A Brief History of the RSNO
Written on the Orchestra's 125th Anniversary
In 2016, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra celebrated a proud 125-year history of bringing the best in classical music performances to audiences right across Scotland and beyond.
Since our official founding in 1891, as the Scottish Orchestra, we have worked with some of the world’s most respected conductors and soloists – among them Gustav Holst, Richard Strauss, Artur Rubinstein, Aaron Copland, Luciano Pavarotti and Elmer Bernstein – and we have played a crucial role in shaping the musical life of the nation.
Our early Principal Conductors included such eminent figures as John Barbirolli, George Szell and Walter Susskind, under whose tenure we became a full-time salaried ensemble and changed our name (in 1950) to the Scottish National Orchestra.