Masterworks takes students on a creative journey, uncovering hidden contexts and inspiring new works

Masterworks is the SCO’s flagship project for upper secondary school music students and provides a unique opportunity for students to engage with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, bringing to life their learning relating to the SQA Curriculum for Excellence.

Through Masterworks the SCO aims to reach secondary schools in every one of Scotland’s 32 local authorities over a three year cycle. Each year the SCO selects new repertoire to explore with schools and the theme for 2017 was American Minimalism. The programme will feature music by John Adams and Steve Reich, introduced by expert presenter Rachel Leach ( and performed by the SCO.

Masterworks 2017 presents a fantastic opportunity for pupils to experience the excitement of a live orchestra up close, and to hone their listening, performing, composing and improvising skills through experiential workshops led by expert SCO musicians. Masterworks opens up new sound-worlds to young people, encourages them to listen to a wider variety of genres, and equips them with knowledge and musical tools to be more adventurous in their own compositions. We encourage teachers to adopt Masterworks as part of their music curriculum for the autumn term. Many schools have had great success using the techniques and approaches explored in Masterworks as part of their music teaching.

Schools’ Concert with Guided Presentation

Tuesday 26 September, The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh
Wednesday 27 September, Eden Court Theatre, Inverness
Thursday 28 September, Perth Concert Hall, Perth

All concerts start at 1.00pm (finish at 2.15pm)

For more information, please contact Atzi Muramatsu, Education Officer, by email or phone 0131 478 8353.

Masterworks 2017 poster

Watch a short documentary film on Masterworks 2016

“I think the pupils gained a great deal of confidence – particularly the confidence to explore musical ideas with others. They enjoyed the input from professionals and get a great deal of satisfaction from performing their music. Very accomplished staff who were clearly very comfortable dealing with pupils – all delivered with good humour, a supportive atmosphere. Excellent. ”
Teacher, Masterworks 2015
Teachers Resource Pack
This pack is designed to help music teachers and the class prepare for the SCO Masterworks concert featuring three classic works of American Minimalism.
Masterworks 2017 Teachers Resource Pack - pdf - 2.38 MB