RSNO Launches 2024:25 Concert Season - Royal Scottish National Orchestra
RSNO Launches 2024:25 Concert Season

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RSNO Launches 2024:25 Concert Season Posted Tue 26 March 2024

RSNO Launches 2024:25 Concert Season
  • Music Director Thomas Søndergård celebrates seventh year in post with return to Mahler cycle  
  • RSNO announces Patrick Hahn as Principal Guest Conductor 
  • Violinist Randall Goosby returns in 2024:25 as Artist in Residence with three concerts 
  • RSNO celebrates three-year partnership with Dunedin Consort with world premiere of new commission 
  • RSNO performs two concerts as part of Nordic Music Days Festival 
  • RSNO at the Movies series includes Star Wars: A New Hope, Top Gun: Maverick and Home Alone live to picture 
  • New music celebrated with Scottish premieres by Anna Clyne, Helen Grime, Elena Langer and Jonathan Dove 
  • Stars of the new generation – Ethan Loch, Jonathan Mamora and Sunyoung Seo – make debut performances 
  • RSNO showcases the talents of young musicians from Sistema Scotland, Douglas Academy and St Mary’s Music School 
  • Digital concerts made free to view on demand on RSNO YouTube in Watch again Wednesdays series 
  • Still Game’s Sanjeev Kohli to present RSNO’s annual Christmas Concert tour featuring The Snowman 
  • RSNO Chamber series returns mixing popular favourites with rarely-heard gems 

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) launches its 2024:25 Concert Season under the baton of Music Director Thomas Søndergård, announcing its new Principal Guest Conductor and celebrating its rich choral history.  

The 2024:25 Concert Season brings a host of new artists to the RSNO stage as it celebrates new works alongside giants of the orchestral canon, up-and-coming and established soloists and its partnerships with other orchestral ensembles and community groups. The programme is furnished by a suite of illustrations from Scottish illustrator Katie Smith, raising the familiar faces and iconic venues of the RSNO to its forefront. 

Thomas Søndergård, RSNO Music Director’s Seventh Season 

Music Director Thomas Søndergård follows on from two successful European Tours during the 2023:24 Concert Season with a return to his Mahler Cycle, performing Mahler’s Second and Ninth Symphonies. In his seventh Season in post, he performs with the singers of the RSNO Chorus and later with sought-after soloists like violinists Randall Goosby and Isabelle Faust and cellist Daniel Müller-Schott. Opening with Mahler’s Second Symphony, later conducting Wagner’s Ring Symphony and closing the Season with a Shostakovich Spectacular, the RSNO’s Music Director seeks to get everything out of the Orchestra in these powerful works. Showing his variety, Søndergård also leads the RSNO through a suite from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and assists pianists Elisabeth Leonskaja and Ethan Loch as they perform Beethoven Concertos Nos 5 and 1 alongside pieces by Chevalier de Saint-George and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.  

Patrick Hahn, RSNO Principal Guest Conductor 

The RSNO Artistic Team also includes a new face with the appointment of Patrick Hahn to the position of Principal Guest Conductor. After stepping in last-minute to cover for an indisposed conductor in 2022, Hahn impressed Orchestra and audiences alike with his burgeoning skill. He brings experience as General Music Director of Sinfonieorchester und Oper Wuppertal and Principal Guest Conductor of Münchner Rundfunkorchester of the Bayerischer Rundfunk and an impressive history of guest performances with ensembles including the London Symphony Orchestra, Tonhalle Orchester Zürich and Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, and is widely regarded as one of the most promising artists of his time. In his first year in post, he performs Dvořák’s Symphony No9 From the New World and Mozart’s Requiem with the RSNO Chorus. 

Alistair Mackie, RSNO Chief Executive said:  

“The RSNO continues to go from strength-to-strength with our 2024:25 Concert Season and I’m proud to share this new programme of performances with audiences at last. With these concerts, we want to raise up new talents and the works of living composers and celebrate them alongside the pieces that many know and love. As ever, it’s a joy to be able to welcome a new suite of artists to join us, both from Scotland and further afar.  

I’m particularly pleased to welcome Patrick Hahn to the role of Principal Guest Conductor; a role that has seen significant talent in previous years and which I have no doubt Patrick will deliver also. Following his first performance with us in 2022, I was inundated with requests from our musicians to invite him back and the Orchestra have continually been invigorated by their rehearsals and sessions with Patrick. I’m excited to see what he brings to his first Concert Season in post. 

This new Concert Season continues to support our engagement work both on and off the stage. We are joined by members of our community, youth and main RSNO Chorus in several concerts, notably together for the Scottish premiere of Jonathan Dove’s Uprising which is a brilliant opportunity to show off their skill. The Orchestra will also perform a new work by Neil T Smith with Dunedin Consort commissioned to celebrate the third year of our partnership. We’ll also be going out into our communities, performing matinee concerts as part of our ‘RSNO Comes to Play’ series as well as spending three days of musical fun in the summer at the iconic Pyramid at Anderston.  

I look forward to welcoming our audiences back to events, workshops and concerts across the country over the coming year.” 

Thomas Søndergård, RSNO Music Director said:  

“I’m thrilled to return to the stage with the RSNO for my seventh Concert Season as Music Director. The new programme showcases the breadth of ambition of this Orchestra and I’m excited to perform some of my most favourite repertoire as well as introducing music by contemporary composers to audiences. It’s incredibly valuable to be able to welcome a composer like Lera Auerbach to a rehearsal or a performance for their creative input. 

I also offer my congratulations to Patrick Hahn for his appointment to my previous position of Principal Guest Conductor, which I held from 2012-2018 before I became Music Director of the RSNO. I’ve heard great things about his conducting and look forward to hearing from the musicians how they work together on their performances.”  

Patrick Hahn, Principal Guest Conductor said:  

“From my first encounter with the RSNO I could tell we could have something special. I’m excited to get started on building on my relationship with both the musicians and the wider RSNO community, following in the footsteps of many esteemed conductors who have previously been in the role, and deliver excellent concerts as part of the RSNO artistic team.” 

 Singing SensationsMajor choral works underpin the 2024:25 Concert Season from its opening with Mahler Symphony No2, Carmina Burana, Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem and a Valentine’s concert with Wagner arias sung by newcomer Sunyoung Seo, to a brand-new staged community opera by Jonathan DoveUprising – which brings together all of the choruses of the RSNO. Recently, the RSNO renewed its commitment to choral engagement activity off-stage by expanding unauditioned opportunities for group singing through its Workplace Choir, Buggy Choir and Chorus Academies. These opportunities sit alongside the RSNO’s established Youth Choruses and RSNO Chorus. 

Randall Goosby, Artist in Residence Following a celebrated performance in 2023, Randall Goosby returns as Artist in Residence for the 2024:25 Concert Season, performing Barber and Mendelssohn Violin Concertos in the Classical Season and a charming chamber concert with Associate Artist Kellen Gray. Alongside Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, in Glasgow only, Goosby and Gray team up with talented young musicians from Glasgow Instrumental Music Services for a special opener to the concert in May. 

Nordic Music Days Festival – Hosted in Scotland for the first time in its 136-year history, Nordic Music Days explores the connections between Scotland and the Nordic region. In two concerts, the RSNO celebrates these linkages and forms more as new, performing works from both Scottish and Nordic composers with the special aid of young musicians from Big Noise Govanhill who join side-by-side with the RSNO in Glasgow.  The remainder of the programme includes works by Errollyn Wallen, Rune Glerup and Bent Sørensen alongside Sibelius’ Seventh Symphony.  

Dunedin Consort – The RSNO’s Partnership Ensemble unites with RSNO in May for a piece written especially for the two groups. Now in the third year of the organisations’ collaboration, Dunedin Consort and the RSNO celebrate together with the world premiere of Neil T Smith’s work which uses fragments of historical texts to look back into Scotland’s musical past. Elsewhere in the new Concert Season, the RSNO Presents series features Dunedin Consort’s performance of JS Bach’s Matthew Passion and a joint performance with Hebrides Ensemble of James MacMillan’s Since it was the Day of Preparation in the Auditorium of the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.  

Spotlight on New Music The RSNO boasts a long history of championing works by living composers. This Season sees the Scottish premieres of works by composers including Anna Clyne (Glasslands), Helen Grime (night-sky-blue), and Elena Langer (The Dong with a Luminous Nose) bring soloists such as saxophonist Jess Gillam, trumpeter Håkan Hardenberger and the RSNO’s own Principal Cello Pei-Jee Ng respectively into the spotlight. Uprising, Jonathan Dove’s brand-new staged opera, tackles themes of climate change, familial conflict and protest. A familiar story of societal transition is told with a host of characters and the RSNO Chorus, RSNO Youth Chorus and RSNO Chorus Academy with the Orchestra under the baton of RSNO Engagement Conductor Ellie Slorach in her first outing in the RSNO Classical Season.  

Rising Stars – Major soloists of the next generation join for their debut performances with the Orchestra. Recent Scottish winner of BBC Young Musician of the Year 2022, Ethan Loch, and winner of the Scottish International Piano Competition 2024, Jonathan Mamora, perform concertos of Beethoven and Rachmaninov while soprano Sunyoung Seo performs in a Valentine’s concert of Wagner and Tchaikovsky, following a successful debut with Scottish Opera last season. 

RSNO at the Movies Since the opening of Scotland’s Studio in 2021, a purpose-built space with world-class recording facilities, the RSNO has been busy recording for classical, film, television and video games. With an excellent reputation for recording scores for films such as Lisa Frankenstein, Argylle, The Woman King and more, the RSNO goes big at the Movies this Concert Season performing: Star Wars: A New Hope, Top Gun: Maverick, Life on Our Planet and Home Alone live to film. 

RSNO Pops – No RSNO Concert Season is complete without its annual concert dedicated to the master of music for the silver screen, John Williams, which this year is sponsored by Agilico and includes a special performance of a piece written as part of the RSNO’s professional development scheme, Film Composers Lab. Also, for fans of video game music, the Final Symphony concert showcasing the best music from FINAL FANTASY VI, VII and X fits the bill.  

Cultural Connections – Partnerships with Scottish cultural ensembles and organisations continue to feature throughout the Concert Season. Young musicians from Sistema Scotland’s Big Noise centres join side-by-side in some of Scotland’s most major venues and themselves welcome RSNO musicians into the heart of communities for music-making workshops; and young musicians from Douglas Academy and St Mary’s Music School showcase their talents as part of the RSNO presents series. Plus, RSNO takes up residency for a summer weekend of music-making fun for every age at The Pyramid at Anderston 

Watch again WednesdaysThis Concert Season, the RSNO’s digital series will be made available to watch for free on the RSNO YouTube channel. Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto, Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique Symphony and Spectacular Shostakovich will bring Scotland’s National Orchestra from Edinburgh’s Usher Hall and the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall into the homes of audience members across the world. The concerts will be broadcast on the Wednesday following the live concert and available to watch on demand.  

RSNO with Family – The RSNO’s annual tour of The Snowman returns alongside new concerts for a family evening out together. This year narrated by Still Game’s Sanjeev Kohli, the RSNO’s Christmas Concert, sponsored by ScotRail, is packed full of festive favourites and singalong carols. Also in the festive season, a screening of Home Alone with live orchestral accompaniment puts audiences into the Christmas spirit. The Orchestra continues to partner with Children’s Classic Concerts for two performances dedicated to families: The Haunted Concert Hall and a Christmas Carol.   

RSNO Chamber Series RSNO musicians take to the New Auditorium for intimate Sunday afternoon performances throughout the Season, featuring a wide range of music, including Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Schubert alongside lesser-known works by Frank Bridge, Florence Price and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.  


Pictures, brochures and full 2024:25 Concert Season listings available here. 

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