SCO welcomes in the New Year in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care
Handel Water Music and Rameau with Emmanuelle Haïm
Pierre-Laurent Aimard performs Brahms Piano Concerto No 2
Principal Conductor Robin Ticciati celebrates the music of György Ligeti, with associated study day
The Scottish Chamber Orchestra welcomes in 2012 with a traditional Viennese New Year concert, in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care. A Night in Old Vienna is conducted by Nicholas McGegan, a favourite with SCO audiences. The programme includes much-loved waltzes, polkas and marches by the Strauss family, including The Blue Danube, Champagne Polka and the Radetzky March. Young soprano Elena Xanthoudakis, recipient of a 2011 Borletti-Buitoni Award and already a regular at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, joins McGegan and the Orchestra to perform arias from Viennese operetta. The concert takes place on 1 January 2012 at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall, before heading to Dumfries, Ayr and Perth (3, 4 & 5 January).
Baroque specialist Emmanuelle Haïm returns to the SCO to direct a programme of music by Handel and Rameau, including suites from the former’s popular Water Music and a work he wrote in Italy in his youth: his showpiece cantata about classical love, Delirio Amoroso, with Swedish soprano Camilla Tilling. Haïm and Tilling join the SCO at Edinburgh’s Queen’s Hall on 12 January, Glasgow’s City Halls on 13 January, and Aberdeen Music Hall on 14 January.
Robin Ticciati gives his first SCO concerts of 2012 in two consecutive weeks in late January; both featuring a work by Hungarian György Ligeti, a seminal figure in 20th century music – regarded by Ticcciati as “one of the most influential composers of the 20th century; a voice we believe in, who creates an extraordinary sound world.” On 20 January (Glasgow City Halls) and 21 January (Edinburgh Queen’s Hall), Ticciati conducts the composer’s Hamburg Concerto, which pays tribute to Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, with SCO Principal Horn Alec Frank-Gemmill as soloist. In this concert, Ticciati frames Ligeti’s work with popular favourites from Central Europe by Kodály and Dvořák.
The following week in Edinburgh (Usher Hall, 26 January) and Glasgow (27 January), the great French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard performs Brahms’ mighty Second Piano Concerto, which the composer teasingly described as "quite a little piano concerto”. It follows a performance of Ligeti’s Chamber Concerto for 13 instruments, each movement of which has a contrasting sound world and explores a range of different compositional techniques. Its finale is a technical tour-de-force for the players, so much so that it was not attempted at the work’s UK premiere.
A study day, Explore: Ligeti, led by Dr Michael Searby, author and Principal Lecturer in Music at Kingston University, offers an opportunity to take a more in-depth look at the composer’s music. Searby will be joined by Robin Ticciati and SCO musicians for the event. Dr Searby also gives pre-concert talks before the performances on 20 and 21 January.