Performance Details

GRIEG Holberg Suite (21’)
McLEOD Viola Concerto ‘Nordic Fire’ World Premiere (27’)
BEETHOVEN (arr SWENSEN) Quartet No 14 in C-sharp minor, Op 131 (38’) 

Energy, light, colour and the magic of the Aurora Borealis form the inspiration behind John McLeod's 'Nordic Fire' – a new Viola Concerto written for the Orchestra and the brilliant Jane Atkins. Grieg links Nordic and Scottish, having a great-grandfather born here before emigrating to Norway.

Joseph Swensen has a great love for Beethoven’s late quartets, rearranging the parts for the full string section. He explains: “Personally, I think the late quartets are an example of how Beethoven’s mind started evolving at its own relatively unchecked pace following the onset of his deafness and resulting isolation. That evolution, unencumbered by any musical distractions or influences, sped up dramatically as his hearing deteriorated further. In my view, his mind and imagination were practically in the 20th Century by the time he wrote Op 131, even though it was actually written in 1826!”

Joseph Swensen


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Joseph Swensen is Conductor Emeritus of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, having held the post of Principal Conductor from 1996 – 2005. Before launching his conducting career, Swensen enjoyed a highly successful career as a violin soloist appearing with the world’s major orchestras and conductors. His recordings with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra include music by Brahms, Mendelssohn, Sibelius and Prokofiev.

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Jane Atkins

SCO Principal Viola

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Jane Atkins is one of Britain’s most diverse violists with performances encompassing multiple genres including Baroque to Contemporary music, Dance and Jazz. At the age of six Jane was awarded a scholarship to the Yehudi Menuhin School. She completed her studies with David Takeno at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where she won the LPO/ Pioneer Young Soloist of the Year and gained second prize in the Lionel Tertis competition. 

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