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One of Handel’s most sensuous oratorios, Solomon, has plenty of opportunities for an evocation of the east and some wonderful writing for sopranos, led here by the style-perfect Elizabeth Watts. It’s famous for the oboe-piping Arrival of the Queen of Sheba, but there are many more delights to discover. Dutch conductor Peter Dijkstra, best known for his work with choirs great and small, and now branching out into orchestral conducting, makes a very welcome return to the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
PERFORMER INSIGHTS, 6.30pm
SCO Chorus Director Gregory Batsleer discusses Handel’s Solomon with SCO Viola Steve King.
Peter Dijkstra is one of today’s most sought-after choral conductors. Born in 1978, he studied choral conducting, orchestral conducting and voice at the conservatories of The Hague, Köln and Stockholm, and graduated summa cum laude with distinction. He also took part in masterclasses with leading choral conductors like Tonu Kaljuste and Eric Ericsson. In 2002, he was awarded the Kersjes-van de Groenekanprize for young orchestral conductors and the following year, won first prize at the Eric Ericson Competition in Stockholm, which launched his international career.
Maarten Engeltjes had his countertenor debut at the age of 16, singing the alto-arias in the Bach St. Matthew’s Passion. Numerous national and international performances quickly followed including J.S. Bach’s masterpieces: the St. Matthew’s Passion, St. John's Passion, the B minor Mass, the Weihnachts Oratorio and numerous cantatas, as well as all major Händel's oratorios etc.
Elizabeth Watts won the 2007 Rosenblatt Recital Song Prize at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition and the Outstanding Young Artist Award at the Cannes MIDEM Classique Awards as well as the 2006 Kathleen Ferrier Award. She is a former BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist and was awarded a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award in February 2011.
Described by the Times as a “delectable soprano and a serene, ever-sentient presence”, Anna studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Noelle Barker. Notable concert performances have included Britten’s War Requiem at the Berlin Philharmonie, a programme of Russian operatic arias with Philharmonia Baroque in San Francisco, Thomas Adès’ Life Story accompanied by the composer at the Lincoln Centre’s White Light Festival in New York, Orff ’s Carmina Burana and Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with the Orquestra Gulbenkian in Lisbon, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the Australian Chamber Orchestra in Sydney Opera House and with Concerto Copenhagen in Amsterdam, and Haydn’s Schöpfung with Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa in Japan.
Joshua Ellicott represents an extraordinary talent, effortlessly crossing genre from Song to Opera to Concert repertoire with his sweet-toned, flexible yet powerful, lyric tenor voice. His versatile musicianship is apparent in the wide range of repertoire in which he excels and the comprehensive list of conductors and ensembles with whom he works.
Ashley Riches read English at Cambridge University, where he was a member of King’s College Choir. He studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and was a Jette Parker Young Artist at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden from 2012-14.
The Scottish Chamber Orchestra Chorus has built a reputation as one of Scotland’s most versatile choirs. Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2016, it is widely regarded as one of the finest orchestral choruses in the UK.
Gregory Batsleer has held the position of Chorus Director with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra since 2009, winning widespread critical acclaim for his work.