Scottish Chamber Orchestra celebrates birthday of Composer Laureate ‘Max’

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra marks the 75th birthday of Composer Laureate Sir Peter Maxwell Davies with performances of his Fourth Symphony in Glasgow and Edinburgh on 30 and 31 October.

Maxwell Davies, ‘Max’, has a longstanding relationship with the Orchestra, for whom he has written a number of works, including the series of ten Strathclyde Concertos. His four-movement Fourth Symphony was also composed for the SCO and received its premiere at the BBC Proms 20 years ago. It was dedicated to the memory of former SCO leader John Tunnell.

These concerts will be conducted by Oliver Knussen, who was in the audience at that first Proms performance. As well as conducting Maxwell Davies’ Fourth Symphony, he will direct his own Music for a Puppet Court, an amalgamation of four miniatures written in 1972, and expanded in 1983, and using two antiphonal chamber orchestras.

Leading mezzo soprano Helena Rasker also joins the Orchestra for Mahler’s five dramatic and heart-stopping Rückert songs. The composer was so taken by the poems of Friedrich Rückert that he felt compelled to set the words to music. Rasker has performed with some of Europe’s leading ensembles and sings regularly in her native Netherlands.

A pre-concert talk, featuring Sir Peter Maxwell Davies in conversation with Acting Artistic Director of Glasgow Concert Halls, Svend Brown, will take place at 6.30pm before each concert.

The performance on 30 October is part of the Max at 75 Festival, taking place at venues throughout Glasgow between 8 October and 8 November. More information about the Max at 75 Festival in Glasgow can be found at


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