Revealing our new Principal Conductor: Maxim Emelyanychev

It is with great anticipation that we reveal the dynamic young conductor Maxim Emelyanychev as our next Principal Conductor. Maxim will take up the post in September 2019 and his first Season will be announced in March 2019, in which he is expected to conduct five weeks with the Orchestra.

In March this year, audiences had a chance to see Maxim Emelyanchev in action after he stepped in to conduct the Orchestra playing Schubert’s ‘Great’ C Major Symphony and Dvoƙák’s Violin Concerto. The response from the players, audiences and critics was unanimous in its praise, with The Herald praising Maxim for producing "some of the most robust playing we have heard from the SCO musicians this season". 

Principal Cello Philip HighaM:

“Maxim Emelyanychev is truly exceptional with a brilliant mind, and has an incredibly mature understanding of not just music, but crucially, how to get a chamber orchestra of this level to use all of its very best attributes. He is a profound thinker, seemingly wired to the music and nourished by it. When he conducted Schubert’s C Major Symphony with us in March, his immediate, sensitive, focussed way of working – including very particular attention to phrasing, dynamics and style – quickly led to the orchestra listening and rehearsing like the finest chamber group (that is a special feeling in an orchestra!). His vision of that monumental piece, gradually shared with us, was guided by form, texture, narrative, uncovering a vast emotional range yet utterly devoid of tricks, showmanship or any sense of trying to make a “big impression”. There was a feeling in our concerts with him of the perfect “trialogue” between composer, conductor and orchestra, and each one was different too."

For a conductor to create such an extraordinary connection with a new orchestra so quickly, was quite astonishing. It was clear during his very first rehearsal with the SCO, that something special was happening and following three outstanding concerts, there was an overwhelming desire to seek to develop this relationship.

Chief Executive Gavin Reid:

"Both Maxim and the SCO are internationally recognised for historically-informed performances of Baroque and Classical repertoire. It is also hugely exciting to know that Maxim has an equally curious mind across a very broad range of repertoire – he and the SCO will be an inspirational partnership. I look forward enormously to working closely with Maxim as we plan our programmes for the coming Seasons."


"It is very exceptional to feel such a free collaboration with an orchestra at such high level of attention from the beginning of the first rehearsal! It is inspiring and I feel honoured to create music with these extraordinary musicians! I look forward with much happiness to the years to come to make music with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, exchanging artistic ideas, improvising and creating art together. I am sure that, with such a fantastic orchestra, we will have a very interesting time growing together through multifaceted programmes, historically-informed performance practice and modern performances.”

Maxim Emelyanychev is currently performing In War & Peace across Europe with Il Pomo d’Oro and Mezzo Soprano Joyce DiDonato who said, “I wish Maxim every success in his new appointment with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. I am certain that he will bring a heartfelt, adventurous, monumental presence and vision.”

Maxim follows in the footsteps of just five previous Principal Conductors in the orchestra’s 44 year history; Roderick Brydon (1974-1983), Jukka-Pekka Saraste (1987-1991), Ivor Bolton (1994-1996), Joseph Swensen (1996-2005) and Robin Ticciati (2009-2018).

Read more about Maxim Emelyanychev

Download the full Press Release