Costa Pilavachi joins the RSNO

Image: Newly-appointed RSNO Board of Directors member Costa Pilavachi

Former Senior Vice-President of Universal Music co-opted to Scotland's national orchestra Board of Directors

Costa Pilavachi, one of the most influential figures in the world of classical music, has joined the Board of Directors of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO).

Costa Pilavachi began his career in the recording industry as Vice-President, Artist and Repertoire of the Dutch-based Philips Classics label, 1989-1997, and went on to serve as Global President of three major classical labels, Philips Classics, Decca Music Group and EMI Classics between 1997 and 2009. In 2010 he was appointed Senior Vice-President, Classical Artist and Repertoire of Universal Music Group, overseeing the artistic direction of the Deutsche Grammophon and Decca labels worldwide. In 2016 he became a consultant to Universal Music's Global Classics division.

Costa Pilavachi brings an international perspective of the field as well as his commensurate experience from an influential and productive career. From his days as a recording industry executive in London to working with orchestras and festivals in the USA, Canada and Europe he has experienced every facet of bringing music to audiences. His arrival enables the RSNO to further increase its international presence.

Newly appointed RSNO Director Costa Pilavachi: I am thrilled at the invitation to join the Board of the RSNO, an orchestra which I have known and admired for many decades, thanks, in part, to its wonderful recorded legacy from the Sir Alexander Gibson era. In recent times the Orchestra has developed into one of Europe's most formidable ensembles and the players and their excellent Music Director Peter Oundjian can take great pride in their accomplishments to date.

"I relish having a role with a great orchestra again and look forward to meeting the musicians and working with them, as well as getting to know Thomas Søndergård, the Music Director-Designate. It takes many dedicated people to keep an orchestra humming and it will be great to work with my fellow Board members led by Dame Susan Bruce, the Chief Executive Krishna Thiagarajan, as well as the staff and the many sponsors and supporters of this venerable Scottish national institution."

RSNO Chair Dame Sue Bruce: "It is my great pleasure to welcome Costa, a significant and symbolic addition to the RSNO's Board of Directors. Costa is a hugely respected global figure in the music business and his understanding of the opportunities and challenges presented by our industry will be of immense value to Scotland's national orchestra. As we continue to develop our presence at home and on the world stage, through international touring, recordings and partnerships, to have Costa's experience at our disposal is a major asset to our already very capable team. This is an exciting moment in the history of the RSNO and our audiences."

The RSNO Board of Directors is comprised of up to eight Elected Directors, six Player Directors, Nominated Directors from chief local authorities, the Chief Executive and Company Secretary.

The RSNO has experienced year-on-year increases in average attendances for its performances over the past five years with a notable increase in the number of people aged 26 or under attending RSNO concerts, now constituting nearly 15% of the average total audience, up nearly 3% over the same period.

2018 promises to be a landmark year for Scotland's national orchestra. In June the RSNO will bid farewell to current Music Director Peter Oundjian and, in October, welcome former Principal Guest Conductor Thomas Søndergård as its new Music Director. Peter Oundjian will embark on his final international tour with the RSNO as Music Director in May, a five-date festival tour of Europe with soloists Nicola Benedetti, Jan Vogler and Martin Stadtfeld. In addition, the founding organisation of the RSNO, the RSNO Chorus, celebrates its 175th anniversary and will be marked with special events, beginning with performances of Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Psalms and MASS, and Holst's The Planets.

CBBC star Millie narrates The Snowman

Image: Millie Innes
Millie Inbetween actor Millie Innes makes her RSNO debut telling Briggs' festive tale
The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) will be joined by star of the CBBC comedy series Millie Inbetween for its annual Christmas Concerts this Season, coming to Perth, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
BAFTA Nominated Millie Innes, who recently celebrated her 17th birthday, rose to fame in 2010 performing alongside fellow Scottish actor David Tennant as his on-screen daughter in BBC One drama Single Father and with Star Trek and Harry Potter star Jason Isaacs in the Edinburgh-based BBC series Case Histories. Since 2014 Millie has starred in her own sitcom series Millie Inbetween which airs on the BBC's children's television channel CBBC.
The RSNO Christmas Concerts (sponsored by the RSNO's Transport Partner ScotRail) features the screening of Raymond Briggs' classic animation The Snowman, which marks its 35th anniversary of its first broadcast on Channel 4 this year. Millie Innes will narrate the story to the film with live symphonic accompaniment, led by conductor Christopher Bell.
The RSNO Christmas Concert is also filled with seasonal favourites, carols and the chance for the audience to join in with the Orchestra and Chorus. The Herald's Music Critic Michael Tumelty gave last year's Christmas Concert five stars out of five and described it as, "...one of the best of such shows I have devoured with delight..."
RSNO Christmas Concert narrator Millie Innes: "I'm so excited to be working with the RSNO and it's a great honour to be involved in this Christmas classic.  The Snowman is a such a lovely story and something we can all enjoy as a family. I also look forward to collaborating with conductor Christopher Bell, who, I'm told, knows how to throw a great Christmas party!"
The RSNO Christmas Concert appears at Perth Concert Hall on Wednesday 20 December (7.30pm), the Caird Hall, Dundee on Thursday 21 December (7.30pm), the Usher Hall, Edinburgh on Friday 22 December (7.30pm) and at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Saturday 23 December (2.00pm & 6.00pm).
The RSNO's Festive Season continues at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall with its new year matinee performance of Handel's Messiah, on Tuesday 2 January 2018 (3.00pm) with the RSNO Chorus, who celebrate their 175th anniversary in 2018. Nicholas Kraemer conducts and is joined by soprano Julia Doyle, countertenor Reginald Mobley, tenor Nicholas Mulroy and baritone Benjamin Bevan.
The RSNO and its Assistant Conductor Holly Mathieson are accompanied by soprano Soraya Mafi for its Viennese Gala, which visits the Buccleuch Centre, Langholm on Friday 5 January (7.30pm), the Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline on Saturday 6 January (7.30pm), the Eden Court Theatre, Inverness (7.30pm) on Wednesday 10 January and the Albert Halls, Stirling on Thursday 11 January (7.30pm).
To book tickets or for more information visit www.rsno.org.uk.