Daniel wins the ultimate prize - a trolley dash in a toy shop!

8 year-old Daniel Rea as Lord Garmadon

8 year old music fan Daniel Rea is set to experience every child's dream - a trolley dash in a toy shop, picking up prizes of all shapes and sizes. The talented youngster entered the annual Children's Classic Concerts' costume competition, sponsored by A1 Toys, at their Ghost Train concert, performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and the Usher Hall, Edinburgh over the Halloween weekend in 2017.

 

Daniel attended the concert dressed as Lord Garmadon from The LEGO Ninjago Movie. His home-made cardboard creation with hand-painted details seriously wowed the expert panel of judges - Danielle Durieu from the costume department at Scottish Opera and Karen McGrady-Parker, Associate Director at Scottish Youth Theatre. Daniel beat off all the competition from Children's Classic Concerts' audiences in both Glasgow and Edinburgh to win the top prize, much to his delight. Dr Alexis Rea, Daniel's Mum, said on hearing the news, "thank you so much. He will be ecstatic when he finds out. Probably won't sleep tonight!"

 

Children's Classic Concerts' popular presenters Owen Gunnell and Olly Cox will be there to cheer Daniel on, kick-starting proceedings in style with an enthusiastic drum roll.

 

The trolley dash comes amongst a flurry of activity for CCC, beginning with Gypsy Jazz, a brand-new concert featuring award-winning Scottish songstress and fiddler, Seonaid Aitken and her band Rose Room. This interactive introduction to jazz will have families literally dancing in the aisles - it starts off in Govanhill, and tours to Peebles and Banchory.

 

Owen and Olly then visit Additional Support Needs schools in Glasgow and Edinburgh to perform an engaging programme as part of a wider music transition project, supporting pupils as they move from primary to secondary education.

Finally, they take CCC's Tartan Tales concert to the Caird Hall, delighting the Dundee audience with a musical celebration of Scottish story-telling.

 

The trolley dash will take place at 5:30pm on Tuesday 27 February 2018 at A1 Toys store at the Silverburn Shopping Centre, Barrhead Rd, Glasgow G53 6QR

Andrei Ioniță makes RSNO debut in place of indisposed Jan Vogler

Andrei Ioniță

Romanian cellist and BBC New Generation Artist Andrei Ioniță will make his debut with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) this week as a last-minute replacement for RSNO Artist-in-Residence Jan Vogler, who is unwell.

In an unchanged programme, Ioniță will perform Robert Schumann's Cello Concerto with the RSNO to audiences at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh on Friday 9 February and at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Saturday 10 February. The programmes, conducted by Music Director of the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz Karl-Heinz Steffens, also features Britten's An American Overture and Elgar's Symphony No1, which marks its 110th anniversary this year.

Described by The Times as "one of the most exciting cellists to have emerged for a decade", Andrei Ioniţă won First Prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 2015, and prizes at the ARD, Emanuel Feuermann and Aram Khachaturian competitions. In 2016 he was named a BBC New Generation Artist for the period 2016-2018.

Cellist Andrei Ioniţă: "First of all, I would like to wish Jan a speedy recovery. Furthermore, it is an honour and a privilege to be asked to perform with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. I have been preparing the Schumann Cello Concerto, of which I am very fond, for performances with the NFM Wrocław Philharmonic throughout Europe, so the timing is quite fortunate. I very much look forward to playing this wonderful concerto for the audiences in Edinburgh and Glasgow."

Jan Vogler has also withdrawn from the chamber concert Classic Strings on Sunday 11 February at the RSNO Centre, Glasgow, though this will still go ahead with a revised programme.

Elgar One (supported by the Iain and Pamela Sinclair Legacy) appears at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh on Friday 9 February (7.30pm) and the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Saturday 10 February (7.30pm). For more information visit www.rsno.org.uk.

Brief Encounter with live Orchestra

Classic forbidden love story to be screened with live symphonic accompaniment

Next week, the 1945 British romantic drama Brief Encounter, based on a screenplay by Noël Coward and directed by David Lean, will be screened to audiences in Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow complete with a live orchestral score.

Dirk Brossé conducts the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO), joined by British pianist and 1993 winner of the Beethoven Piano Competition, Leon McCawley, who will perform excerpts from Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No2, as used to powerful effect in the original film score.

Brief Encounter is an adaptation of Noël Coward's 1936 one-act play Still Life and centres on a married woman whose life takes a turn following a chance meeting with a stranger at a railway station, with whom she falls in love. The film was acclaimed upon its release and was voted one of the ten greatest movies ever made in two separate 1952 critics' polls. The British Film Institute voted Brief Encounter the second greatest British film of all time, after The Third Man. Director David Lean is the most represented director in the list, with seven films in the BFI Top 100 British films.

RSNO Director of Planning and Engagement Bill Chandler: "For those who have seen it, Rachmaninov's tense, yearning music is inextricably linked with the memorable scenes from Brief Encounter. It has the perfect combination of stunning cinematography and arresting music that has made it one of Britain's most successful films to date. I'm delighted that Leon McCawley has agreed to perform this challenging music, with the added pressure of synchronising with what's on the screen. I defy anyone not to be moved by this presentation, perfect for Valentine's weekend!"

The RSNO has become synonymous with performing film music and live score performances in recent years. Its partnership with the Edinburgh International Film Festival has provided captive audiences with such presentations as Back to the Future, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial and Raiders of the Lost Ark. With conductor Richard Kaufman the Orchestra continues to perform music from the movies, notably the works of John Williams, who recently gave the Orchestra permission to give the first public performances outside the USA of his music to the latest Star Wars film The Last Jedi.

Brief Encounter Live (in partnership with Edinburgh International Film Festival) is at Caird Hall, Dundee on Thursday 15 February (7.30pm), the Usher Hall, Edinburgh on Friday 16 February (7.30pm), the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Saturday 16 February (7.30pm). For more information visit www.rsno.org.uk.

A First for The Last Jedi Soundtrack

 

Scotland's national orchestra  will be first outside the USA to perform new movie music live

 

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) will be one of the first orchestras to perform the music of the latest Star Wars film The Last Jedi live next month, when it celebrates the canon of music associated with the most popular science fiction series of all time, to audiences in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Perth.

Composer John Williams will conduct the world premiere of a new suite of music from The Last Jedi with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra on Wednesday 31 January and the RSNO, with conductor Richard Kaufman, will present the european premiere of music from the latest Star Wars film on Friday 2 February at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh. The programme will also appear twice at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Saturday 3 February and once at Perth Concert Hall on Sunday 4 February.

In addition to the music from the last eight Star Wars films, including one of the first live opportunities to hear themes from the latest movie The Last Jedi, the RSNO will perform selected works from John Williams' score for Superman, which marks its 40th anniversary this year.

John Williams' career spans six decades. He has written music for some of the most popular and recognisable scores in cinematic history, including the Star Wars series, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Superman and Indiana Jones. Williams has received numerous awards, including five Oscars, and has received fifty-one Academy Award nominations, more than any other living person and the second most nominated person of all time, behind to Walt Disney. In 2005 the American Film Institute selected Williams' music for the original Star Wars movie as the greatest American film score of all time.

Richard Kaufman, who was previously a violinist in John Williams' Orchestra and appears on many of the original soundtracks, has been the RSNO's go-to maestro for its film programmes over the past five years and has developed the live film music strand as one of the Orchestra's most popular series of concerts.

Conductor Richard Kaufman: "John Williams is certainly the greatest living film composer and, without question, is also one of history's finest creators of film music.  In the grand tradition of legendary film music composers including Steiner, Waxman, Tiomkin, Herrmann, Newman and only a few others, John Williams' music is consistently the primary reason for a film's success.  Just imagine Star Wars, Jaws, E.T., Indiana Jones, Schindler's List, Harry Potter, and so many other movies without the extraordinary musical contribution of John Williams!

"With now 51 Oscar nominations, the latest for his score to The Last Jedi, and with the unanimous respect and affection of the entire Hollywood community and audiences around the world, John has made a profound and lasting mark on film history.  And most importantly, he has done it all with humility, gracious appreciation, and dignity. When John's music is performed by the ladies and gentlemen of the RSNO, it's not merely a concert...it becomes an exciting musical event to be cherished by all who have the unique opportunity to experience some of Hollywood's most memorable film music played by one of the world's greatest symphony orchestras."

Published by Variety Magazine earlier this month, actor Mark Hamill, who has played the role of hero Luke Skywalker since the first Star Wars film in 1977, recalled hearing John's music for the first time: "Tears were streaming down my face," he says. "I was so overwhelmed, so moved, so delighted. He elevated our modest little movie into an epic. We owe him so much. Aside from George Lucas, nobody deserves more credit for the success of those films than John Williams."

The Music of Star Wars (sponsored by Capital Document Solutions) is at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh on Friday 2 February (7.30pm), the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Saturday 3 February (3.00pm and 7.30pm) and at Perth Concert Hall on Sunday 4 February (7.30pm). For more information visit www.rsno.org.uk/film

Two New Year appointments to the RSNO

New Principal Timpani Paul A Philbert (image ©Eric Richmond) & Associate Principal Bassoon Luis Eisen

Scotland's national orchestra recruit new Principal Timpani and Associate Principal Bassoon

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) has appointed Paul Philbert as its new Principal Timpani and Luis Eisen as Associate Principal Bassoon.

London-born Philbert, who studied at Purcell School and Trinity College of Music, joins from the Orchestra of Opera North where he has been Principal for the past three years. Prior to this he was a founding member of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.

Eisen joins from the Staatsorchester Oldenburg where he has been Principal Bassoon since 2014. He has also performed with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra and many of the professional German ensembles.

Paul Philbert succeeds former RSNO Principal Timpani Martin Gibson who retired after 36 years' service in February 2017, and Luis Eisen replaces former Associate Principal Bassoon Rosina Alter, who departed the RSNO in November 2016.

New RSNO Principal Timpani Paul Philbert: : "I couldn't be more honoured and delighted to be joining such a wonderful and welcoming ensemble. The warmth of the RSNO made me feel at home instantly, and I look forward to many years of magnificent music-making with this marvellous orchestra!"

New Associate Principal Bassoon Luis Eisen: "I'm incredibly happy to join the RSNO - from the first moment I felt a special connection to this very passionate orchestra. I very much enjoyed the performances in my trial period and I am absolutely thrilled to become a member of this prestigious ensemble."

RSNO Music Director Peter Oundjian: "It gives me great pleasure to announce the appointments of Paul and Luis to the RSNO. Their musicianship and personalities make a perfect fit for us and I look forward to working with them. Furthermore, I would like to extend my deep appreciation to Martin and Rosina for each of their many years of dedicated service."

The RSNO has made several key appointments recently, including Leader Sharon Roffman, who joins the Orchestra next month, Andrew McLean as Associate Principal Horn, Peter Dykes as Associate Principal Oboe, Lena Zeliszewska as Associate Principal Violin, Principal Trumpet Christopher Hart and Principal Horn Christopher Gough.

In May, it was announced that Danish conductor Thomas Søndergård is to succeed Peter Oundjian as RSNO Music Director at the close of the current Season. Søndergård has been the RSNO's Principal Guest Conductor since 2012. In June, Elim Chan was appointed as Principal Guest Conductor and will conduct her first concerts in-post in autumn 2018, details of which will be announced in March.

For more information visit www.rsno.org.uk.

Costa Pilavachi joins the RSNO

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

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.

Award-winning vocalists join Phil and Aly for St Andrew's Party

Josie Duncan and Emily Smith

Scots Singer of the Year award winner Emily Smith and BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winner Josie Duncan join Phil Cunningham and Aly Bain for RSNO performance on Saturday

Scottish traditional music icons Phil Cunningham and Aly Bain invite friends including multiple award-winning singer Emily Smith and 2017 winner of BBC Radio 2's Young Folk Award Josie Duncan to join them onstage for the Royal Scottish National Orchestra's (RSNO) St Andrew's Party, on Saturday 25 November at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

This year's St Andrew's Party (sponsored by Capital Document Solutions) will feature songs including Mauchline Belles, Irish Beauty, Kid on the Mountain, Sophie's Lullaby, Flatwater Fran and Cathcart. Josie Duncan will perform We Will be Free from Phil Cunningham's Highlands and Islands Suite and The Midlothian Miners' Song. Emily Smith's set includes Robert Burns' songs Silver Tassie, Ae Fond Kiss and Adoon Windin Nith.

Phil and Aly have been performing together for over thirty years and have been marking the week of the feast of Scotland's national saint in concert with the RSNO since 2001. This year, conductor and arranger John Logan, also Head of Brass at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, marks his tenth year leading the RSNO for the celebrations, sharing the anniversary with guitarist and singer Jenn Butterworth, who has accompanied Phil, Aly and the RSNO since 2007.

Traditional musician Phil Cunningham MBE: "It's that time of year again and Aly and I are very excited to take to the stage with the RSNO for another St Andrew's party. As usual, we are delighted to welcome our guest singers for the night. This year we welcome back the wonderful vocal talents of Emily Smith and for the first time, BBC Radio 2 folk award winner, Josie Duncan. We'll also be joined again by a selection of students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and of course the one and only Jenn Butterworth on guitar. We're really looking forward to a great night of music and fun."

2017 BBC Radio 2's Young Folk Award winner Josie Duncan: "I can't think of a better way to spend St Andrew's night than to celebrate Scottish music with such wonderful musicians. I'm really looking forward to revisiting Phil Cunningham's Highlands and Islands Suite after being lucky enough to perform it at last year's Celtic Connections, on the same lovely stage. I'm also humbled and excited to be performing music from my project which pairs coal mining songs with brass accompaniment."

Scots Singer of the Year award winner Emily Smith: "I'm delighted to be part of this year's RSNO St Andrews party with Aly & Phil. It's sure to be a memorable evening and an honour to sing with the RSNO. I've known Phil and Aly for many years now.  It's always a treat to work with such fantastic musicians and entertainers."

For tickets to A St Andrew's Party on Saturday 25 November at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall contact the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall Box Office on 0141 353 8000 or visit www.rsno.org.uk.

New members for RSNO Board of Directors

Clockwise from top right: Hugh Bruce-Watt; Neil McLennan; Jane Wood; Gurjit Singh Lalli

Four new members have been appointed to the Royal Scottish National Orchestra's (RSNO) Board of Directors.

Jane Wood, Gurjit Singh Lalli, Neil McLennan and Hugh Bruce-Watt were co-opted to the RSNO Board of Directors at the organisation's meeting last month. Through securing leaders in their respective fields, the RSNO will strengthen its understanding of and capability in the education and learning, corporate and technology sectors.

RSNO Chair Dame Sue Bruce: "On behalf of the RSNO I would like to welcome Gurjit, Jane, Hugh and Neil to the board. The breadth and depth of their collective knowledge and experience in the business, learning and legal sectors will add tremendous strength to an already highly skilled pool of board members. This comes at a time when the RSNO expands its work on multiple fronts, including its nationwide learning and engagement initiatives, high-profile recording and international touring.

"We thank departing directors Andrew Cornall, Eric Young and Chris van der Kuyl for their tireless dedication to the success of one of Scotland's greatest arts organisations. They leave knowing that Scotland's national orchestra and associated bodies are in fine shape and well positioned to succeed in the 21st century."

Gurjit Singh Lalli Gurjit Singh Lalli is the founder and curator of TEDxGlasgow. TED is an education platform which was founded in Silicon Valley in 1984 and is now licensed globally to promote innovation and entrepreneurialism in technology, entertainment and design. TEDxGlasgow has an audience of over 9 million viewers for its talks online and works in partnership with the Scottish Government, Standard Life Aberdeen, the BBC and JP Morgan, amongst others.

Jane Wood is currently the UK Executive Director for Membership, Nations and Income Generation for Business in the Community UK (BITC). Through this role, Jane is a key advisor to HRH Prince Charles in BITC, his Responsible Business Charity. Jane brings experience of retail, marketing and governance and significant experience in development and income generation.

Hugh Bruce-Watt is a commercial lawyer with over 30 years' experience in private practice working in Edinburgh, Glasgow and London. He has an MA in English Literature from Cambridge University and an LLB from Edinburgh University. Hugh is an articulate professional with a long career in providing complex professional services to a wide variety of commercial entities in both the public and private sectors.

Neil McLennan has held several key roles in supporting change and improvement in education. After a teaching career in the central belt he was seconded to Learning & Teaching Scotland (now Education Scotland) as a National Development Officer. After two successful secondments implementing national policy, he moved to the North East as Quality Improvement Officer (Education, Culture and Sport) for Aberdeen City Council where he also undertook a period as Acting Service Manager (Schools & Curriculum). In 2011 The Herald described Neil as, "a charismatic visionary in Scottish education."

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, Company Secretary and members of the RSNO Council.

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. 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.

Remembrance-themed work receives World Premiere

Daniel Kidane

UK composer Daniel Kidane's Zulu receives its first performances as part of the RSNO's Remembrance Week concerts, in partnership with Poppyscotland

British composer Daniel Kidane will have his latest work premiered by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) in Edinburgh and Glasgow, as part of a programme to mark Remembrance Week.

Zulu, by Guildhall School of Music and Drama doctoral student Daniel Kidane has been chosen to receive its first public performances, at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh on Friday 10 November and the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Saturday 11 November. Both concerts are presented in partnership with Scottish charity Poppyscotland, who will be holding collections following each concert.

Named after the Bantu ethnic group of Southern Africa, Zulu evokes the fighting spirit of the Zulu people. Clannish regiments, known as Impi, marked their bravery and militaristic prowess in battles with invaders such as the Boer Commando and the British Empire. The nature of the piece, characterised by ever-present percussion and an unwavering drive, reflects the essence of the Zulu people.

Daniel Kidane was one of five participants of the RSNO's emerging composer nurturing initiative RSNO Composers' Hub, a rare opportunity to develop meaningful collaboration with a professional symphony orchestra over a sustained period.

RSNO Composers' Hub participant Daniel Kidane: "I'm very much looking forward to further collaborating with the RSNO and hearing my piece Zulu come to life in the 2017:18 Season. It was an absolute pleasure to work with the energetic RSNO, who did a grand job of work-shopping five excitingly unique new pieces. Such opportunities are vital for younger composers and I'm glad that the RSNO are in their second year of this wonderful scheme."

The concerts, conducted by guest conductor José Luis Gomez, making his RSNO debut in place of an indisposed Cristian Măcelaru, also present Rachmaninov's Vocalise and Piano Concerto No3 (performed by the winner of the 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Yekwon Sunwoo) and, in the 100th anniversary of its subject matter, the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, Shostakovich's Symphony No12.

The RSNO is supporting new music with the performances of newly-commissioned and co-commissioned works including Gavin Higgins' Velocity, which opened the current Season, Sally Beamish's Whitescape, Oliver Searle's Sauchiehall, Benjamin Rimmer's Pathway and a new Concerto for Tuba and Orchestra by Jennifer Higdon. The Season will also feature performances of other contemporary works written in recent years. For more information on RSNO concerts and events, visit www.rsno.org.uk.