RSNO Composers’ Hub participants for 2016:17


Scotland’s national orchestra welcomes five emerging composers to second nurturing initiative

Five emerging UK composers have been selected to benefit from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s RSNO Composers’ Hub, the second annual initiative to develop the talents of individuals in the early stages of their careers.

Ailie Robertson, Robert Allan, Benjamin Graves, Philip Ashworth and Daniel Kidane have been selected as the second participants of the scheme and will be given the opportunity to write for the orchestra in a range of different contexts, develop skills and creative relationships, as well as acquire an understanding of the business of a professional performing arts organisation.

The five composers will spend the 2016:17 Season with the RSNO and during their term each composer will write a ten-minute work for full symphony orchestra, with Scottish composer Stuart MacRae on hand to mentor throughout.  The scheme will culminate in a public workshop in the RSNO Centre’s New Auditorium in Glasgow in April 2017, conducted by RSNO Assistant Conductor Holly Mathieson and led by internationally-renowned composer Julian Anderson, from which one work will be chosen to be performed by the RSNO as part of its 2017:18 Season. In January 2017, and in partnership with Celtic Connections, the participants will also attend a composition workshop, each write a three-minute work using a traditional folk tune, provided by Celtic Connections, as inspiration.

RSNO Composers’ Hub is also an opportunity to develop a meaningful collaboration with the RSNO and the other hub members over a sustained period and to get to know the Orchestra, staff and its audience, receiving guidance from different artistic and business areas.

RSNO Executive Producer Manus Carey: “With the inaugural year of Composers’ Hub proving such a success it is with great pleasure that we announce the continuation of the scheme, and welcome our second group of composers; Ailie, Robert, Benjamin, Philip and Daniel, who will work with us across the 2016:17 Season. Our participants have been chosen from a very strong field of applicants and with the additional support of established professional composers Stuart MacRae and Julian Anderson, this Season promises to yield significant results.

Lillie Harris, who was one of the first participants of Composers’ Hub and who received the opportunity to have her work performed at the RSNO’s 2015:16 Season finale: "It has been a real honour to have been part of Composers’ Hub - the people and performers of the RSNO have all been incredibly welcoming and generous. The amount of practical workshop time the RSNO gave all five of us feels unprecedented, and I know I have grown so much as a composer this year as a result.

“As a young composer, to be offered the chance to write such a substantial piece for a large orchestra, and not only hear it played, but to participate in a workshop with some of the best orchestral players around, giving us practical and useful feedback in real time, was utterly invaluable. I am so grateful for the time and attention all five of us were given by the players, Jean-Claude Picard, Brett Dean, Stuart MacRae, and all the team at RSNO throughout our time with them. It’s fantastic to learn that Composers’ Hub will run again next year, as such a positive and beneficial scheme for composers deserves to continue, training fresh talent."

To apply for RSNO Composers’ Hub, applicants were invited to submit a CV, one-page letter explaining why the scheme would be suitable, and two examples of own compositions (preferably at least one for full orchestra), with scores and sound samples.

This month the RSNO began its second season 125th anniversary celebrations and continues its commitment to supporting new music with the performances of newly-commissioned and co-commissioned works including those by former Composers' Hub composer Jay Capperauld, as well as newly written works by Oliver Searle, Sally Beamish, Martin Suckling and Gerald Barry. The Season will also feature performances of other contemporary works written in recent years. For more information on RSNO concerts and events, visit

Children’s Concerts celebrate the imagination of Roald Dahl


Children’s Classic Concerts and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra present a gloriumptous celebration of the cherished author’s epic imagination

“We are the music makers… we are the dreamers of dreams.”

Roald Dahl

Saturday 29th October 2016, 3.00pm, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Sunday 30th October 2016, 3.00pm, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

Mischief makers Owen and Olly have teamed up with their filthsome friends from the RSNO for a hornswoggling Halloween concert that will fill you with marvellous, musical medicine. This phizz-whizzing adventure will take a tour through the beasts of music and story, featuring a live staging of the Revolting Rhymes’ The Three Little Pigs (returning after sell-out shows earlier this year), some home-grown mythical monsters, and a performance from the RSNO Junior Chorus that will take you on a journey of pure imagination….

The concerts will see Holly Mathieson make her RSNO (and costume!) debut, since her appointment as its new Assistant Conductor this summer. Part of the international celebrations for Dahl’s centenary, the Orchestra will be joined by a host of his iconic characters, test the instrumental properties of the haggis, and serve a cake big enough even for the BFG!

Children’s Classic Concerts Artistic Director/Presenter Oliver Cox:

“It’s such a pleasure to present a concert based around the stories of Roald Dahl. He was absolutely my favourite author as a kid, and I’m particularly excited to be narrating The Three Little Pigs again. Not only is it a great composition, but it really brings one of Dahl’s quirky, twisty takes on an old favourite to life!

We’re also looking forward to working with Holly Mathieson for the first time, the RSNO’s new Assistant Conductor. She will be the first female conductor we have worked with here at CCC - so that’s obviously fantastic! We have had a brilliant relationship with each of Holly’s predecessors, and are excited to have her take up the baton.”

RSNO Assistant Conductor Holly Mathieson:
I'm delighted my first outing with the Orchestra will be such a fun programme, in a room full of young people, and I can't wait to meet Owen and Olly - such wonderful local identities and ambassadors for music education.

These are some of the most fun programmes I get to do, and I've already asked if I'm allowed to wear a costume!

Children’s Classic Concerts Artistic Director/Presenter Owen Gunnell:

“We’ve got a great game of musical statues planned to the Waltz from Masquerade by Khachaturian, which will have everyone up on the feet and dancing.  I’m excited about the wide range of music that our programme with the fantastic RSNO includes: from the perfectly spooky Night on a Bald Mountain by Mussorgsky to musical representations of The Porcupine from Roald Dahl’s Dirty Beasts and our very own Tartan Terrors.  A fun and accessible intro to the orchestra for children - both young and old!”

“Life is more fun if you play games…”

Roald Dahl

One member of our audience will find themselves with a very special Golden Ticket this Halloween - admitting them to an all-they-can-grab trolley dash around the treasure trove that is the A1 Toy Store. Come dressed as your favourite Dahl character, or concoct your own frightsome fiend – the most creative creature will be crowned our winner!

A perfect introduction to classical music for children aged 4 to 12 and their families, our concerts encourage active audience participation and sing-a-longs, with presenters Owen & Olly educating through performance, in a fun and informal atmosphere.

Children’s Classic Concerts’ Owen & Olly’s Beastly Bash will appear at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Saturday 29 October, 3.00pm and the Usher Hall, Edinburgh on Sunday 30 October, 3.00pm. Tickets are priced from £6 and are available to buy from Glasgow Royal Concert Hall box office (0141 353 8000) or Usher Hall box office (0131 228 1155).

Get Yer Phones Out!


Open Rehearsal with Benedetti and the RSNO

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO), Music Director Peter Oundjian and soloist Nicola Benedetti invite you to join them for the final rehearsal of the RSNO’s opening concert of the 2016:17 Season, at the RSNO Centre, on Thursday 6 October, from 1.30pm until 2.30pm.

Date: Thursday 6 October, 2016
Time: 1.30pm to 2.30pm (please arrive 10mins early. Door will be closed at 1.30pm)
Venue: New Auditorium, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
(enter via main door to GRCH on Killermont Street)

To celebrate the Orchestra’s 125th anniversary we would like supporters of the Orchestra and Nicola who engage with social media to attend the final rehearsal and help share the experience, Nicola Benedetti and the RSNO rehearsing one of the finest works in the repertoire, Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto.

Attendees will be actively encouraged to participate in social media activity during the rehearsal, using the method of your choice. Our only request is that, wherever possible, attendees tag the RSNO on Facebook, Twitter (@rsno, @NickyBenedetti ) and use the hashtag #RSNO125

To join us register your interest by contacting us on Facebook, Twitter (@rsno), or email and provide us with your name. On the day simply check in at the welcome desk, located at the north entrance to the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. Numbers are limited so please book early to ensure your place.

We look forward to welcoming you!