Scottish Chamber Orchestra's April Highlights

Following a performance in Bilbao, Spain (26 March), the SCO and Principal Conductor Robin Ticciati head into the studio to make their second all-Berlioz recording together. Sessions begin on 2 April, just two weeks before the release of their first collaboration on Linn Records. Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique was recorded following the Opening Concerts of the Orchestra’s 2011/12 Season, which included performances of the work, and is released on 16 April. The second disc features the composer’s Les Nuits d’été and La Mort de Cléopâtre, and reunites Ticciati and the SCO with Scottish mezzo soprano Karen Cargill, who has performed both of these works with the Orchestra in live performances during the 2009/10 and 2011/12 Seasons.

Richard Egarr, recently announced as Associate Artist with the SCO, returns following his popular performances of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the Orchestra in December 2011. He takes the dual roles of conductor and harpsichordist in a programme featuring music from some of the greats of the Baroque period - Bach, Vivaldi, Telemann and Heinichen - in St Andrews (11 April), Edinburgh (12 April) and Glasgow (13 April). SCO horn players
Alec Frank-Gemmill and Harry Johnstone are soloists in Heinichen’s Sonata (Suite) in F for two horns and strings, which is framed by Telemann’s Water Music Suite in C ‘Ebb and Flow’ and Bach’s Suite No 4 in D.

Speaking about his appointment as Associate Artist, Richard Egarr said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be forming a closer relationship with the SCO. I have always felt very at home with this orchestra, and love the fact that the whole organisation is filled with fantastically flexible and exciting musicians which so easily allows the planning of all sorts of repertoire. I look forward to creating some special and unique juxtapositions of music both familiar and unfamiliar, old and new.”

The SCO offers more Baroque music later in April when Scottish star violinist Nicola Benedetti performs Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons and Concerto in D ‘Il Grosso Mogul’ RV 208. These live performances (25 - 28 April) in Ayr, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen follow the release in October 2011 of Italia, Benedetti’s CD of Italian baroque concerti and sonatas recorded with the SCO. Both ‘Il Grosso Mogul’ and ‘Summer’ from The Four Seasons feature on the disc. Christian Curnyn directs from the harpsichord. The concert at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall on 26 April is sponsored by SCO Principal Sponsor, Virgin Money.

Between the two baroque concerts, Oliver Knussen spans the centuries with a programme on 20 April (Glasgow) and 21 April (Edinburgh). He conducts the premiere of his own composition, written specially for renowned American pianist Peter Serkin, who will also play Stravinsky’s Movements for Piano and Orchestra. Serkin's rich musical heritage extends back several generations: his grandfather was violinist and composer Adolf Busch and his father pianist Rudolf Serkin. The concerts also include Helen Grime’s A Cold Spring, originally commissioned by Aldeburgh Music, and Beethoven’s Symphony No 8.

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