Beethoven wished that “music should come from the heart, that it may go to the heart”. Missa solemnis was a four year labour of love and nothing else Beethoven composed surpasses it for scale, sincerity or sheer vision. Not only does he place extreme demands on his musicians, he also requires amazing ability from the SCO Chorus and a team of first-rate soloists.
“Helios Overture developed out of nothing into a climax of majestic radiance. This was just a taster for the palette of sounds Storgårds brought into play for the Sibelius.” The Guardian Chief Conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, and Principal Guest Conductor of BBC Philhar-monic Orchestra, John Storgårds has a dual career as a conductor and violin virtuoso and is widely rec-ognised for his creative flair for programming.
Soprano Rachel Willis-Sørensen won first prize at the 2014 Operalia competition in Los Angele and at the 2011 Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition, and she was a winner of the 2010 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She holds both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Brigham Young University and is a recent alumna of the Houston Grand Opera Studio.
Scottish mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill was the winner of the 2002 Kathleen Ferrier Award. Past and future highlights with her regular recital partner Simon Lepper include appearances at Wigmore Hall London, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Kennedy Centre Washington and in 2015, her New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall, as well as regular recitals for BBC Radio 3. With Simon she recently recorded a critically acclaimed recital of lieder by Alma and Gustav Mahler for Linn Records.
Cheshire-born John Mark Ainsley, began his musical training in Oxford and continues to study with Diane Forlano.
Engagements this season include a recital at London’s Wigmore Hall, Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings with the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jeffrey Tate, concerts with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Bergen Philharmonic orchestras with Nathalie Stutzmann, and Haydn’s Seasons with Sir Simon Rattle conducting the Bayerischer Rundfunk.
John Mark won the 2007 Royal Philharmonic Society Singer Award and is a Visiting Professor at the Royal Academy of Music.
Neal Davies studied at King's College, London, and the RAM, and won the Lieder Prize at the 1991 Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. He has appeared with the Oslo Philharmonic under Jansons, the BBCSO under Boulez, the Cleveland and Philharmonia Orchestras under Dohnanyi, the COE under Harnoncourt, the OAE under Brüggen, the Gabrieli Consort under McCreesh, the Hallé Orchestra under Elder, Concerto Koeln under Bolton, the Scottish chamber Orchestra with Adam Fischer, the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra with Edward Gardner, and the London Symphony and Vienna Philharmonic orchestras under Harding. He has been a regular guest of the Edinburgh Festival and the BBC Proms.
Gregory Batsleer has held the position of Chorus Director with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra since 2009, winning widespread critical acclaim for his work. As well as preparing the Chorus for regular performances with the Orchestra, he has conducted the Chorus in various engagements outside the Season. Recent highlights include performances with international ballet dancer Carlos Acosta and at the Edinburgh International Jazz Festival, and the final concert of the 2014 St Andrews Voices Festival.
The Scottish Chamber Orchestra Chorus has built a reputation as one of Scotland's finest and most versatile choirs. Members enjoy a unique opportunity to perform with one of the world¹s leading chamber orchestras, working regularly with international conductors including Robin Ticciati, Olari Elts, Joseph Swensen, Richard Egarr, John Storgårds and Emmanuel Krivine.