RSNO leads industry in musicians' and staff development

Paul Hamlyn Foundation awards Orchestra over £200,000 for three-year CPD programme

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) is to design and implement a new professional development programme for its 112 musicians and professional staff, thanks to a £212,725 award from one of the UK's most recognised philanthropic organisations, the Paul Hamlyn Foundation (PHF).

The RSNO's initiative is the first strategically-driven, fully integrated Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme in the UK performing arts sector. Developed and refined over a period of three years, it will deliver immediate and sustained benefits to the organisation, as well as provide a framework for other organisations to adopt.

The programme is a key to the future development of the RSNO, who in 2010 performed to over 110,000 people and engaged a further 13,500 in its education and community projects. In the first year the RSNO focuses on developing new skills through training, workshops and creative leadership. The primary focus of Year Two is developing effectiveness – implementing what has been learned in Year One – whilst continuing with the development of individual skills. Year Three sees the organisation share what it has learned, internally and with external organisations with the assistance of the Association of British Orchestras (ABO) and the Scottish Government, while continuing the work from years one and two. The three-year programme provides opportunities for musicians and administration staff to learn together and develop new understandings and skills, to broaden and increase their contribution to the organisations' collective success.

The RSNO has sought the expertise of Evaluation Support Scotland in drafting an evaluation model and together with support from the Association of British Orchestras (ABO) and the Scottish Government, the RSNO will demonstrate the operational and strategic benefits derived from implementing the comprehensive CPD programme.

Paul Hamlyn Foundation's Head of Arts Régis Cochefert:

PHF supports the development and dissemination of new ideas to increase people's experience and enjoyment of the arts. This training scheme is highly innovative and we are confident that the increased skills of RSNO's players and other professional staff will mean an even higher quality experience for the orchestra's audiences, both in the concert hall and in community and education activities.

Director of the ABO Mark Pemberton:

The ABO welcomes this hugely important announcement from the RSNO. Professional development of musicians and managers is a growing area of interest among our members, and we know that many other orchestras are eagerly awaiting the step-change that this project is likely to engender. We will be providing the RSNO with opportunities to present the findings from the project at our annual conference and other events, and look forward to being an active partner in helping the sector as a whole benefit from its outcomes.

RSNO Chief Executive Michael Elliott:

This is a significant move for the RSNO. We have an opportunity to be the first professional arts organisation in the UK to not only undertake a development programme of such scope and vision, but be in a position to pass on our knowledge to others in the sector. I am delighted that the Paul Hamlyn Foundation has recognised by its generous level of support, that the RSNO is an organisation capable of creating the greatest benefit from such a programme.

RSNO appoints new Principal Cello

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) has appointed 26-year old Belarusian musician Aleksei Kiseliov as its new Principal Cello.

Aleksei recently completed his studies with Raphael Wallfisch as part of his Artist Diploma course at the Royal College of Music, which was supported by the Richard Carne Trust, the Orpheus Foundation and the Royal College of Music (RCM). In October 2009, he was selected as the holder of the Constant and Kit Lambert Fellowship supported by The Worshipful Company of Musicians for the 2009/2010 academic year at the RCM. Aleksei continued his studies with a year of lessons with British cellist and former BBC Young Musician of the Year (1994) Natalie Clein at Trinity College of Music. Natalie will join Aleksei and the Orchestra in October when she performs Haydn's Cello Concerto No1 to audiences in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

New RSNO Principal Cello Aleksei Kiseliov:

It is a great pleasure for me to become Principal Cello of an orchestra of such a high standard. Top conductors, best soloists, combined with a professionalism and dedication from the musicians which truly makes the RSNO one of the greatest ensembles. I'm very much looking forward to the new season, knowing what a beautiful selection of masterpieces is prepared for the audience.

Aleksei joins the RSNO in September and will be in position in time for the start of the Orchestra's 2011:12 Season, Stéphane Denève's final as Music Director. Aleksei's appointment follows the announcement that James Clark and Maya Iwabuchi had joined as Leaders in May this year and that British-Canadian conductor Peter Oundjian will succeed Stéphane Denève as RSNO Music Director in 2012.

Vice President of EMI A&R joins RSNO Board

Grammy-winning producer Andrew Cornall will serve on the Board of Directors from September 2011

One of the UK's most respected producers and arts administrators has accepted an invitation to join the governing board of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO). Andrew Cornall, who is currently recording company EMI Classics' Vice President, Artists and Repertoire, brings a wealth of experience of both recording and performance to the board of Scotland's national symphony orchestra, having worked in the business for over thirty years.

Andrew Cornall joined EMI Classics from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (RLPO) earlier this year, where, as Executive Director (Artistic Policy) for over six years he revamped the orchestra's artists roster and programming including the commissioning of a range of new works. Previously, Andrew had been Senior Executive Producer with Decca Music Group since 1995, where he worked with many of the world's leading artists.

Andrew joins a board headed by RSNO Chairman and former Principal of St Andrews University Dr Brian Lang FRSE and Deputy Chairman Peter Shakeshaft, with Agnes Robson, DC Thomson & Co Ltd Director Christopher Thomson, Convenor of Culture and Leisure Committee for City of Edinburgh Council Councillor Deidre Brock, Glasgow City Council Councillor Frank Docherty, Interim Group HR at Devro plc Dorothy Lowry, Murray Snell Solicitors Partner Gordon Murray, The Weir Group Chief Executive Keith Cochrane, Cameron House Hotel Managing Director Stephen Carter OBE, Strathclyde Business School Dean Professor Susan Hart, and RSNO musicians Barbara Paterson, David Hubbard, John Cushing, Lorna Rough, Martin Gibson and Sophie Lang.

New RSNO Board member Andrew Cornall:

I am delighted to have been asked to join the Board of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. It is a distinguished organisation that has provided wonderful music making for the people of Scotland over many years and I look forward to helping it extend its artistic reach and values still further.

RSNO Chief Executive Michael Elliott, who previously worked alongside Andrew at the RLPO, welcomed his former colleague's decision to join the RSNO:

I have known Andrew for a number of years and value his experience, knowledge and tenacity – it will prove invaluable in the RSNO's constant pursuit to develop, progress and become an ever-more valuable cultural asset for Scotland.