Film Soundtrack label celebrates 40th anniversary

Record label that brought the stars to Scotland marks special birthday with gala concerts


A US-based recording label specialising in movie soundtracks celebrates 40 years in the business with two gala concerts in association with Scotland’s national orchestra, one of the label’s principal recording orchestras.


The Varèse Sarabande 40th Anniversary Concerts feature producer Robert Townson as presenter, conductor Diego Navarro and famous composers including Uddingston-born Patrick Doyle (Henry V, Sense and Sensibility, Gosford Park, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), Rachel Portman (Emma, The Cider House Rules, Chocolat) and David Arnold (The World is Not Enough, Die Another Day, Quantum of Solace) – as they review some of the label’s highlights. With tributes to Jerry Goldsmith, Elmer Bernstein and Alex North (Spartacus), plus blockbuster television themes (Game of Thrones) and movies (Back to the Future, The Matrix, The Abyss, The Iron Giant, Terminator 2, The Last of The Mohicans and Stargate), the anniversary event also features solo flute Sara Andon – who has recorded works from many of the composers featured in this concert, and the RSNO Chorus.


Founded in 1978, Varèse Sarabande is the most prolific producer of film music in the world, releasing the highest quality soundtracks from the world’s greatest composers. From current box office hits and top television series to the classics of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Varèse Sarabande’s catalogue includes albums from practically every composer in every era, covering all of film history; from Bernard Herrmann, Alex North and Jerry Goldsmith to Alexandre Desplat, Michael Giacchino, Justin Hurwitz and Brian Tyler.


The Royal Scottish National Orchestra made forty recordings with the Varèse Sarabande label, including award-winning soundtracks such as Elmer Bernstein’s music for The Great Escape, The Magnificent Seven and To Kill a Mockingbird, Jerry Goldsmith’s Alien, Star Trek and Patton, Bernard Herrmann’s Psycho, Vertigo and Citizen Kane, plus many more.


Over their joint history, the RSNO and Varese Sarabande have brought many of the celebrated composers to Scotland to record their catalogue for commercial release. Hollywood composers Elmer Bernstein and Jerry Goldsmith also presented concerts in Scotland with the RSNO in the 1990s and 2000s, the former celebrating his 80th birthday on the podium with the Scottish orchestra in 2002. Goldsmith celebrated his 70th birthday  with concerts here in 1999.


Presenter of the gala concerts, Varèse Sarabande producer Robert Townson: "I could not be more excited about this historic reunion between Varèse Sarabande and the RSNO. Varèse Sarabande's 40-year history of releasing great film music, and our legendary 40 album series of recordings with the RSNO will all come to life in this gala concert.


“When I came to Glasgow back in the 1990s, we weren't just celebrating Hollywood history, I genuinely brought Hollywood to Glasgow. Jerry Goldsmith was here! Elmer Bernstein was here! This concert will be overflowing with great music and happy memories from a special collaboration that is now mythic. We'll also have some amazing special guests and beautiful tributes. There has never been a film music concert like this before!"


The Varèse Sarabande 40th Anniversary Concert will appear at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh on Friday 16 November and at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Saturday 17 November. For more information on RSNO concerts and events, visit