RSNO out of concert zone with surprise Glasgow Airport performances
The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) traded the concert hall for airport check-in on Friday 12 August, when forty of Scotland's foremost professional musicians presented a surprise performance to passengers and staff at one of Scotland's busiest airports.
The RSNO, dressed in travel clothes and carrying suitcases to maintain the element of surprise, queued at desks 11 and 12, where they pretended to check-in for a flight to Madrid, before assembling to perform a specially-adapted version of French composer Maurice Ravel's iconic Boléro, famously used as the music to the 1984 Olympic-winning performance by British ice-skaters Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, to passengers and staff at Glasgow Airport check-in. The musicians appeared later at a second surprise location within the airport, Glasgow Airport Foodhall, to perform traditional Scottish eightsome reels to business travellers, tourists and airport staff.
Glasgow Airport is one of the main gateways for air travellers flying to and from Scotland, processing over 700,000 passengers a month during the busy summer peak period. To assist in the direction of the surprise performances the RSNO employed the talents of the National Theatre of Scotland's Director of Learning Simon Sharkey, who has many years' experience of urban events.
The Orchestra was conducted by RSNO Horn John Logan:
The RSNO is Scotland's symphony orchestra and we're very proud of what we do. When opportunities to do something a little bit different arise – something which presents orchestral music to different audiences and to enhance Scotland's reputation as a welcoming destination – we're happy to meet the challenge. Obviously, we take our music-making seriously but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be trying new things, and following today thousands of people, many of which will be new to live orchestral music, will be able to say they've experienced the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, in an airport!
Francois Bourienne, Commercial Director at Glasgow Airport, said:
The RSNO's surprise performance marks the start of our month long Best of Scotland campaign, which, in addition to showcasing the best of what Scotland has to offer, aims to create a bit of theatre in the airport and what better way to do so than to host Scotland's national orchestra. It's the first time Glasgow Airport has been used as a venue by a major orchestra and the RSNO's performance will ensure our passengers take away some very special memories of both Scotland and the airport.
Scotland's national symphony orchestra looks forward to some high-profile performances before it embarks on Stéphane Denève's final season as RSNO Music Director at the end of September. The Orchestra has four performances as part of this year's Edinburgh International Festival, its first appearance at the prestigiousMendelssohn Festival in Leipzig, Germany on Sunday 4 September, and the fifth annual performances at Scotland's most popular tourist attraction, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, on Friday 9 September and Saturday 10 September.