2019/20 Season - Edinburgh & Glasgow


From Baroque brilliance to world premieres by today’s hottest talents, we welcome the very best Scottish and global artists of our generation to perform with the Orchestra and Chorus, for you!

From September 2019 to May 2020, join the Orchestra and Chorus on Thursdays in Edinburgh and Fridays in Glasgow.

For details of our concerts in St Andrews and Dundee, click here

MEET MAXIM - New Principal Conductor


Maxim Emelyanychev  - an outstanding representative of the younger generation of Russian conductors - takes over as Principal Conductor from September 2019. A talented conductor and solo keyboard artist, Maxim brings to the Scottish Chamber Orchestra a particular passion and expertise for the music of Baroque and Classical, developed with his Grammy award-winning ensemble Il Pomo D’Oro. As a 2019 winner of the International Classical Music Award’s Solo Category, his command of keyboard instruments is yet another string to his impressive bow that will delight audiences in our new Season.

In his first official concert in the role as Principal Conductor, Maxim conducts Mozart’s ‘Jupiter’ Symphony in November, alongside a performance of Prokofiev’s much-loved Second Violin Concerto, with German violinist Carolin Widmann making her SCO debut.

Across the Season, Maxim takes opportunities to share his passion and expertise for period style performance, often directing from the harpsichord or piano. In Baroque Dances with Maxim in January 2020 he presents a packed programme of beautiful and fun-filled French and German Baroque music from Lully’s humorous Le Bourgeois gentilhomme to the cannons and frogs of Telemann’s ‘Alster’ Overture Suite and Rameau’s sensual Les Indes Galantes.

All performances featuring Principal Conductor Maxim Emelyanychev:

Read more about Maxim Emelyanychev and watch him on video HERE.


Anna Clyne

The brilliant Grammy-nominated Anna Clyne takes the role as SCO Associate Composer for the next three years. A music graduate from the University of Edinburgh, her music has been championed by many eminent conductors including Marin Alsop, Leonard Slatkin and Riccardo Muti.

As well as a new commission - the first in a series of new works over the next three years - Anna’s double violin concerto Prince of Clouds will be performed by Finnish violinst Pekka Kuusisto and SCO Leader Benjamin Marquise Gilmore in November 2019. Her new work finds inspiration from Haydn’s ‘Il Distratto’ Symphony, which it will be performed alongside. Anna will be working closely with the SCO players to create passages specifically for them.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the wonderful musicians of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. We have lots of exciting plans including developing new content for their outstanding creative learning programme.”

PEKKA KUUSISTO 2019/20 Featured Artist


Few soloists could lead an entire, packed Royal Albert Hall to join in their encore, but our 2019/20 Featured Artist, Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto, is one of a kind.

Across three concerts, Pekka combines his unique interpretations of classical repertoire with new explorations into contemporary gems.

In October, Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No 3 is paired with a 2017 composition by Anders Hillborg, Bach Materia, which finds its inspiration from Bach yet offers the soloist, on no less than three occasions, a carte blanche to do whatever he pleases – perfect for the natural improviser that is Pekka! To conclude the evening, he directs a performance of unbridled orchestral ecstasy, Sibelius Symphony No 5.

Pekka’s ‘great American road trip’ (Voyage through America) takes in iconic American classics from Barber’s Adagio for Strings to Copland’s Appalachian Spring while exploring exciting voices of the new generation. Pekka has close musical relationships with two of the hottest and most widely admired of younger composers, Bryce Dessner (from indie rock band The National) and Nico Muhly, both heirs apparent to the mantle of Philip Glass and Steve Reich with their stimulating and accessible music. This programme includes the UK premiere of Nico Muhly’s Violin Concerto.

All concerts by 2019/20 Featured Artist Pekka Kuusisto:

Philip Higham, Principal Cello:
“It seems to me that Pekka has a way of opening musical doors that are often not so immediately visible to others. What he can produce in terms of tonal range, atmosphere, gesture, a sense of theatre is so out of the ordinary for many that people are compelled to listen in a new way.”


Beethoven 2

Beethoven is one of the giants of musical history, what Newton is to Science or Shakespeare is to Literature. His output was the most played classical music in the world in 2018, and 2020 marks 250 years after his birth… how’s that for a legacy!

Celebrating this significant anniversary, the Orchestra (and Chorus!) present all nine of his ground-breaking symphonies. Over four concerts, three of the composer’s most insightful interpreters - Principal Conductor Maxim Emelyanychev, Principal Guest Conductor Emmanuel Krivine and Andrew Manze - direct what is arguably the most revolutionary, influential and enduring bodies of work ever created.

An opportunity to rediscover Beethoven – the man and his music!

In addition to our complete Symphony Cycle, we celebrate Beethoven’s 250 years with a special event Born This Way: Music and Wellbeing at St Cecilia’s Hall in Edinburgh. With panel discussions, performances and interactive sessions, this event will explore how Beethoven’s musical creativity flourished despite the torment of his physical and mental decline. More information to follow in April 2019.

GREGORY BATSLEER – 10 fruitful years as SCO Chorus Director

Greg 10

Haydn’s Harmony Mass and Stravinsky’s Mass are bound to show off the rigour and vigour of the SCO Chorus in a concert marking 10 fruitful years since Gregory Batsleer became director of the SCO Chorus. He celebrates by conducting both the Orchestra and Chorus in this special anniversary concert in December 2019.

The SCO Chorus is known for its profound and shattering performances of Mozart’s Requiem. This Season, they perform this masterpiece with the extraordinary talent Klaus Mäkelä, the Finn recently appointed Chief Conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic and still in his early 20s. 

After much-lauded performances of Haydn’s The Seasons in 2018, Principal Conductor Maxim Emelyanychev directs the SCO Chorus once again, bringing one of the most uplifting pieces of choral music, Vivaldi’s Gloria to life. This dazzling piece will be positioned alongside spectacular concerti featuring theorbos, mandolins, chalumeaux and tromba marina directed by Maxim from the harpsichord. 

All SCO Chorus performances: 


SCO Players

The SCO is an incredibly talented family of musicians and a number are celebrated with solo spotlights in our 2019/20 Season:

Leader Benjamin Marquise Gilmore and Principal Cello Philip Higham join pianist Kristian Bezuidenhout for Beethoven Triple Concerto, while our other Leader Stephanie Gonley performs Janáček’s Fiddler’s Child in our Bohemian Rhapsodies concert featuring music by three Czech friends – Janáček, Dvořák and Suk. In December, Stephanie will also feature as soloist in Bach’s Violin Concerto in A Minor, conducted by Gregory Batsleer.

The double bass steps into the spotlight so rarely that the new concerto by one of Europe’s most successful composers Peter Eötvös is big news. Hot on the heels of its Berlin premiere the soloist for this performance is Nikita Naumov, the SCO’s Principal Double Bass. A rare occasion and fantastic new addition to the instrument’s repertoire!


We are proud to showcase the very best of Scotland’s most distinguished international artists on our platform, and the 2019/20 Season is by no means an exception! 

The radiant Scottish mezzo soprano Karen Cargill has long championed the songs of Alma Mahler, and she joins conductor Mark Wigglesworth in January 2020 for performance of Alma Mahler’s Seven Songs and her husband Gustav’s heavenly Symphony No 4.

The Quilter Cheviot Benedetti Series continues as Scotland’s favourite violin virtuoso Nicola Benedetti with performances of Mendelssohn and Mozart Violin Concertos, as well as partnering with the superb viola player Lawrence Power in the Sinfonia Concertante by Mozart.

A Caledonian special sees two of Scotland’s top musicians, composer Helen Grime and soloist Colin Currie, meet the SCO in a new concerto. The concert conducted by François Leleux sandwiches the Grimes between two of Mendelssohn’s works inspired by Scotland, the Overture from The Hebrides and his ‘Scottish’ Symphony No 3.

2019/20 Season Concerts by month

September 2019

October 2019

November 2019

December 2019

January 2020

February 2020

March 2020

April 2020

May 2020


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Single tickets for our 2019/20 Concert Season are on general sale from Thursday 9 May 2019.

Priority booking is now open for subscribers who book four or more season concerts

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