Young Ambassador Review: Oundjian Conducts Dvořák Seven

Stirling's Young Ambassador, Seona Glen, reviews Oundjian Conducts Dvořák Seven, Sat 12 Oct at Usher Hall, Edinburgh.

www.rsno.org.uk

Solo Cellist Sol Gabetta. Photograph by Marco Borggreve

Firstly, I completely loved the whole concert!  It was quite unlike any I have been to before.  The Britten was a fantastic way to open.  The first few powerful bars had me gripped, and the huge sound was overwhelming.  The piece was well chosen, and I thought it was a great way to introduce any newcomers to orchestral music present to the RSNO, in preparation for the perhaps less accessible cello concerto.  Judging by the applause at the end, the rest of the audience enjoyed this piece as much as I did.  I particularly liked the way Oundjian asked each section to stand, as it allowed people in the stalls to see all the players and their instruments in the more hidden sections towards the back.

I thought the cellist, Sol Gabetta, was phenomenal.  Her enthusiasm and body language brought a lot to the whole performance for me, and in some of the sections where the cello stood on it’s own, she had the audience completely captivated.  I especially enjoyed the way you could see a strong connection between her and both the the first violins and the cellos. It was most certainly worth it to get such a close up view of the outside players and of Gabetta’s playing.  As a violin learner I found it fascinating to watch, and I would encourage any other strings learner to sit in the first few rows, so as to watch how the professionals perform.

I am very much looking forward to seeing another RSNO concert soon, and as I have seen many performances in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, I would be interested to hear how the orchestra sounds in the Usher Hall.

Seona Glen

Seona is part of the RSNO's Young Ambassador scheme, arranged by the Learning and Engagement Department. For more information, visit the RSNO website.

Share your reviews on any of our concerts on Twitter @RSNO

Under 16? Get Free tickets for Under 16. Find out more here.

Young Ambassador's Forum #1: Niamh Mackaveney

Argyll and Bute Young Ambassador, Niamh Mackaveney, describes the first Young Ambassadors Forum and Lugansky Plays The Emperor, Sat 23rd Nov at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

Saturday the 23rd of November saw the first meeting of the RSNO Young Ambassadors at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow. It was so refreshing to meet other young people from all over Scotland who had similar interests and were clearly passionate about the subject at hand.

The idea behind the Young Ambassadors is to try to encourage young people to take an interest in classical music and make it accessible for everyone and in particular our peers. The level of enthusiasm that came from these talented people was overwhelming and made me feel as though we could really make a difference. After a photo-shoot in the main auditorium, which provided a good ice breaker, we were split into groups to discuss youth engagement, how we felt our generation viewed classical music, and how the RSNO specifically could make it more accessible.

At the concert, the RSNO opened with Messiaen's Offrandes Oubliees, a powerful piece which created an almost palpable tension throughout the audience. The string section was particularly spectacular in this piece as it added an unsettling and eerie feel. The impressive presence of Nikolai Lugansky then joined the Orchestra on stage. With an understated brilliance he showed us why he is a world class pianist with a beautiful rendition of Beethoven's Emperor. I sincerely look forward to my year as a Young Ambassador for the RSNO, and hope to attend as many of their brilliant concerts as possible.

Niamh Mackaveney

Niamh is part of the RSNO's Young Ambassador scheme, arranged by the Learning and Engagement Department. For more information, visit the RSNO website.
Share your reviews on any of our concerts on Twitter @RSNO
Under 16? Get Free tickets for Under 16. Find out more here.

Young Ambassadors Forum #1: Natalie Brayshaw

One of the Highland Region's Young Ambassadors, Natalie Brayshaw, describes the first Young Ambassadors Forum and Lugansky Plays The Emperor, Sat 23rd Nov at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

On November 23rd, I travelled to Glasgow to meet with some of the other newly appointed Young Ambassadors for the RSNO. Having never encountered any of these people before (aside from having a nosey on Facebook!) I had no idea what to expect and was pretty nervous to meet them. But after all the introductions had taken place, I was just excited for us to get started.

We started by having our photograph taken in the concert hall itself, while the RSNO rehearsed behind us. I was struck by how odd it was to see them in casual clothes, not in the smart performance outfits I was used to. After several hushed photos, we headed back to the meeting room to come up with our first ideas.

In our groups, we came up with ideas such as making classical music more relatable to young people - for example by using classical music that has been made well known by films. We also discussed making it more accessible, by trying to change the perception of classical music as something only for older generations.

After this, we were given the opportunity to attend ‘Lugansky plays the Emperor’ conducted by Peter Oundjian. The concert opened with the RSNO’s enthralling performance of Messiaen’s ‘Les Offrandes Oubliées’ (which translates as the Forgotten Offerings), before Nikolai Lugansky was welcomed to play Piano Concerto No.5 (The Emperor). The atmosphere in the hall was breathtaking, and it was amazing to enjoy such music surrounded by other young people who all shared the same love for it. The final piece was Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances, an interesting piece in which we heard prominent parts particularly from the brass. This was then followed by a wonderful encore of Brahms.

The music, meeting the other Young Ambassadors, and everything else about the evening was absolutely fantastic, and I can’t wait to meet the others and to continue working with this project.

Natalie Brayshaw

Natalie is part of the RSNO's Young Ambassador scheme, arranged by the Learning and Engagement Department. For more information, visit the RSNO website.

Share your reviews on any of our concerts on Twitter @RSNO

Under 16? Get Free tickets for Under 16. Find out more here.