RSNO welcomes little monsters to make music

Orchestra's concerts for pre-school children opens doors to families for first time

This May sees the return of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra's (RSNO) tailor-made performances for children aged 3 to 5, the award-winning Monster Music, and this year for the first time one of the concerts will be open to families in an extra programme, More Monster Music.

The RSNO is broadening opportunities beyond nursery provision by opening up one programme exclusively for families at the Orchestra's home, the RSNO Centre, 73 Claremont Street, Glasgow, G3 7JB on Thursday 24 May 2012, 1.45pm.

Monster Music and More Monster Music combines popular orchestral repertoire with well-known songs and nursery rhymes, and encourages children to participate by singing, clapping and performing actions. Experienced presenter and Principal Percussion for the BBC Concert Orchestra Alasdair Malloy introduces the children to the conductor (Fergus Macleod) and the instruments in the orchestra, and uses common themes to inspire their imagination. Those who attend will explore musical concepts such as high and low, fast and slow, loud and quiet and each concert features a story illustrated with animated projections, and the children learn a simple chorus so that they can sing along.

There will be nine forty-minute performances held at the RSNO Centre in Glasgow's West End, which will see nearly 3,500 youngsters from sixty-four nurseries across Scotland's central belt including More Monster Music which is open to the public. The RSNO was one of the first UK professional orchestras to present concerts tailored to pre-school children and Monster Music has, since 1999, introduced live orchestral music to over 50,000 thousand young people across Scotland.

Presenter of Monster Music and More Monster Music, Alasdair Malloy:

We are in a position to inspire, delight and welcome young people to the fantastic world of orchestral music. We promise to present a positive and creative experience which will stay with our young concert goers for a long time. I look forward to seeing lots of new smiling and eager faces at the RSNO's home.

Ticket prices are Adult + 1 Child: £8; Adult + 2 Children: £10; Additional Tickets: £5. Click here to book tickets. Spaces are limited and availability is on a first-come-first-served basis.

RSNO celebrates Hogmanay and New Year in China

Scotland's National Orchestra announces first tour in mainland Asia

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) will be spending Hogmanay and the first week of the New Year in China as it embarks on the first foreign tour with new Music Director Peter Oundjian.

With the assistance of the Scottish Government's International Touring Fund (ITF), which has invested £110,000 towards the project, the RSNO's 2012:13 China Tour will be the first mainland Asia visit for Scotland's national orchestra and will comprise of six performances in five cities across two provinces; Cantonese region Guangdong and the northern province of Hebei. During the tour the Orchestra will perform in two of the world's top twenty largest cities; Shenzhen and Beijing. The RSNO will also visit Guangzhou, Tianjin and Macau.

RSNO Music Director Designate Peter Oundjian:

I feel privileged to be taking the RSNO on its first China tour and to be representing Scotland abroad, particularly at such an early point of my tenure. The Orchestra has a strong reputation overseas through its touring and extensive discography and it will be rewarding to continue to fulfil our international remit. In addition, I am especially looking forward to celebrating Hogmanay with my new colleagues.

All five of Scotland's national performing companies will be engaging in international activity in the next 12 months. Scottish Opera will precede the RSNO's visit to Tianjin in September/October with a joint visit with the Confucius Institute at the University of Strathclyde.

In the last five years the Orchestra has undertaken three sell-out European tours, the joint first appearance of the RSNO, RSNO Chorus and Junior Chorus at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam and fulfilled an invitation to perform at the 2011 Mendelssohn Festival at the historic Gewandhaus in Leipzig, Germany.

RSNO Chair Dr Brian Lang:

This tour represents a tremendous opportunity to showcase the talents of Scotland's national orchestra. To take 90 musicians and staff across the globe is no small undertaking – it takes a great deal of planning and a significant level of support. I am particularly grateful for the level of assistance the Scottish Government has provided, without which this would not be possible.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop:

Scotland is known worldwide as a place of creative and cultural excellence, and overseas tours showcase Scotland\'s creative talent on a world stage, further enhancing our global reputation. The RSNO's programme of concerts illustrates the increased cultural collaboration between Scotland and China resulting from the Memorandum of Understanding on culture which the First Minister signed in Beijing last year. I am delighted that this Hogmanay season the RSNO will bring the essence of Scotland to concert-goers in China.

Peter Oundjian joins the RSNO as Music Director for the start of the Orchestra's 2012:13 Season with highlights such as Shostakovich Symphony No11; a two-part American Music Festival; Mendelssohn's Elijah with Sir Andrew Davis; complete Má vlast with co-commissioned visuals; Carmina Burana; Season Finale Gala with Nicola Benedetti double bill and Walton\'s Henry V with guest actor.

Further details of the RSNO's 2012:13 China Tour will be announced later in the year.