Over the summer months, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra presents seven tours in Scotland, performing live orchestral music in towns and communities across the length and breadth of the country. During 2012 – the Year of Creative Scotland – the Orchestra continues its commitment to serve the whole of the nation with its 10th annual South of Scotland Tour, its 34th year of touring to the Highlands and Islands and the 6th Autumn Classics Tour visiting towns across central Scotland. Over and above these tours, the Orchestra is in demand at summer festivals – with appearances at the Aldeburgh, East Neuk, Lammermuir and Edinburgh International Festivals – and in the recording studio.
South of Scotland Tour
The SCO celebrates Scotland’s natural riches in music and song in concerts in Duns, Castle Douglas and Galashiels (24 – 26 May). The centrepiece of the programme is the premiere of Howard Moody’s Border Lines, a piece inspired by The National Trust for Scotland’s Nature Reserve at St Abb’s Head and local communities in the area. Over the past year, composer-conductor Moody has been working with pupils from Coldingham and Eyemouth Primary Schools and the Eyemouth Fishermen’s Choir and Mission Crew, getting to know the landscape and the people of the area and creating songs with them in celebration of their community. The Fisherman’s Choir and Mission Crew will join the Orchestra for the performance in Duns. The project is a partnership between the SCO, The National Trust for Scotland and Scottish Borders Council. Scottish soprano Lorna Anderson joins Moody and the Orchestra to sing Scottish traditional songs arranged for orchestra by Moody, including Robert Burns’ Jon Anderson my jo and Ye Banks and Braes. Mendelssohn’s dramatic Hebrides Overture, the best-known musical celebration of Scotland’s landscape, and Dvořák’s Czech Suite of orchestral dances complete the programme. Border Lines has been jointly commissioned by The National Trust for Scotland and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. The South of Scotland Tour is presented in partnership with Scottish Borders Council and Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival.
SCO Summer Tours
In mid-June, the Orchestra and Associate Artist Alexander Janiczek give performances amid the splendid surroundings of Dunblane Cathedral (14 June), at Findhorn’s Universal Hall (15 June), where the Orchestra has built up a strong rapport with local audiences over recent years, and at Glenmoriston Millennium Hall in Invermoriston (16 June). A native of Salzburg, violinist Janiczek has the perfect credentials to direct a programme of music by his home-city’s most famous son, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. He pairs Symphony No 21, written when Mozart was aged 16, with Symphony No 39, one of the composer’s great, last symphonies. The SCO’s Principal Horn Alec Frank-Gemmill is soloist in the Horn Concerto No 4 in E-flat. Frank-Gemmill recently received rave reviews for his performances of Ligeti’s Hamburg Concerto during the Orchestra’s 2011/12 Season.
From 19 – 21 July, the Orchestra is reunited with guest conductor Nicholas McGegan for concerts at Stirling Castle, Strathpeffer Pavilion and the Badenoch Centre, Kingussie. They perform Haydn’s Symphony No 88 in G and Mozart’s Symphony No 31 ‘Paris’, both written to impress the Parisian audiences of their times. The programme also features well-known favourites from the 18th century operatic repertoire, including overtures by Mozart and Cimarosa and arias by Haydn, performed by the South African baritone William Berger. Following these concerts, the SCO, McGegan and Berger head into the studio to record a disc of arias from operas including Mozart’s Don Giovanni and The Magic Flute and Haydn’s Armida and L’anima del filosofo.
Director/violinist Isabelle van Keulen has proved hugely popular with audiences on SCO Strings tours in 2010 and 2011. This summer she returns to direct the full orchestra in a concert of much-loved classics at Inverness Eden Court (16 August), Perth Concert Hall (17 August) and Dumfries Easterbrook Hall (18 August). The First Symphonies of Prokofiev (Symphony No 1 ‘Classical’) and Beethoven open and close the concert, while SCO Principal Clarinet Maximiliano Martín is the soloist in Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto.