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Young Scots assume control of Scotland’s national orchestra

Two-day work experience programme for Scottish school pupils at the RSNO

For the first time, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra will be taken over by forty teenagers, for a two-day work experience initiative, where the pupils will plan, promote and present an orchestral concert.
The forty young people, between sixteen and eighteen years old, originate from across Scotland, representing twenty local authorities spanning 220 miles. Many of the young recruits have joined the RSNO’s Young Ambassador programme, which has been designed to develop interest in live orchestral music through school-aged advocates across the country. They will join staff and musicians at the Orchestra’s base in Glasgow and will be assigned to each department of the organisation – from marketing and development to artistic planning, conducting and playing in the Orchestra. A number of the young people will learn practical workshop delivery skills which they’ll then use to lead music workshops with primary aged pupils of Glasgow Gaelic School. The two-day programme will culminate in a performance with the RSNO at the end of the second day, which will be open to family and friends.
RSNO Director of Learning and Engagement Jenn Minchin:

This will be the first time we have opened our doors to an influx of youth in this way, giving them the chance to run one of Scotland’s busiest performing arts organisations. It will provide valuable experience to those seeking to pursue employment in the arts, and is intended to be challenging, stimulating and fun. You never know - we may very well have a future RSNO conductor or Chief Executive among our group.

Last month the RSNO launched its programmes for schools, RSNO Engage for Schools, one of the most comprehensive and far-reaching initiatives of its kind. Headlining the initiative, the RSNO launched a national composition competition, in partnership with the National Trust for Scotland, open to 12- to 18-year-olds across the country. Notes From Scotland invites young composers to write a two-minute work for an instrumental trio, quartet or quintet. The theme for the first year’s Notes From Scotland is inspired by five National Trust locations around the country.
RSNO Engage, announced last year, has led to a five-fold increase in the number of people enjoying music with Scotland’s national orchestra outside of its Season performances. A notable success story is the RSNO’s Young Ambassadors scheme, which invites young people aged sixteen to eighteen to help promote the live orchestral experience in their area. There is now at least one RSNO Young Ambassador for every local authority in Scotland, and the attendance of audience members under twenty-six years old has risen to 15% across Scotland and nearly 20% in Glasgow as a result.
For more information on RSNO Engage, contact the RSNO Engage Team on 0141 225 3574, email: engage@rsno.org.uk, or visit http://www.rsno.org.uk/engage.

Nationwide music programme for schools launched

RSNO Engage for Schools most ambitious Scotland-wide orchestral music initiative to date

From May, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) will provide the most comprehensive orchestra-led music access programme to primary and secondary schools across Scotland. In terms of scale and choice, RSNO Engage for Schools is the first of its kind in the UK, as education establishments can pick and choose the level of music education provision they require from over thirty options.
From May, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) will provide the most comprehensive orchestra-led music access programme to primary and secondary schools across Scotland. In terms of scale and choice, RSNO Engage for Schools is the first of its kind in the UK, as education establishments can pick and choose the level of music education provision they require from over thirty options.
Headlining the new initiative, the RSNO launches a national composition competition, in partnership with the National Trust for Scotland, open to 12- to 18-year-olds across the country. Notes From Scotland invites young composers to write a two-minute work for an instrumental trio, quartet or quintet. The theme for the first year’s Notes From Scotland is inspired by five National Trust locations around the country.
BAFTA, GRAMMY and Ivor Novello award-winning composer Craig Armstrong OBE, famed for his soundtracks to blockbusters such as Moulin Rouge!, Love Actually and The Great Gatsby, welcomed the move:

This is a fantastic idea to engage young people in composition and to bring them together with existing composers and musicians to pass on their knowledge and skills. I’m sure it will be an invaluable experience for all concerned.

RSNO Engage for Schools comprises four distinct sections; RSNO PLAY – performance-based workshops, RSNO CREATE – composition workshops, RSNO LISTEN – exploring musical concepts and appreciation, and RSNO WATCH – educational performances. Among the many available activities and workshops are conducting lessons, improvisation for beginners, samba workshops, instrumental coaching, digital composition sessions, an Instrument Petting Zoo (where children can play with orchestral instruments for the first time), and, from January 2015, a cross-Atlantic collaboration with US orchestras examining the music of American composers.
Last June the RSNO published the first ever careers booklet created by an orchestra, providing information on available courses and further education opportunities as well as case studies and insights into the workings of a modern professional symphony orchestra. The booklet is available from rsno.org.uk/engage. Now the Orchestra will be providing work experience opportunities to fifty young people each year, where pupils will assume control of Scotland’s national orchestra over a two-day period, with a view to planning, producing and performing their own concert at the end of the placement.
RSNO Engage for Schools is devised to be fully integrated into the goals of the national Curriculum for Excellence (CfE), offering increased music education and learning provisions through new concerts for every level of CfE from age 3 to 18 years. It is intended that, in its first year, over fifty thousand young people in Scotland will benefit from engaging with some form of RSNO Engage activity.
RSNO Engage for Schools is part of the RSNO Engage initiative, announced last year, which has led to a five-fold increase in the number of people enjoying music with Scotland’s national orchestra outside of its Season performances. A notable success story is the RSNO’s Young Ambassadors scheme, which invites young people aged 16 to 18 to help promote the live orchestral experience in their area. There is now at least one RSNO Young Ambassador for every local authority in Scotland, and the attendance of audience members under 26 years old has risen to 15% across Scotland and nearly 20% in Glasgow as a result.
RSNO Director of Learning and Engagement Jenn Minchin:

We’re very excited to be unveiling our new programme, RSNO Engage for Schools. Its development is geared towards providing the most valuable experience in terms of musical enjoyment and understanding, and provides a seamless integration with schools curriculum requirements at all levels. What’s more, it is available to every school across the country, and those who choose to engage with Scotland’s national orchestra can do so at the level of their choice. It promises to be the most ambitious learning and engagement drive of any performing arts organisation in the UK, and we are very much looking forward to sharing our love of music with many new enthusiasts.

For more information on RSNO Engage for Schools, contact the RSNO Engage Team on 0141 225 3574, email: engage@rsno.org.uk, or visit rsno.org.uk/engage.

HUP! Scotland’s classical concerts for newborns

RSNO premières playful introduction to orchestral music for 0-24 months in Aberdeen

For the first time, interactive, participative performances for newborns to two-year-olds will be presented by Scotland’s national orchestra, in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, from Monday 24 March.
A trio of musicians and a drama artist will create an enchanting live music experience for the very young and their grownups. The performances are entitled Hup!, one of the most popular first spoken words for babies, when they want picked up. The young audience members will discover two violins, one cello, one raccoon, a very important tree and someone with a story to share. The relaxed thirty-minute performance is followed by the chance for the young audience to stay and play.
Hup!, devised by Hazel Darwin-Edwards & Abigail Sinar and supported by TOTAL E&P UK Limited and Vibrant Aberdeen, is one outcome of Nickum (Doric for little scamp), a partnership project between Starcatchers, an organisation that specialises in performances and creativity for babies, toddlers and young children, and the RSNO. Nickum’s strategy is to provide a range of RSNO-led community activities in the north-east of Scotland for young people and their families.
The performances for the very young are connected to the distribution of the Astar CD, a free orchestral recording for all babies born in Scotland since October 2012, available through Scottish registry offices. The RSNO hopes to roll out the concept to other areas of Scotland over the next eighteen months.
RSNO Director of Learning and Engagement Jenn Minchin:

Our first foray into presenting performances for the youngest of audiences will be especially rewarding, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing the reaction of our small critics over the next week. It’s an important step for the RSNO, as this completes our portfolio of resources and performances for people of all ages, and is a natural progression from the distribution of the Astar CD, which started in October 2012, and, I’m glad to say, will be continued for a further year.

For more information on Hup! or any of the RSNO Engage activities go to www.rsno.org.uk or call 0141 225 3574.

Big ambitions for RSNO’s Big Highland Residency

Scotland’s national orchestra collaborates with communities in the north of Scotland and presents a springtime celebration of music-making, from 31 March to 5 April.

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) will connect with the music-loving communities of Inverness and surrounding area for The Big Residency, a week-long celebration featuring cross-community performances, workshops, interactive sessions, concluding with a full symphonic concert, from Monday 31 March to Saturday 5 April.
Since the launch of the RSNO’s umbrella programme RSNO Engage last year the Orchestra has broadened the scope of its Learning and Engagement remit and is committed to developing longer-term relationships with communities across Scotland. Behind the scenes, RSNO musicians have, since September 2013, been working with young musicians from Inverness-shire, Wick, Thurso, Skye and Aberdeenshire, preparing them for forthcoming performances with Highland Regional Youth Orchestra, Highland Youth String Orchestra and Highland Schools Wind Band. In addition, over the last eight months RSNO players have been in residency in the Highlands offering open masterclasses for wind and string musicians aged 16 to 18.
In association with Eden Court Theatre, Highland Council and supported by the Press and Journal and Highlife Highland, The Big Residency will be showcasing the ongoing work in a series of composition workshops, tailor-made performances for young people, cross-genre performances and a full symphonic concert.
The start of the week features RSNO on the Road, RSNO musicians including RSNO Principal Trombone Dávur Juul Magnussen, will be visiting schools across the area to lead a series of workshops from improvisation.
The critically-acclaimed Teddy Bears’ Picnic, performances for 3-5 year-olds, comes to Inverness for the first time, on Wednesday 2 April at Eden Court Theatre (10.00am and 11.30am). These story-led informal performances encourage participation from young concert attenders and their families. Receiving a five-star review for a similarly themed performance in 2013, the Herald described it as, “…a new concept, with a fresh and seamless presentation.” Wednesday also features performances for early school-years children and their families, Steve and His Seriously Tall Ladder, at the Eden Court Theatre (1.30pm, 4.00pm).
Boys United is a brand new initiative for the north of Scotland. In 2006 Director of the RSNO Junior Chorus Christopher Bell started a vocal ensemble for boys whose voices were changing. Changed Voices helps guide members - boys aged 13-18 - through that process of change. A programme inspired by the success of Changed Voices, Inverness will play host to Boys United, for the benefit of young male singers seeking to develop their ability before their voices change. With Christopher Bell visiting participating schools for preparatory sessions in the preceding weeks, the Empire Theatre at Eden Court will be filled with boys from P6 to S1 on Thursday 3 April, for a day of practical exercises and informal performances.
Christopher Bell, Director, RSNO Junior Chorus:

I''m delighted to be able to come to Inverness and work with the young singers, helping to set them on the path to finding their voices. We have some great songs which will really enthuse our ensemble.

Over the past four months, RSNO musicians have been collaborating with performers from Eden Court Community Dance Company and from Cashback for Creativity, developing a new performance. RSNO Remix will receive its première on Friday 4 April (6.00pm) at the Eden Court Theatre. It will incorporate remixed classical music - in this case Praeludium from Grieg’s Holberg Suite - digital animation and contemporary dance, creating a show that blends reworked music with two alternative but complementary art-forms, revealing ways in which traditional works can be placed in a modern context.
On Friday 4 April the RSNO presents Vaughan Williams’ Fifth, a full symphonic concert at Eden Court Theatre, featuring Vaughan Williams’ serene Fifth Symphony alongside Berlioz’ Helios Overture and Stravinsky’s ballet music Pulcinella, with conductor Jean-Claude Picard, whom the media recently described as “…clearly a man with a strong sense of fluidity, dynamism and style.” Contact the Eden Court Theatre website (www.eden-court.co.uk) or phone the Box Office on 01463 234234.
RSNO Assistant Conductor Jean-Claude Picard:

I was excited when I was offered the chance to conduct the RSNO for a concert as part of the Big Residency week. We have a great programme for you, featuring the Orchestra in all its splendour. I’m very much looking forward to sharing this music, in this excellent venue of yours that is Eden Court.

Musicians and singers from the local area are invited to join the RSNO on Saturday 5 April for RSNO Collaborate, a day of coaching and guidance, culminating in an informal performance at Eden Court, to which friends and family are invited to come and see participants play and sing side-by-side with the RSNO. Workshops are from 10.00am until 5.00pm, with the final performance at 6.00pm. It is recommended that musicians be of Grade 4 standard or above. Singers can be of any ability but some experience is preferred as sheet music will be used for some of the pieces. Repertoire for the day will be a mix of classical, traditional and popular songs and will include: Vivaldi’s Gloria, Scottish traditional songs: Johnnie Cope and Will Ye No Come Back Again, and Sing by Gary Barlow and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Further afield, the members of the RSNO Big Band will be performing in Kingussie, at the Badenoch Centre, on Saturday 5 April, from 1.00pm, providing suitable accompaniment for the RSNO Tea Dance. Also on Saturday, but back in Inverness, the RSNO Baroque Ensemble will be performing Baroque Fireworks, at Inverness Town House at 1.00pm.
RSNO Director of Learning and Engagement Jenn Minchin:

A power of work has already been undertaken over the past ten months, with our musicians becoming an ever-increasing part of the musical community of the Highland region. The Big Residency week serves as an opportunity to showcase our work so far, as we fully intend to continue our relationships with the new connections we have made in the north of Scotland. On behalf of all participants I look forward to welcoming you to our public events from the 31st March.

To find out more about The Big Highland Residency please visit www.rsno.org.uk or contact the RSNO Engage Team on 0141 225 3574; bigresidency@rsno.org.uk.

RSNO Work Experience: Thea Sands

Renfrewshire's Young Ambassador, Thea Sands, describes what work experience with the RSNO means to her.
I’ve always been interested in the arts but only in the past year or so has music really started to form an integral part of my life. I constantly have odd little pieces of music circulating through my thoughts, often causing my brain to take diversions and become completely distracted from the task at hand but I love it! Sometimes it’s hard to ignore and I have to give in to the glory of the music by frantically dancing around to obscure polyphonic melodies, impersonating the violins with my dulcet - often terrifyingly off key - tones or by simply grabbing the nearest pen in site and taking centre stage as a flamboyant conductor with my biro for a baton! I often fall into trances where I become totally transfixed with a piece of music; all other sounds become muted and I can do little else but stare into space trying to comprehend the music in my own little world. I first fell under the spell of classical music when I burst into tears upon hearing the first few bars of Bach’s B minor Mass. I find the power classical/orchestral music holds to evoke emotions and communicate utterly enthralling.
I’m really passionate about helping other young people experience similar feelings with regards to classical music … and all music for that matter! It’s so important for me to help others explore forms of music, even if that means influencing someone to attend one concert resulting in them deciding it’s not for them. It’s essential that they have at least tried it before disregarding the form. With this in mind, the opportunity to become a Young Ambassador for the RSNO seemed absolutely perfect! I get to promote live orchestral music and work within my own community to try to enhance the integration of this musical form into youth culture. My aim is to effectively act as a ‘doorway’ for young people establish a route into classical music and other diverse realms of music.
The ideology behind increasing accessibility for the arts comes quite naturally to me and I find it easy to talk about integration with people similar to my age group and adults. I’m brimming with ideas for projects/schemes and events which may boost this integration. It’s obvious that the perception of classical music really needs to undergo a form of modulation in order to get young people interested. I’m here to instigate change!
One of my major resolutions for 2014 is to simply delve into the world of music and get involved with further Youth Arts strategies. I’m going to continue to follow my love of Classical/orchestral music and see where it takes me and try and introduce it to those who have never experienced it before. I’m determined upon finding that spark that will get young people interested in Classical music.
Thea is part of the RSNO's Young Ambassador scheme, arranged by the Learning and Engagement Department. All views expressed by Young Ambassadors belong to those of the individual and are not representative of the organisation. For more information, visit the RSNO website.
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Young Ambassadors Forum #1: Seona Glen

Stirling's Young Ambassador, Seona Glen, describes the first Young Ambassadors Forum and Lugansky Plays The Emperor, Sat 23rd Nov at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.
On Saturday 23rd November, the new RSNO Young Ambassadors met for the first time, at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. The young people came from all over Scotland, with one member making a six hour round trip to come to the event. The evening kicked off with a photo shoot with the RSNO in rehearsal behind us, which had all of us very excited. Afterwards, we worked in groups to discuss our ideas about how the RSNO and classical music in general might become more accessible to young people. It soon became clear that there was a shared determination amongst us to help more people our age reap the benefits of involvement in classical music.
After having got to know each other, the Young Ambassadors attended the concert which was taking place that evening, Lugansky plays the Emperor. The concert opened with a very moving interpretation of Messiaen’s Les Offrandes Oubliées. Before the performance Peter Oundjian, Music Director of the RSNO gave a the audience a meaningful insight into the piece, which helped me to really listen to the piece at a deeper level than I might have otherwise. Next, the phenomenal Russian pianist Nikolai Lugansky took to the stage, where he performed with the orchestra a stunning rendition of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No5, better known as the Emperor. The great energy shown on stage by all was transferred to the captivated audience. For me the highlight was the piano's first entry in the second movement, which the musicians handled sensitively to create a very special moment in the room.
Lastly in the programme was Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances, of which the RSNO gave yet another first-rate performance. This was followed by enormous applause, but before too many had managed to get their coats on, the orchestra surprised us with an energetic encore of one of Brahms' Hungarian Dances, which ended the concert with a flourish.
I think I speak for all of the Young Ambassadors when I say it was an inspirational evening, and I very much look forward to our next meeting in February.
Seona Glen
Seona is part of the RSNO's Young Ambassador scheme, arranged by the Learning and Engagement Department. For more information, visit the RSNO website.
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Young Ambassador Review: Handel's Messiah

 Fife Young Ambassador, Kelsa McDonald, describes the performance of Handel's Messiah, Thursday, January 2nd, at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
On the 2nd of January I was lucky enough to see Handel’s Messiah performed at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. Unlike the last concert I was at, the RSNO Chorus were present, and there were fewer musicians in the orchestra. There was a harpsichord and a chamber organ, which were particularly interesting for me as I learned about these instruments in school, but have never seen them on stage until now. The oratorio is a term that is taught in music classes but it’s certainly different seeing it performed live than hearing excerpts from it played on a CD player!
Composed by George Frederic Handel in 1741, the famous oratorio features recits and arias, choruses, including the Hallelujah Chorus, and a very brief pastoral symphony. The Messiah was conducted by Jonathan Cohen, who is described as one of “Britain’s finest young musicians”. The arias were performed by four soloists: a Soprano (Lydia Teuscher), a Countertenor (Tim Mead), a Tenor (Benjamin Hulett), and a Bass-Baritone (Neal Davies). As a singer myself, Lydia’s solos and duet with countertenor Tim Mead were particularly enjoyable. I find performing songs from the classical repertoire to be both challenging and rewarding, and watching a professional soprano has inspired me to continue learning these types of songs.
The RSNO Chorus has given me an idea of where I can continue singing as a member of a choir after I leave school. I’ve been a member of Beath’s Junior and Senior Choirs and enjoy singing as part of a group as much as I enjoy singing by myself.
The performance was uplifting and thoroughly enjoyable, and I’m certain that many people left feeling that. It was a wonderful way to start the new year!
Kelsa McDonald
Kelsa is part of the RSNO's Young Ambassador scheme, arranged by the Learning and Engagement Department. For more information, visit the RSNO website.
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Young ambassadors root for live orchestral music

RSNO recruits young people nationwide to promote the live orchestral experience

Sixteen to eighteen year olds across Scotland are being recruited by Scotland’s national orchestra to promote live orchestral music to their peers, as part of a new initiative to increase youth attendance of classical music concerts.
The Royal Scottish National Orchestra announced its ambition to connect with School pupils nationwide earlier this year, when it launched its RSNO Engage programme of performances, workshops and community activities. It has now appointed over twenty Young Ambassadors to its programme, covering nearly every local authority in the country, from Highland to Argyll and Bute.
Young Ambassadors will be able to attend RSNO concerts for free and will get to know the musicians, artistic team and staff. They will be assigned a mentor who will assist with career development and will have input in the Orchestra’s future plans to engage with young people across the country. This will be open to all young people aged sixteen to eighteen with a passion for music, regardless of whether they are learning an instrument.
The Young Ambassadors will be expected to attend RSNO concerts in their area, promote RSNO activities online, create a classical music board in their school or community to highlight opportunities for young people to be involved, and attend five forums across Scotland, to discuss ways in which the RSNO can improve engagement. In return, the Young Ambassadors will receive free tickets for RSNO concerts, career development advice, be assigned a mentor from a department within the RSNO, and will be given the opportunity to influence the RSNO’s strategy.
New RSNO Young Ambassador Susannah Mack, from the Highlands:

I’m delighted to be working with young people across the country to promote classical music, giving me a chance to show off the musical talent in the Highlands at the same time. I’ve already had incredible new experiences (for example interviewing Nicola Benedetti!) and I’m really looking forward to the exciting plans to come.

Seona Glenn, from Stirling:

The world of classical music is so enriching and enjoyable to me that I want shout it from the rooftops! Young Ambassadors allows me to share my great passion for music with others of my age, and encourage them to enjoy its diversity, and engage.

Thea Sands, from Renfrewshire:

I’m excited by the prospect of change and the opportunity I've been given to work amongst people with similar passions. It’s wonderful to use my love of orchestral music to help others explore the form. I hope to aid the integration of this musical form into youth culture for the future.

RSNO Director of Learning and Engagement Jenn Minchin:

We have been surprised and delighted at the response to our appeal for the Young Ambassador scheme. Every participant will be able to contribute to the success of Scotland’s national orchestra with their own unique set of skills and contacts. We look forward to recruiting many more Ambassadors for live orchestral music in the future.

The RSNO is keen to hear from any sixteen to eighteen year olds who might be interested in becoming a Young Ambassador. For more information go to http://www.rsno.org.uk/youth/ambassadors.php

Young Ambassador Review: Christmas Concert

Stirling's Young Ambassador, Seona Glen, reviews the Christmas Concert on Sat, 21 December at Glasgow Concert Hall.
In a complete contrast to the Brahms concert I attended the previous weekend, the RSNO took to the stage with Christopher Bell, Chorus master of the RSNO Junior Chorus, as conductor. Very much in the Christmas spirit, the Orchestra performed a number of Christmas pieces, both classics and new arrangements.
The highlight for me was undoubtedly the Orchestra's enchanting performance of The Snowman by Howard Blake. The work was performed alongside the film shown on the big screen, a guest narrator, and a young boy who sweetly sang Walking in the Air. The audience entered a different world as the piano played the famous opening chords. We were brought through a great variety of music, from the beautiful, well known song as the Snowman and boy flew through the air, to the cheerful Dance of the Snowmen, and finally the magical yet sad reappearance of Walking in the Air on the piano. I left the auditorium, as I imagine many others did, in a trance.
After the interval, the mood changed and things became much livelier. The Orchestra performed many pieces with RSNO Choruses, but none left us feeling more in the Christmas spirit than The Penguin Song, in which Chistopher Bell had every person, adults included, hopping about and looking rather daft, while some trombonists unexpectedly appeared at the front of the stage, dressed as penguins! It was a very warm and entertaining evening, and I can't imagine a single person didn't leave the concert hall feeling lifted.
Seona Glen
Seona is part of the RSNO's Young Ambassador scheme, arranged by the Learning and Engagement Department. For more information, visit the RSNO website.
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Young Ambassador Review: Benedetti and Elschenbroich Play Brahms

Stirling's Young Ambassador, Seona Glen, reviews Benedetti and Elschenbroich Play Brahms, Sat 14 Dec at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
The evening at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall kicked off with a pre-concert talk with a difference. Having enjoyed previous talks, I brought my family along, only to find out that Nicola Benedetti and Leonard Elschenbroich themselves would be speaking about the Brahms Double Concerto for Violin and Cello! William Chandler, Associate Leader of the RSNO, asked the couple questions, and the audience listened intently to an in depth discussion about what the masterpiece means to the musicians, and what they have tried to do with it. Nicola described how to her the piece was mostly two voices in agreement, often finishing each other's phrases, with the occasional 'argument'. Leonard and Nicola both agreed that having played together a great deal, they are both very in tune with each other's playing, which did make the rehearsal process easier, but that in order to really connect on stage, they have had to discuss extensively their ideas about each musical phrase. William proceeded to give insight into the two other works which the RSNO would perform with spirit that night: Ravel's Valses nobles et sentimentales, and Lutoslawski's Concerto for Orchestra.
When it came to the concert, I was really able to understand what the musicians had described, and it made the performances all the more interesting. First, the RSNO began with Ravel. The audience enjoyed some sweet melodies from the wind and strings, while there was no shortage of enthusiasm from the orchestra in the more animated sections, in which the percussion section shone through.
There was more to come, however, when the RSNO was joined by the two virtuoso players, Benedetti and Elschenbroich to perform the Brahms Double Concerto. The rhythmic and decisive opening had me captivated, and the pair played with undeniable passion, which the orchestra mirrored. I was particularly interested in what was said during the pre-concert talk about the two instruments being mostly in agreement, and I especially listened out for that, which brought an extra element of interest to the piece for me. The musicians on stage received a well-deserved applause, and the crowds dispersed for a short interval.
On return, the audience's attention was quickly captured with the very sinister opening of Lutoslawski's Concerto for Orchestra, which gave the percussion and lower strings the chance to shine. The piece was tackled with great energy and made for a powerful performance, which had me and the rest of the audience gripped. We couldn't have asked for a more unforgettable finale.
Seona Glen
Seona is part of the RSNO's Young Ambassador scheme, arranged by the Learning and Engagement Department. For more information, visit the RSNO website.
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