Orchestra Biography 2017/18

Scottish Chamber Orchestra – Biography for 2016/17

The world-renowned Scottish Chamber Orchestra is made up of a unique collection of talented musicians who inspire and connect with people of all ages. The SCO aims to provide as many opportunities as possible for people to hear their music by touring the length and breadth of Scotland and around the world as proud ambassadors for Scottish cultural excellence. In recent years, the Orchestra has travelled throughout Europe, the Far East, India and the USA.

The SCO has made a significant contribution to Scottish life, not just in what it provides culturally, but in what is given back to the community. Outside the concert hall, SCO players inspire people of all ages in schools, universities, hospitals, care homes, places of work and community centres through the work of SCO Connect, the SCO’s creative learning team.

In the 2016/17 Season, together with Principal Conductor Robin Ticciati in what will be his eighth season, the SCO performs several works by Richard Strauss including his Wind Concertos with SCO Principals Alec Frank-Gemmill, Maximiliano Martín and Peter Whelan as soloists. The SCO Chorus, directed by Gregory Batsleer, enjoy performances of Berlioz's L'enfance du Christ, Handel’s Israel in Egypt, Mozart's Coronation Mass as well as Beethoven's Missa Solemnis. There is also a focus on Mozart with soloists including Kristian Bezuidenhout and Maria João Pires. December includes a celebration of Scotland's music hero - Peter Maxwell Davies.

Together with Ticciati, the Orchestra has released four recordings, Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique (2012), Berlioz’s Les nuits d’été & La mort de Cléopâtre (2013), Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll (2014) and Schumann’s Symphonies. The full discography exceeds 150 recordings.

The Orchestra’s long-standing relationship with Conductor Laureate, the late Sir Charles Mackerras, resulted in many exceptional performances and recordings, including two multi award-winning albums of Mozart Symphonies (Linn).

Current SCO Associate Artists include conductor/keyboardist Richard Egarr, director/violinist Alexander Janiczek, and mezzo soprano Karen Cargill. All perform regularly with the Orchestra during the concert season, in the recording studio, on tour and in festival appearances. The SCO has strong relationships with many eminent guest conductors including Principal Guest Conductor Emmanuel Krivine, Conductor Emeritus Joseph Swensen, Olari Elts, John Storgårds and Oliver Knussen. Regular soloist/directors include Christian Zacharias and Piotr Anderszewski.

The Orchestra enjoys close relationships with many leading composers and has commissioned more than 100 new works. These include pieces by former Composer Laureate, the late Sir Peter Maxwell Davies,  James MacMillan, Judith Weir, Sally Beamish, Karin Rehnqvist, Lyell Cresswell, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Toshio Hosokawa, John McLeod, Rolf Martinsson and Martin Suckling, who is now SCO Associate Composer. 2015/16 commissions include works by Hafliði Hallgrímsson and Lotta Wennäkoski.

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra receives funding from the Scottish Government as one of Scotland’s five National Performing Arts Companies.