- Scotland’s national orchestra moves to its new premises in the Year of Homecoming
- Peter Oundjian and Thomas Søndergård’s third year as Music Director and Principal Guest Conductor
- A selection of Scottish guest artists and RSNO musicians as soloists
- Major new commission from Sally Beamish featuring Orchestra and Chorus
- Scandinavian celebration – Nielsen and Sibelius anniversaries
- Expansion of Film, Folk and Festive themed programmes
- Classic FM Hall of Fame concert with John Suchet
The 2014:15 orchestral year will be one of momentous change for Scotland’s national orchestra, as the RSNO prepares to move into its new home – currently under construction adjacent to the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall - and will take this opportunity to reinforce its objective as being Scotland’s greatest resource for discovering, learning, engaging and enjoying orchestral music.
The new Season starts in September and presents over sixty performances across ten Scottish venues. In the opening months of the Season, the RSNO will be celebrating Scotland’s Year of Homecoming, with appearances from its own talented soloists and the very best of Scotland’s international guest artists, a major new Scottish commission to commemorate the start of the First World War, and programming with Scottish influences, complementing English, Scandinavian, Russian, European and American repertoire.
Before the new Season commences, the RSNO will be participating in the cultural events linked to the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, details of which will be announced shortly.
The RSNO also looks forward to announcing its programme of events to formally open its new residence, expected to be made following the conclusion of the current orchestral Season.
RSNO Music Director Peter Oundjian:
It is an honour for me to be a part of an organisation which, through the delivery of our new rehearsal and recording facility, will have so many opportunities to fulfil its aspirations of connecting with a growing audience.
For us and our supporters this year will be remembered as the starting point of a new, successful chapter in the history of Scotland’s national orchestra, and I can think of no better way of marking this watershed moment than by performing some of most powerful music in the orchestral repertoire.
RSNO Chief Executive Michael Elliott:
It was during the first Year of Homecoming in 2009 that we made the initial steps towards planning our move to new premises, and now, in the second Year of Homecoming, we are on the cusp of realising that ambition.
The move into our new home will herald the point where Scotland’s national orchestra is poised to build upon its remarkable achievements in recent years, to make another step-change in its contribution to Scotland and its cultural life.
The forthcoming Season holds musical delights for all our different audiences and, combined with our learning and engagement programmes across Scotland; it builds upon our commitment to excellence and extending reach.
2014:15 Season Events
This year the RSNO promotes its own musicians, welcomes returning and new guest artists of outstanding calibre, expands on its popular programming which proved so successful last year, features new works such as a major new commission for Orchestra and Chorus by Scottish composer Sally Beamish, and concludes with Elgar’s masterpiece The Dream of Gerontius.
A statement of intent can be drawn from the programming of the opening two concerts of the Season. Employing the talents of the RSNO’s pool of musicians, Peter Oundjian is joined at the front of the stage in the opening week by the Orchestra’s own Principal Flute Katherine Bryan for the Scottish première of Christopher Rouse’s Flute Concerto, a programme also featuring Wagner’s Overture to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade. The following week Principal Cello Aleksei Kiseliov steps to the fore, to perform Elgar’s Cello Concerto, sharing the evening with Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro Overture and Bruckner’s Symphony No7.
Nicola Benedetti MBE returns for her first performances of Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No1 with the RSNO. Peter Oundjian and the Orchestra open with Respighi’s orchestration of Rachmaninov’s March from Cinq Études-tableaux, concluding with Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No4.
Peter and the Orchestra’s final performances in November include Stravinsky’s The Firebird Suite (1919), Respighi’s Pines of Rome, Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro for Strings and, joined by recent Gramophone Award-winning artist, Scottish pianist Steven Osborne, Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major.
Peter promised further investigation into the works of 20th century American composers, following the success of his previous performances of the repertoire. For the Sir Alexander Gibson Memorial Concert, a state-side selection, including John Adam’s Tromba Lontana, Bernstein’s violin concerto Serenade after Plato’sSymposium with Grammy-nominated soloist Robert McDuffie, Barber’s Symphony No1 and Gershwin’s An American in Paris.
The Music Director returns in May for the final two programmes of the 2014:15 Season. In the penultimate concert, Berlioz’s Le carnaval romain precedes Lalo’s most famous work, for solo violin and orchestra, Symphonie espagnole, with Ray Chen, and Brahms’ Symphony No2. To conclude the Season, Elgar’s proudest achievement, The Dream of Gerontius, with mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly, tenor Toby Spence, bass Alan Opie and the RSNO Chorus.
RSNO Principal Guest Conductor Thomas Søndergård continues to convey his love of rich, complex works, his first concerts of the new Season featuring Richard Strauss’Metamorphosen and Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra. However, for his second set of concerts audiences will have a hitherto unvisited opportunity to hear his interpretation of more familiar concert repertoire; Sibelius’ Symphony No6 and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No6 Pathétique. The twist is Magnus Lindberg’s 2002 Clarinet Concerto, performed by the soloist for this work, Kari Kriikku.
For his final appearance of the 2014:15 Season, Thomas is joined by Canadian violinist James Ehnes for Nielsen’s Violin Concerto, a programme accompanied by Sibelius’ Karelia Suite and Beethoven’s Symphony No3 Eroica.
The Orchestra’s Conductor Laureate Neeme Järvi is fondly known for his world-renowned RSNO recordings of Russian repertoire. This Season he returns to Shostakovich’s Symphony No5, Rimsky-Korsakov’sCapriccio espagnole, and, joined by International Classical Award’s 2012 Artist of the Year Jean-Efflam Bavouzet - who wowed RSNO audiences and critics in 2013 - Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No3.
RSNO Assistant Conductor Jean-Claude Picard made his European début last year with an operatic Valentine’s offering, and this coming February he returns to the podium to conduct a Latin flavoured romantic music selection, with works from De Falla, Chabrier, Rodrigo, Bizet, Morricone and John Barry.
Scottish Conductor Rory Macdonald makes his RSNO début in November for Remembrance Sunday weekend. Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture and Elgar’s Enigma Variations frame works by two Scottish composers. Cecil Coles’ Behind the Lines is a portrait painted by a young composer who died on the Western Front during the First World War, complemented in the programme by a substantial new work for Orchestra and Chorus by Sally Beamish, Equal Voices, a joint commission with the London Symphony Orchestra.
Paul Daniel leads the RSNO for the first concerts of December, in an all-Russian menu of Prokofiev (Russian Overture), Shostakovich (Piano Concerto No2 with RSNO debutante Kirill Gerstein) and Rachmaninov (Symphony No2).
Christoph Altstaedt made his début with the Orchestra in 2012, and caused such a sensation he was immediately invited back. Here he presents an evening of Schumann (Overture, Scherzo and Finale; Symphony No1 Spring) and Lizst (Piano Concerto No2) with Khatia Buniatishvili as soloist.
Haydn’s Symphony No49 La passione and Beethoven’s Symphony No6 Pastoral in the hands of Sir Roger Norrington promises to be a thought-provoking occasion. Lars Vogt features as soloist for Mozart’s Piano Concerto No27.
Finnish maestro John Storgårds makes his first appearances with the RSNO in May, with a triptych of Scandinavian treasures, Sibelius’ Nightride and Sunrise, Nielsen’s Symphony No4 The Inextinguishable, and Grieg’s Piano Concerto with soloist Christian Ihle Hadland.
The Orchestra’s relationship with Sir Andrew Davis is further cemented through his arrival, in May, to lead the musicians, performing works from three of the conductor’s most beloved composers; Delius’ A Song Before Sunrise and Berg’s Seven Early Songs, featuring soprano Erin Wall, precede Mahler’s Symphony No4.
Film, Folk and Festive
Over the last year, the RSNO has devoted more stage-time to popular programmes. Recently, its The Music of John Williams concert in Glasgow, which sold out months in advance, welcomed nearly 2000 new attenders to the Orchestra. This coming year the RSNO will continue to meet the clear appetite for experiencing live, well-known orchestral music.
Folk duo Phil Cunningham and Aly Bain return in November for St Andrew’s Party, which has become a firm favourite with traditional music-loving audiences. Expect guest appearances from big names, a night of jigs and reels, and, as Phil himself describes, “An intimate club night for 2,500 people…”
Hollywood Christmas, featuring the return of Hollywood conductor Richard Kaufman, the RSNO Chorus and Junior Chorus, explores the festive music of the silver screen.
The RSNO Christmas Concerts are now embedded as a traditional marking of the Scottish festive season. Christopher Bell conducts the Orchestra for the occasion, with seasonal fayre and the screening of Raymond Briggs’ classic animation, The Snowman, with Scottish actor Julie Wilson Nimmo as this year’s narrator.
Exponent of historical performance, British conductor Laurence Cummings returns to conduct Handel’s Messiah following last year's performance with Jonathan Cohen which was, for one music critic, the best Messiah they had ever heard.
Classic FM presenter and Beethovian John Suchet joins Peter Oundjian and the RSNO for an evening dedicated to his favourite composer. Egmont Overture and Symphony No5 as well as his Third Piano Concerto, performed by the as yet to be determined winner of the 2014 Scottish International Piano Competition.
The 2013:14 Season’s presentations of film music were very well received and for 2014:15 the Orchestra will extend its offering. The Music of John Williams returns in March with an additional concert in Edinburgh. Richard Kaufman will also return in April to conduct The Golden Age of Film Music, including music from Spartacus, North by Northwest, The Magnificent Seven and Gone With The Wind.
As the official orchestra for Children’s Classic Concerts in the Central Belt, the RSNO performs two programmes in the coming year; Halloween themed The Monsters’ Ball in November and Seasonal family fayre Deck The Halls With Owen and Olly.
Chamber and New Music
Later this year there will be a detailed announcement on the developments of the Chamber Concert series, which will benefit from using the RSNO’s new home as its Glasgow venue for the first time. There will also be the launch of a programme from a new New Music ensemble.
The RSNO is supported by the Scottish Government and local authorities in Scotland.
The RSNO is committed to developing creative, dynamic, long-term partnerships with Scotland's corporate sector. The organisation continues to strengthen its reputation for delivering rewarding programmes for its corporate partners, helping to build profile, serve local communities, reward staff and generate exciting stories.
Scotland’s national orchestra is delighted to welcome Brewin Dolphin as a new partner and headline sponsor of Brewin Dolphin presents Music at the Museum, the RSNO’s annual performance at Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum.
The RSNO's partnership with TOTAL E&P UK Limited is now in its eleventh year, testimony to the mutual benefits derived from the alliance. Since the departure of former RSNO Music Director Stéphane Denève and the conclusion of the TOTAL Denève series, the partnership has evolved to support community projects in the North-East of Scotland, focusing on the RSNO’s Astar CD for new born babies and its associated early years programme for children and families.
The Orchestra's partnership with ScotRail, the RSNO's Official Transport Provider, continues to provide vital transport for RSNO musicians and staff across Scotland, promote sustainable travel to a wide audience, and opens doors for ScotRail staff to experience live classical music with their national orchestra.
The RSNO's successful partnership with The Miller Group enters its fourth year with the development of its pioneering programme of musical activities, working with Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS) and children and families in Rachel House children's hospice in Fife. With the support of The Miller Group we are delighted to announce the expansion of the programme to include Robin House Hospice in Balloch. The partnership was commended in the community category of the Arts & Business Scotland Awards 2013.
The RSNO welcomes the fifth year of the Orchestra's association with La Bonne Auberge, a partnership which supports Children's Classic Concerts.
We are delighted to continue working in partnership with The Courier in Dundee and the P&J in Aberdeen and the North. The Courier is also headline sponsors of Oundjan and Benedetti in Dundee.
The RSNO will also continue its successful relationship with Capital Document Solutions, a partnership now in its sixth year, which presents creative marketing opportunities for both partners.
The RSNO would like to thank all of its sponsors, corporate donors, corporate partners and media partners who make a crucial contribution to the work of the Orchestra: TOTAL E&P UK Limited, Brewin Dolphin, Capital Solutions, The Weir Group, La Bonne Auberge, The Courier, The Miller Group, Cameron House on Loch Lomond, Gallagher Heath, Italian Institute Edinburgh, Prestonfield House Edinburgh, Valvona & Crolla, Glasgow Airport, ScotRail, Loganair, Park’s Motor Group, Douglas Park BMW, Classic FM, BBC Radio 3, First Rule Investment Consultancy Ltd, Smart Graphics, Scots Magazine, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, The Franco-Scottish Business Club, The Scottish Council for Development & Industry.
Subscription booking for the RSNO 2014:15 Seasons in Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow opens on Wednesday 26 March, 2014. Single tickets are on sale from Tuesday 13 May, although RSNO Circle members can priority book from Monday 5 May 2014.
For more information on the RSNO, including how to book tickets, go to www.rsno.org.uk. You can keep up-to-date with the Orchestra’s movements on Twitter (@rsno) and on Facebook.