Anthem (A Portrait of Music) is the culmination of a collaboration between acclaimed Glasgow-based artist Gerard M Burns and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

The collaboration, which took part during the RSNO’s 2022:23 Concert Season, gave Burns unrestricted backstage and concert access. It led to the creation of several paintings based on the orchestra itself, as well as three original pieces inspired by the RSNO’s performance of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem.

For those unfamiliar with Britten’s War Requiem, it was composed as a stark and brutal response to the horrors of World War II. The piece, which premiered in 1962, intertwines the traditional Latin Mass for the Dead, with the poetry of Wilfred Owen, a World War I soldier. Burns’ triptych is a powerful, symbolic and atmospheric response to Britten’s work – each panel telling a slightly different story, but combining to create one single piece.

The paintings were unveiled on Saturday 24 June at the RSNO Gala Ball and are now available to view for free in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.


Find out more about the collaboration with this short video: