Scottish Orchestra tells China Story

Composer Xiaogang Ye

RSNO performs two programmes featuring works by China's greatest living composer

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) presents two concerts celebrating the works of arguably China's greatest living composer in the Western classical tradition this month, when it performs the music of Xiaogang Ye to audiences in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Heralded by the New York Times as, "One of China's leading contemporary composers..." 61 year-old Xiaogang Ye, who is also Artistic Director of the Beijing Modern Music Festival and Vice President of China's Central Conservatory of Music, is perhaps most famously known for composing the music to accompany the 2008 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, Starry Sky, performed by Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang.

Xiaogang Ye's music has been described as colourful, melodious and deeply emotional. The titles of the works featured in China Story evoke the countryside and the poetic heritage of the country; Mount Emei, Scent of Green Mango, and The Song of Sorrow and Gratification. In the spirit of partnership and connection with nature the programme also includes a work from one of the UK's greatest composers, Britten's Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes.

The Orchestra will be led by frequent RSNO collaborator, Hungarian conductor Gilbert Varga, and will be joined by multiple prize-winning pianist Wan Jieni; Lu Wei, Concertmaster of Deutsches Symphony Orchester Berlin; 2007 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World winner Shenyang; and acclaimed percussionist Hu Shengnan.

 Xiaogang Ye, composer: "My story is part of the Chinese story and now I will bring this story to Scotland. I hope that through music, a universal language, I can show the world the fascinating culture of modern China."

While taking the root form of Western symphonic music, Ye's compositions also contain many typically Chinese influences, such as the use of Zheng, a traditional string instrument.

The RSNO has developed a significant connection with China. In addition to inviting many of its top soloists to perform in Scotland, including Lang Lang, the Orchestra made its first visit to China in 2012/13, has recorded two albums of the works of celebrated composer Ge Gan-Ru, and has also made two recordings with pianist Xiayin Wang. In addition, the RSNO has been invited to make a return visit to China in 2018/19.

The RSNO performs China Story to audiences at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh on Friday 29 September and at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Saturday 30 September. Both performances start at 7.30pm.

For more information on RSNO concerts and events, visit www.rsno.org.uk.

RSNO appoints two senior managers

New Director of Artistic Planning and Engagement Bill Chandler and Director of Finance and Corporate Services Angela Moreland

Scotland's national orchestra welcomes new Directors of Finance and Corporate Services and Artistic Planning

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) has appointed two new members to its Senior Management Team. Associate Leader of the Orchestra Bill Chandler becomes RSNO Director of Artistic Planning and Engagement, and Angela Moreland joins as the new Director of Finance and Corporate Services.

Bill Chandler joined the RSNO in 1996 as Associate Leader but recently shared his performing responsibilities with the artistic direction of the organisation's Learning and Engagement programme. Following a formal recruitment process which resulted in the organisation receiving applications from across the globe for the new role, Bill was selected and will now lead the team responsible for the planning and implementation of the Orchestra's own-promoted performances and Learning and Engagement activities.

Angela Moreland, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, joins as Director of Finance from Scottish charity Sense Scotland, where she has been Head of Finance for the past seven years. Prior to this Angela worked for ten years as the Finance Manager for Erskine Hospital.

RSNO Chief Executive Dr Krishna Thiagarajan: "After over two decades leading and co-leading the RSNO, as well as participating in learning and engagement initiatives too numerous to mention, Bill accepted the offer and will use his considerable knowledge and experience to drive the strategic change of the organisation. More than ever, there is an identified requirement for the removal of divisions between the planning of our performance and community work, and Bill is absolutely the ideal person to drive this forward, unite our planning and deliver greater cohesiveness across our diverse activity.

"We also prepare to welcome Angela Moreland as our new Director of Finance, who has a breadth of experience in the charity and commercial sector and whom I'm confident will become an integral part of our busy team."

Director of Artistic Planning and Engagement Bill Chandler: "I am so excited about this new opportunity. I am looking forward to playing a new role and bring my 22 years of experience with the RSNO to the challenge of mapping out the artistic direction of this great orchestra. I am particularly excited about the  opportunity to bring the considerable outreach activity of the RSNO directly into the heart of the Orchestra's planning, enabling us to reach even more people across the country. Watch this space as the RSNO goes from strength to strength."

RSNO Director of Finance and Corporate Services Angela Moreland: "I'm delighted to have the opportunity to work for such a prestigious organisation. I am sure that my skills and previous experience will add to the success of the RSNO and continue the excellent work of my predecessor."

Bill Chandler's new role combines the positions of Artistic Director of Learning and Engagement - previously held by Bill - and that of Executive Producer, recently vacated by Manus Carey, who left earlier this year following his appointment as Director of Performance at the Royal Northern College of Music. Angela Moreland succeeds Kenneth Osborne, who accepted a senior management role with The Robertson Trust in July.

For more information on RSNO concerts and events, visit www.rsno.org.uk.

ScotRail help Scottish Orchestra network

RSNO Violin Paul Medd and RSNO Viola and presenter of Teddy Bears' Picnic Lisa Rourke

RSNO's transport partner host musicians' performances on Scotland's main railway lines

Musicians from Scotland's national orchestra will take the train to various destinations across Scotland to perform concerts for the very young to the more mature this week and will provide fellow passengers with music along the way.

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra and ScotRail have enjoyed a partnership for nearly a decade, and to say thanks for being its Principal Transport Partner the RSNO musicians will disperse to four locations using the rail network to perform a concert for young children at Kennishead, a traditional dance band performance in Pitlochry featuring music from the 1920s, string duo recitals in Mallaig and Crianlarich, and two on-board performances by RSNO string members on the Edinburgh Waverley to Tweedbank line.

Closest to the RSNO's home in Glasgow, a chamber group and presenter Lisa Rourke will welcome early years and nursery aged children to Kennishead community organisation Positively Including Everyone (PIE), for a presentation of its critically acclaimed Teddy Bears Picnic, an interactive performance tailored especially for young children.

In the east, RSNO string players will entertain passengers on the Borders Railway Line between Edinburgh and Tweedbank, the longest new domestic railway to be built in over 100 years in Scotland.

On Tuesday 6 June and Wednesday 7 June the West Highland Line between Glasgow Queen Street Station and Mallaig will have a string duo performing music with a Nordic influence, collated by RSNO Viola Katherine Wren who spent several months last year travelling around Shetland, The Faroes, Greenland and Iceland, immersing herself in the diverse but connected musical cultures.

The RSNO's Café Orchestra will perform at the Atholl Centre, Pitlochry on Wednesday 7 June from 2.30pm, providing attendees with all the means to dance to the hits of the 1920s and 30s. The musicians will also be entertaining passengers on their way from Glasgow to Pitlochry with a themed selection of music.

James Ledgerwood, the ScotRail Alliance's Head of Economic Development: "We're very fortunate to work alongside so many groups across Scotland that are so passionate, not only about their local railway, but also about the wider difference the railway can make to local communities.

"These concerts show that the benefits these groups bring don't end at the station platform."

RSNO Artistic Director for Learning and Engagement William Chandler: "Our partnership with ScotRail is incredibly valuable to us as it provides us with the means to travel the country performing to audiences in urban and rural settings. We relish the opportunity to try new things so when the opportunity to use the rail network to not only access performance opportunities but to provide platforms for performances themselves we were keen to accept. We're very much looking forward to seeing some new faces on our journeys and spreading the joy of live music".