set to benefit from a substantial new auditorium in the Robert Burns Academy that can seat upwards of 500 people. MacMillan is confident it will become an important venue, not just for the festival, but for performing groups in the community, in schools and from further afield. 

A gala opening was planned for last year’s Cumnock Tryst, featuring the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, but had to be abandoned due to Covid-19. “It is our intention to mark the new space with a celebratory event as soon as we are allowed,” MacMillan promised.

Glasgow Barons Pandemonium

The Govan-based orchestra Glasgow Barons, founded and directed by Paul McAlindin, has announced an ambitious and eclectic digital season of seven concerts filmed in Glasgow venues and building into an archive available free to view via Vimeo.

The series begins on Thursday January 7, with a programme of songs of exile, set to an electronic score by Hamish MacLeod and filmed by him with sound engineering by Tim Cooper at Govan and Linthouse Parish Church. MacLeod is joined by Hannah Rarity, Midya Xan and Aref Ghorbani in exploring repertoire that ranges from Gaelic songs of the Highland Clearances to Kurmanji Kurdish and Farsi lyrics of life as a refugee in Scotland today.

MacLeod and Cooper are also behind the realisation of the Thursday January 28 concert, entitled Flux, for which composer Matthew Ward has worked with Shona MacKay and Nick Olsen from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland on a five-movement suite exploring the power and memory of water.

The MacLeod Hall of Govan’s Pearce Institute is the venue for performances of Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings (January 21) and Thea Musgrave’s Night Windows (Wednesday January 13). On the latter the orchestra is joined by oboe soloist Amy Turner. Concerts of William Sweeney’s Sian Orainn, originally written for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and of Alasdair Nicolson’s Stramash, commissioned by the City of London Sinfonia, have been filmed at SWG3 on the other side of the Clyde, and are premiered on February 4 and 11 respectively.

The season concludes with a live recording of Steg G’s new album Live Todays on March 4, featuring new pieces by RCS graduates Aidan Teplitsky – entitled Almost Achilles, Always the Heel – and by Kevan O’Reilly – Scotland versus Scotland.

The films are part of the orchestra’s residency project with Glasgow Life and will be available from 7pm of the day of release  via glasgowbarons.com and remain online for a year.

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