New Music ensemble focus on emerging composers

composersComposers’ Hub members programme first Alchemy concert in Glasgow’s newest concert venue

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s contemporary music ensemble, RSNO Alchemy, reconvene this Saturday to perform new works written by participants of the Orchestra’s latest forum for compositional development, the RSNO Composers’ Hub.

RSNO Alchemy’s Blow, Blow Thou Winter Wind will appear at the New Auditorium at The RSNO Centre on Saturday 16 January, 7.30pm and will give the première performances of five new works: Jay Capperauld’s The Enchantment of Vulnerability in Superficial Charm; Peter Longworth’s Winter Gusts; Lillie Harris’ Red; Blasted Echoes by Cameron Graham, and snowflake; pinprick by Desmond Clark. The five RSNO Composers’ Hub members have, in addition, each contributed a one-page score, to be used as a framework for a semi-improvised piece entitled Blow, Blow Thy Winter Wind, the title taking reference from Shakespeare’s pastoral comedy As You Like It. The evening concludes with RSNO Alchemy Director Peter Wiegold’s interpretation of Henry Purcell’s aria Cold Genius, from the 1691 opera King Arthur.

Aimed at composers in the early stages of their career, RSNO Composers’ Hub is an opportunity for a group of composers to write for orchestra in a range of different contexts, develop skills and creative relationships, as well as acquire an understanding of the business of a major arts organisation.

RSNO Alchemy’s mission since its birth in 2014 was to work with contemporary composers, exploring established repertoire, newly-commissioned works and collaborating with musicians from other musical genres. A principal goal of the ensemble, established by the RSNO and Peter Wiegold in 2014, is to meld structured performance with elements of improvisation, a departure for many orchestral musicians, expanding the responsibilities of participants and blurring the boundaries between conductor, performer and composer.

Alchemy Director Peter Wiegold: “I‘m very much looking forward to being back with the fine musicians of Alchemy. We’ve found a lovely way of combining scores with improvisation, and this time we have the added challenge and stimulus of the brand new music of the five RSNO Composers Hub members. I can’t wait!”

One of the RSNO Composers’ Hub mentors, award-winning composer Stuart MacRae: “There are very few opportunities for emerging composers to get the help they need in developing their approach to working with an orchestra; so the Composers’ Hub is a welcome move by the RSNO and I very much look forward to working with the first composers to join the Hub. I‘d encourage RSNO audiences to take full advantage of this new strand and lend their support to these very talented musicians.”

The RSNO Composers' Hub is supported by PRS for Music Foundation.

RSNO Alchemy with Director Peter Wiegold will appear at the New Auditorium at the RSNO Centre, Glasgow, on Saturday 16 January 2016, 7.30pm.

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