The Royal Scottish National Orchestra appoints Krishna Thiagarajan as Chief Executive

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra appoints Krishna Thiagarajan as Chief Executive

Dr. Thiagarajan will join Scotland’s national orchestra from the beginning of August 2015

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) has appointed Dr. Krishna Thiagarajan as its new Chief Executive.
Dr. Thiagarajan joins the RSNO from the New York City-based Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, where he served as Executive Director since January 2013. Krishna was responsible for increasing audiences including sold-out performances at Carnegie Hall, commissioning new work, touring the Orchestra to Japan, Colombia and throughout Europe, ensuring financial stabilisation and overseeing the orchestra’s first self-produced recording.
Previously Dr. Thiagarajan served as President of Symphony in C, one of three professional training orchestras in the United States, as well as Senior Director of Artistic Operations for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO), based in Rochester, New York state’s third largest city.

Dr. Brian Lang, Chair of the RSNO Board of Directors: “It is my pleasure to announce that, from August, Krishna will join the RSNO as its Chief Executive. His background and expertise will be enormously valuable to one of Scotland’s major cultural assets. Krishna’s experience, both as an administrator and a musician, makes him absolutely the right choice for us, as we prepare to celebrate our 125th anniversary and look forward to transferring to the Orchestra’s new premises. We have set ourselves some ambitious targets and Krishna is the ideal individual to lead the team in delivering on these promises.”

Dr. Krishna Thiagarajan: “I am delighted to accept the post of Chief Executive of an organisation of such musical stature and heritage. The RSNO is well known to me, principally through its prodigious recording legacy which is recognised world-wide. I very much look forward to expanding on the achievements of former Chief Executive Michael Elliott and Music Director Peter Oundjian. The RSNO is strongly positioned to continue its role as an ambassador at the heart of Scotland’s cultural life.”

Cabinet Secretary for Culture Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop: "I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Thiagarajan, an esteemed international musician, academic and business mind, to lead one of Scotland's most treasured cultural organisations. I look forward to hearing about his plans for building on the 125th anniversary of the RSNO and their move to new premises later this year."

Born in Karlsruhe, Germany, Dr. Thiagarajan trained as a pianist and performed throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. He graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music, where he studied with Leonard Hokanson and taught as an associate instructor of piano. He later received his doctorate from the University of Maryland, College Park where he studied with pianists Santiago Rodriguez and André Watts. In 1997, he founded and directed Kammermusikkurs in Dortmund, Germany, a chamber music festival with internationally acclaimed faculty and students.
In October 2015 the RSNO begins celebrations of its 125th anniversary, coinciding with the organisation relocating to a new, purpose-built rehearsal and performance space in the centre of Glasgow. For more information on RSNO concerts and events, visit

Future arts professionals to run Scotland’s national orchestra

Two-day work experience programme for Scottish school pupils at the RSNO
Youth - Young Ambassadors 1 web
For the second year in a row the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) will be taken over by forty-eight teenagers, for a two-day work experience initiative, where the young people will plan, promote and present an orchestral concert.
The forty-eight young people, between sixteen and eighteen years old, originate from across Scotland, representing twenty local authorities spanning over 300 miles. Many of the young recruits have joined the RSNO’s Young Ambassador programme, which has been designed to develop interest in live orchestral music through school-aged advocates across the county. They will join staff and musicians at the Orchestra’s base in Glasgow on Monday 15 and Tuesday 16 June and will be assigned to each department of the organisation – from marketing and development to artistic planning, conducting and playing in the Orchestra.
A number of the young people will learn practical workshop delivery skills which they’ll then use to lead music workshops with primary aged pupils of Glasgow Gaelic School. The two-day programme will culminate in a performance with the RSNO at the end of the second day, which is billed as the farewell concert for the Orchestra’s current home, the Henry Wood Hall, to which family, friends and special guests will be invited.
RSNO Director of Learning and Engagement Jenn Minchin: “We’re delighted to once again open our doors to an influx of youth in this way, giving them the chance to run one of Scotland’s busiest performing arts organisations. It will provide valuable experience to those seeking to pursue employment in the arts, and is intended to be challenging, stimulating and fun. You never know - we may very well have a future RSNO conductor or Chief Executive among our group.”
Last year the RSNO launched its programmes for schools, RSNO Engage for Schools, one of the most comprehensive and far-reaching initiatives of its kind. Headlining the initiative, the RSNO launched a national composition competition, in partnership with the National Trust for Scotland, open to twelve to eighteen year olds across the country. Notes From Scotland invites young composers to write a two-minute work for an instrumental trio, quartet or quintet. The theme for the first year’s Notes From Scotland is inspired by five National Trust locations around the country, and a concert featuring the five finalists and subsequent winner will be held at Perth Concert Hall on Wednesday 17 June.
The RSNO’s Young Ambassadors scheme invites young people aged sixteen to eighteen to help promote the live orchestral experience in their area. With one RSNO Young Ambassador for nearly every local authority in Scotland, their championing of the live orchestral experience has contributed to increased attendance among young people, with numbers of RSNO concert-goers under twenty-six years old rising to 15% across Scotland and nearly 20% in Glasgow.
For more information on RSNO Engage, contact the RSNO Engage Team on 0141 225 3574, email:, or visit

First National Composing Competition final for 12-18 year olds hits Perth

notes from scotland
RSNO’s inaugural Notes From Scotland presents five new works from young composers
Scotland’s national orchestra’s first composition competition, Notes From Scotland, specifically for 12-18 year olds, culminates in world premiere performances of the five finalists’ works, on Wednesday 17 June at Perth Concert Hall. In partnership with the National Trust for Scotland, the first year’s Notes From Scotland invited young composers to write a short work for an instrumental trio, quartet or quintet.
This year’s Notes From Scotland is inspired by five National Trust locations around the country. From the entries five finalists have been selected by an expert panel and their compositions being performed and recorded by members of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) at Perth Concert Hall on Wednesday 17 June 2015. The winner will be announced following the performance and will receive an iPad loaded with music software packages, VIP access to RSNO concerts and a year’s National Trust for Scotland pass.
The five finalists and their submitted works are; Katy Ling: Peter Pan (inspired by JM Barrie's Birthplace); Emma Ritchie: No. 7 Charlotte Square (inspired by The Georgian House); Ryan Corbett: The Battlefields (inspired by Culloden Battlefield); Pui Kei Wong: Elegant Waltz (inspired by Pollok House) and Daniel Scott: Banquet for Harpsichord and Strings (inspired by Pollok House).
BAFTA, GRAMMY and Ivor Novello award-winning composer Craig Armstrong OBE, famed for his soundtracks to blockbusters such as Moulin Rouge!, Love Actually and The Great Gatsby, supports this new initiative: “This is a fantastic idea to engage young people in composition and to bring them together with existing composers and musicians to pass on their knowledge and skills. I’m sure it will be an invaluable experience for all concerned.”
RSNO Director of Learning and Engagement Jenn Adams: “We’ve been overwhelmed with the quality of submissions for this, our first Notes From Scotland competition, and it’s been a very challenging process choosing the five finalists. It’s a pleasure to invite our five young composers to have their works performed by professional musicians and I hope this provides these talented individuals with the inspiration and encouragement to continue their creative endeavours.”
Sandra Morrison, National Trust for Scotland Learning Manager: “This was a great opportunity for our organisation to link with young people in a very creative way.  The properties in our care have inspired art over the centuries and it is heartening to know that the lives and places of the past can stir young musicians in the 21st century to write such emotive pieces.  We hope that working in partnership with RSNO is something we can do again for everyone’s benefit.”
RSNO Notes from Scotland – Competition Final is held at Perth Concert Hall on Wednesday 17 June at 7.30pm. Tickets are £5.00 and available from the Perth Concert Hall box office – 01738 621031 or online at For more information visit