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2016:17 USHER HALL, EDINBURGH rsno.org.uk

2016:17 USHER HALL, EDINBURGH rsno.org · Khachaturian Waltz from Masquerade Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto Rachmaninov Symphony No2 Peter Oundjian CONDUCTOR Nicola Benedetti VIOLIN

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2016:17USHER HALL, EDINBURGH

rsno.org.uk

Return your completed booking form before Mon 1 Aug 2016 and you can pay for your subscription by standing order, enjoying six easy, interest-free payments.

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CELEBRATING 125 YEARS OF SCOTLAND’S NATIONAL ORCHESTRA!

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SEASON HIGHLIGHTS

THE PIANO: BEETHOVEN AND PROKOFIEV Beautiful music performed with passion. Book now to hear five world-class pianists perform all five of Beethoven’s piano concertos with the RSNO: Paul Lewis (Fri 14 Oct), Lars Vogt (Fri 9 Dec), Ingrid Fliter (Fri 17 Feb), Jonathan Biss (Fri 7 Apr) and Alice Sara Ott (Fri 5 May). Plus don’t miss the last two concerts in our Prokofiev Piano Concerto Cycle performed by the supremely talented Nikolai Lugansky (Fri 4 and Fri 11 Nov).

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Concert calendar

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SIBELIUS, BEETHOVEN AND MAHLERThree of the world’s greatest composers in the one concert? Sublime! Join Principal Guest Conductor Thomas Søndergård as he takes us on a journey with a trio of concerts, each featuring music by these three masters (Fridays 21 Oct, 21 Apr and 26 May).

MAHLER THREEScotland’s National Orchestra, Chorus and Junior Chorus come together under the baton of Music Director Peter Oundjian for Mahler’s glorious Third Symphony (Fri 2 Jun).

THE PRINCIPAL SPOTLIGHTDon’t miss our wonderful principals in the spotlight. Principal Cello Aleksei Kiseliov performs alongside world-renowned cellist Giovanni Sollima (Fri 18 Nov), Principal Flute Katherine Bryan performs Vaughan Williams’ beautiful The Lark Ascending (Fri 3 Feb) and Principal Oboe Adrian Wilson performs Vaughan Williams’ gorgeous Concerto for Oboe and Strings (Fri 3 Mar).

SPECIAL PRE-TOUR HIGHLIGHTEnjoy a sneak preview before we head off to the USA with superstar Nicola Benedetti (Fri 10 Mar).

ANNIVERSARY COMMISSIONSDon’t miss our special 125 anniversary commissions; a flute concerto for Principal Flute Katherine Bryan by Martin Suckling (Fri 3 Feb), a piano concerto by Sally Beamish performed by Jonathan Biss (Fri 7 Apr), and a new piece for the RSNO Chorus by Gerald Barry (Fri 5 May).

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7 Your subscription concerts18 125: A look back over the years Subscription booking form

24 Conducting history26 Film, festive and gala concerts 28 RSNO on tour29 RSNO Chorus and Junior Chorus30 Special family events31 Offers for young people32 Join the Circle34 Thank you35 Book your tickets36 Concert calendar

PULL-OUT

CONTENTS

The Scottish Orchestra and Glasgow Choral Union with conductor Mr Walter Wilkinson, The Dream of Gerontius, St Andrew’s Hall, 13 Mar 1948

rsno.org.uk/SEASON16174

DEAR FRIENDS

I wish you the warmest welcome to the RSNO’s 2016:17 Season.

From our modest beginnings back in 1891 to our international standing today, the Orchestra’s focus has always been to perform great music to the highest standard for you, our audience.

This Season, as we celebrate our 125th anniversary, we are delighted to continue with that tradition. We have more of the music you love, performed by the wonderful musicians of the RSNO, alongside some of the world’s most in-demand guest artists and conductors. From the passion of Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Mahler, to the thrill of our new anniversary commissions by Sally Beamish, Martin Suckling and Gerald Barry, there’s much to be excited about!

I hope you enjoy reading all about the new Season and selecting your concerts. We look forward to welcoming you to the Usher Hall very soon.

Peter OundjianRSNO Music Director

125 YEARSYOUNG!

Join us at 6.45pm before each concert for our pre-concert talks. Free to ticket holders.

Artist in Residence

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Sarah DiggerRSNO Cello

Sir Alexander Gibson

“ The orchestral sound was rich and massive: luminous winds, blazing peals from the brass, deep and lustrous strings.” Kate Molleson : The Guardian

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Michael Tumelty in conversation with Peter Oundjian

FRI 14 OCT 2016 : 7.30PM FRI 21 OCT 2016 : 7.30PM FRI 4 NOV 2016 : 7.30PM

Jörg Widmann Con brio Scottish premiereBeethoven Piano Concerto No5 EmperorDvořák Symphony No7

Cristian Măcelaru CONDUCTORPaul Lewis PIANO

Mahler BlumineMahler arr Britten What the Wild Flowers Tell Me from Symphony No3Sibelius Violin Concerto Beethoven Symphony No7

Thomas Søndergård CONDUCTORJanine Jansen VIOLIN

Liadov The Enchanted LakeProkofi ev Piano Concerto No5Prokofi ev Piano Concerto No1Rachmaninov Symphony No3

Eivind Gullberg Jensen CONDUCTORNikolai Lugansky* PIANO

Con brio means 'with brilliance', and that’s exactly what British pianist Paul Lewis will bring to Beethoven’s epic Emperor Concerto – the fi rst in a year-long Beethoven concerto cycle. First, though, guest conductor Cristian Măcelaru detonates Jörg Widmann’s outrageous little spoof of Beethoven, and unleashes the raw energy of Dvořák’s Seventh Symphony. This tempestuous portrait of a nation awakening to freedom packs a serious emotional punch.

“Breathtakingly supreme”: that’s how The Daily Telegraph described the playing of Dutch violinist Janine Jansen, so we’re thrilled to have her as the soloist in Sibelius’ Violin Concerto. It’s the icy but passionate centrepiece of a concert that begins in Mahler’s Alpine meadows and ends with RSNO Principal Guest Conductor Thomas Søndergård throwing caution to the winds in Beethoven’s wildest symphony; the uproarious Seventh. Nothing prepares you for the sheer thrill of hearing it live in concert!

Deep in the Russian forests, a mysterious breeze stirs the waters. When guest conductor Eivind Gullberg Jensen works his magic anything’s possible: whether it’s Liadov’s old Russian fairy tales or Rachmaninov’s glittering Third Symphony – a song of longing for a lost world, with tunes to die for and a big-band swing. Or, most spectacular of all, the great Russian virtuoso Nikolai Lugansky throwing everything he has – and then some – at Prokofi ev’s show-stopping piano concertos in our anniversary cycle.

LEWIS PLAYS THE EMPEROR

BENEDETTI PLAYS TCHAIKOVSKY

BEETHOVEN SEVEN

RACHMANINOV THREE

PROKOFIEV PIANO CONCERTO CYCLE

BEETHOVEN PIANO CONCERTO CYCLE SEASON OPENER!

THOMAS SØNDERGÅRD

NIKOLAI LUGANSKY

Khachaturian Waltz from MasqueradeTchaikovsky Violin ConcertoRachmaninov Symphony No2

Peter Oundjian CONDUCTORNicola Benedetti VIOLIN

The start of a new season is always a big occasion, and for this one we’re bringing together our Music Director Peter Oundjian, Nicola Benedetti and three pieces that simply overfl ow with emotion. As vast as Russia and as passionate as a love-song, Rachmaninov’s Second Symphony might just be the most romantic symphony ever written. Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, meanwhile has both poetry and fi reworks. With Scotland’s best-loved violinist as soloist, it’ll light up the sky!

FRI 7 OCT 2016 : 7.30PM

Ursula Heidecker Allen (RSNO Violin) in conversation with Cristian Măcelaru

Manus Carey (RSNO Executive Producer) in conversation with Thomas Søndergård

Ursula Heidecker Allen (RSNO Violin) in conversation with Eivind Gullberg Jensen

PAUL LEWIS

NICOLA BENEDETTI

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“Aleksei’s performance was seamless. You

can’t get better than that. No acting, no

acrobatics but the cello played at its very best.

Not surprisingly the audience adored it…”

Barnaby Miln : Edinburgh Guide

Closing concert with Sir Alexander Gibson, Carnegie Hall, USA Tour 1982

Aleksei KiseliovRSNO Principal Cello, performing with Giovanni Sollima Fri 18 Nov

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FRI 18 NOV 2016 : 7.30PM FRI 2 DEC 2016 : 7.30PM FRI 9 DEC 2016 : 7.30PM

Giovanni Sollima Violoncelles, vibrez! Scottish premiereDvořák Cello Concerto Shostakovich Symphony No5

Omer Meir Wellber CONDUCTORGiovanni Sollima* CELLOAleksei Kiseliov CELLO

Verdi Requiem

Carlos Miguel Prieto CONDUCTOREvelina Dobračeva SOPRANOElizabeth DeShong MEZZO-SOPRANOEdgaras Montvidas TENORAlexander Vinogradov BASSRSNO Chorus

Kodály Dances of GalántaBeethoven Piano Concerto No4Rachmaninov Symphonic Dances

Rafael Payare CONDUCTORLars Vogt PIANO

For Dmitri Shostakovich, his Fifth Symphony wasn’t just a matter of life and death – it was more important than that. In the hands of dynamic guest conductor Omer Meir Wellber, it’s one of 20th century music’s most unforgettable experiences. And talking of unforgettable, meet Giovanni Sollima. There’s no-one quite like this Italian cello sensation, whether going solo in Dvořák’s gorgeous Concerto, or teaming up with the RSNO’s own Aleksei Kiseliov for his jaw-dropping cello love-in, vibrez!

Drums thunder, trumpets blast, and a mighty chorus yells out in terror: Verdi’s Requiem isn’t exactly what you expect from religious music! But it’s exactly what you’d expect from the grand master of Italian opera – and it’s 125 years since it received its first Scottish performance. Conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto directs an all-star cast, an expanded RSNO, and our superb RSNO Chorus, so hold on to your seats as we turn the volume up to 11.

Few pianists understand Beethoven more profoundly than Lars Vogt, so we’re thrilled that he joins the Orchestra to perform Beethoven’s poetic Fourth Piano Concerto as part of our 125 Anniversary celebrations. There’s secret romance afoot with Rachmaninov’s love letter to his own past disguised as three colourful Symphonic Dances and the blazing fiddles of Kodály’s Dances of Galánta will surely set your feet tapping under the baton of guest conductor Rafael Payare.

DVOŘÁK CELLO CONCERTO

VERDI REQUIEM VOGT PLAYS BEETHOVEN

BEETHOVEN PIANO CONCERTO CYCLE

GIOVANNI SOLLIMA

ELIZABETH DeSHONG

LARS VOGT

This concert is dedicated to the RSNO’s Circle members in acknowledgment of their generous support.

PROKOFIEV PIANO CONCERTO CYCLE

FRI 11 NOV 2016 : 7.30PM

Einar Englund Suite from PojatScottish premiereProkofiev Piano Concerto No3 Mahler Symphony No1

John Storgårds CONDUCTORNikolai Lugansky* PIANO

Maher’s First Symphony begins with the creation of the world itself. From breathless opening to heaven-storming finish, it’s one of those pieces that you simply have to hear live – and a stunning way to follow the diamond-toothed brilliance of Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto, which completes our Prokofiev anniversary cycle with Nikolai Lugansky. John Storgårds conducts, and shares a delightful film-score discovery – Finland’s answer to The Great Escape?

MAHLER ONE

JOHN STORGÅRDS

John Whitener (RSNO Principal Tuba)

Aleksei Kiseliov (RSNO Principal Cello)

John Whitener (RSNO Principal Tuba)

William Chandler (RSNO Associate Leader)

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“ [Katherine’s] intention is to “offer a new perspective on familiar compositions”, and that’s exactly what you get from her deliciously ripened version of Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending… A breathtaking package.” Ken Walton : The Scotsman

Katherine BryanRSNO Principal Flute,

soloist in The Lark Ascending Fri 3 Feb

Sir Alexander Gibson rehearsing Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder, Henry Wood Hall 1983

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FRI 17 FEB 2017 : 7.30PM FRI 3 MAR 2017 : 7.30PM

Tchaikovsky Hamlet Fantasy-OvertureBeethoven Piano Concerto No2Tchaikovsky Manfred Symphony

Neeme Järvi CONDUCTORIngrid Fliter PIANO

Dvořák Carnival OvertureVaughan Williams Concerto for Oboe and StringsBeethoven Symphony No3 Eroica

Lahav Shani CONDUCTORAdrian Wilson OBOE

Our Conductor Laureate Neeme Järvi isn’t just an RSNO icon: he’s got a worldwide reputation. So we’re delighted that he’s chosen to celebrate his 80th birthday with us in this powerful programme. Ingrid Fliter displays her signature sparkle in Beethoven’s brightest piano concerto, and Järvi brings his magic to two neglected Tchaikovsky masterpieces – the gripping Hamlet Overture, and Manfred: a huge, dark musical drama of forbidden love.

With two shattering chords, Ludwig van Beethoven blew the world of classical music wide open – and there’s still nothing to match the sheer explosive power of his revolutionary Eroica Symphony. It’s a magnifi cent climax to an evening of music that simply won’t be kept down, whether it’s the blossoming beauty of Vaughan Williams’ radiant Oboe Concerto (played by the RSNO’s own Adrian Wilson) or a Dvořák overture that’s guaranteed to get any party started – all conducted by young dynamo Lahav Shani.

JÄRVI’S 80TH BIRTHDAY

BEETHOVEN’S EROICA

BEETHOVEN PIANO CONCERTO CYCLE

Supported by Hedley G Wright

NEEME JÄRVI

LAHAV SHANI

FRI 3 FEB 2017 : 7.30PM FRI 10 FEB 2017 : 7.30PM

Vaughan Williams The Lark AscendingMartin Suckling Flute Concerto (RSNO Commission)Ravel Daphnis et Chloé Suites 1 & 2

Peter Oundjian CONDUCTORKatherine Bryan FLUTE

Smetana Overture to The Bartered BrideRachmaninov Rhapsody on a Theme of PaganiniTchaikovsky Symphony No4

Cornelius Meister CONDUCTORSimon Trpčeski PIANO

‘He rises and begins to round/He drops the silver chain of sound…’ When The Lark Ascending takes to the air, time itself seems to stand still: no wonder it regularly tops the Classic FM Hall of Fame. Our lark tonight is the RSNO’s own Principal Flute Katherine Bryan – who’ll also be playing music composed especially for her by rising Scottish star Martin Suckling. How to top that? Peter Oundjian shares Ravel’s sumptuous vision of ancient Greece: shepherd girls, pirates and sounds that’ll ravish your ears.

A savage fanfare, a sigh of despair: right from the very start of his Fourth Symphony, Tchaikovsky lays all his emotional cards on the table. It’s a musical drama of torment and triumph, of heartbreak and joy, told with soaring melodies and uninhibited honesty. Cornelius Meister conducts, and joins superstar pianist Simon Trpčeski in Rachmaninov’s hugely popular Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. You’ll know the tunes – but you’ve never heard them played quite like this.

THE LARK ASCENDING

TCHAIKOVSKY FOUR

Sir Alexander Gibson Memorial Concert

William Chandler (RSNO Associate Leader) in conversation with Martin Suckling

Michael Tumelty Katherine Bryan (RSNO Principal Flute)

Supported by

Ursula Heidecker Allen (RSNO Violin)

PETER OUNDJIAN

CORNELIUSMEISTER

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John Barbirolli with members of the Scottish Orchestra, circa 1934

“I am really excited to play the Vaughan Williams Oboe

Concerto, a piece that beautifully highlights the oboe’s lyrical and singing

qualities. Its warm and wistful sound world evokes

a sense of tranquillity.” Adrian Wilson : RSNO Principal Oboe,

soloist in Vaughan Williams’ Oboe Concerto Fri 3 Mar

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FRI 21 APR 2017 : 7.30PM FRI 28 APR 2017 : 7.30PM

Sibelius FinlandiaMahler Des Knaben Wunderhorn Sibelius The OceanidesBeethoven Symphony No1

Thomas Søndergård CONDUCTORRoderick Williams BARITONE

Scriabin RêverieProkofi ev Violin Concerto No2 Tchaikovsky Symphony No6 Pathétique

Nikolaj Znaider CONDUCTORSergei Krylov VIOLIN

Sibelius shakes his fi st at tyranny – and gets banned. Beethoven begins his First Symphony with a forbidden chord – and gets the critics in a lather. And Mahler takes a harmless book of folk-poems and turns them into songs so rich and intriguing that they’ll stick with you forever. Tonight is all about composers who went one step too far. And with Thomas Søndergård conducting and Roderick Williams singing, why not follow them? You’ll end up somewhere rather wonderful…

The name’s misleading: Pathétique means ‘fi lled with emotion’. And from the tragic depths of its opening to its fi nal, devastating moments, every note of Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony is drenched in feeling. Sit back and let conductor Nikolaj Znaider take you deep into its burning heart – and hear the superb Russian-born violinist Sergei Krylov make his mark on Prokofi ev’s best-loved work for violin, the delightful Second Concerto.

BEETHOVEN ONE TCHAIKOVSKY’S PATHÉTIQUE

RODERICK WILLIAMS

FRI 7 APR 2017 : 7.30PM

Sally Beamish Piano Concerto No3 The Makers (RSNO Commission)Beethoven Piano Concerto No1Brahms Symphony No4

Peter Oundjian CONDUCTORJonathan Biss* PIANO

Brahms’ Fourth begins with a sigh and ends with a tempest. Beethoven was Brahms’ hero and that meant playing for the highest possible emotional stakes. Peter Oundjian has devised a whole concert around Jonathan Biss’ performance of Beethoven’s brilliant First Piano Concerto. On one side, there’s Brahms’ mighty homage to Beethoven. On the other, a new piano concerto by one of Scotland’s fi nest living composers, Sally Beamish. Three composers, each making history: come and be part of it.

BRAHMS FOUR

BEETHOVEN PIANO CONCERTO CYCLE

JONATHAN BISS

NIKOLAJ ZNAIDER

Katherine Wren (RSNO Viola) Ursula Heidecker Allen (RSNO Violin) in conversation with Roderick Williams

William Chandler (RSNO Associate Leader)

Supported by

FRI 10 MAR 2017 : 7.30PM

Debussy Prélude à l'après-midi d'un fauneBruch Violin Concerto No1 Beethoven Symphony No5

Peter Oundjian CONDUCTORNicola Benedetti VIOLIN

Scotland’s best-loved violinist plays one of the world’s favourite violin concertos: when the RSNO goes on tour, it brings out the best! Music Director Peter Oundjian conducts a stirring pre-tour programme: beginning with Debussy’s sensuous Prélude, followed by Scottish superstar Nicola Benedetti performing the dazzling Bruch and ending with the power and glory of Beethoven’s Fift h. Naturally, Scotland gets to hear it fi rst. Come and wave us off !

BENEDETTI PLAYS BRUCH

THE AMERICAN TOUR

Manus Carey (RSNO Executive Producer)

NICOLA BENEDETTI

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“ Sibelius Five showcases the noble and heroic sound qualities of the French horn. When performing the fi nal movement of this piece, I think every horn player cannot help but play it with pride.”Christopher Gough : RSNO Associate Principal Horn

The Scottish Orchestra, 1901

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FRI 26 MAY 2017 : 7.30PM FRI 2 JUN 2017 : 7.30PM

Sibelius Canzonetta, Scene with Cranes, Valse triste from KuolemaMahler Rückert-Lieder Beethoven Leonore Overture No3Sibelius Symphony No5

Thomas Søndergård CONDUCTORJennifer Johnston MEZZO-SOPRANO

Mahler Symphony No3

Peter Oundjian CONDUCTORKaren Cargill MEZZO-SOPRANOLadies of the RSNO ChorusRSNO Junior Chorus

“Today I saw 16 swans. God, what beauty!” Sibelius took a brief glimpse of wonder, and transformed it into the melody that crowns his Fift h Symphony – a tune so good that when you hear it for the fi rst time, you feel like you’ve known it your whole life. Tonight’s concert brings together four of Sibelius’ loveliest visions, the elemental power of Beethoven, and Mahler’s rapturous songs, as Thomas Søndergård opens a gateway to new worlds of natural beauty.

Gustav Mahler's Third Symphony is one of the biggest ever written. Distant trumpets, children’s songs, glittering marches and serene mountain-top meditations: this isn’t just a symphony, it’s a whole universe, and it ends with a ravishing hymn to love. Every performance is a special occasion – and with Peter Oundjian conducting the Ladies of the RSNO Chorus, RSNO Junior Chorus and a specially-expanded orchestra, this is a gloriously uplift ing way to celebrate the end of the RSNO’s Season.

SIBELIUS FIVE SEASON FINALE! MAHLER THREE

THOMAS SØNDERGÅRD

Katherine Wren (RSNO Viola) in conversation with Thomas Søndergård

Michael Tumelty

This concert is dedicated to the Lillie Bequest Fund in honour of the RSNO Foundation

FRI 5 MAY 2017 : 7.30PM

Brahms NänieBeethoven Piano Concerto No3Gerald Barry Humiliated and Insulted (RSNO Commission)Brahms Symphony No3

James Feddeck CONDUCTORAlice Sara Ott PIANORSNO Chorus

‘Free but Happy’ is the motto of Brahms’ Third Symphony – but it could go for the whole of this wonderfully unpredictable concert. Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto begins in darkness but breaks into sunlight at the last possible moment; perfect for musical free-spirit Alice Sara Ott. And then the RSNO Chorus sings Humiliated and Insulted, the latest creation from Gerald Barry; probably classical music’s most unashamed prankster. Expect to be surprised – and thoroughly entertained!

BRAHMS THREE

BEETHOVEN PIANO CONCERTO CYCLE

Manus Carey (RSNO Executive Producer) in conversation with Gerald Barry

ALICE SARA OTT

KAREN CARGILL

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“ There may be someone in the audience who may never have heard an orchestra live. I try to remember this every time I step on stage – every performance is a first.” Lance Green : RSNO Associate Principal Trombone

Timps being rescued after fire, St Andrew’s Hall 26 Oct 1962

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A look back over the yearsBefore the beginning It had been a long time coming. The institution known today as the Royal Scottish National Orchestra was offi cially born in 1891. Two years later, the loft y German maestro George Henschel led an inaugural 26-week season the likes of which had never been seen in the UK north of Manchester. But the pre-natal story stretches back nearly half a century earlier, to the emergence of a large-scale classical music culture in Scotland.

At the beginning of the 19th century the notion of a professional orchestra – of any kind of orchestra – was still a long way off . Change came fi rst and fastest to Glasgow, rapidly expanding into the Second City of the Empire and keen to acquire a cultural clout to match. The new Victorian industrialists had time, money and chutzpah to jump-start the city’s nightlife from post-Reformation sobriety to a full-scale entertainment business within just a couple of decades. Insurance men formed madrigal groups in the Trongate and in 1821 an orchestra of amateurs gathered to perform Beethoven and Robert Burns at Glasgow’s fi rst ever music festival. The playing was ropy, according to audience reports, but still: the enthusiasm was there.

The Scottish Orchestra 1901

The institution known today as the Royal Scottish National Orchestra was offi cially born in 1891.

18 rsno.org.uk/SEASON1617

A look back over the yearsThe roots of unionism formed on factory fl oors and as early as the 1840s the Glasgow Mechanics Union ran music classes for crowds of 150–200 a pop. Abstinence societies bemoaned singing saloons and music halls for corrupting the workers and provided edifying sit-down concerts instead. The City Hall opened in 1841 between a couple of cheese shops in the Candleriggs: a grand edifi ce of civic architecture, intended for mass betterment, yet there was still no orchestra to fi ll it.

Then, in 1844, an amateur ensemble was formed to accompany the Glasgow Choral Union – ancestor of today’s RSNO Chorus – in the Scottish premiere of Handel’s Messiah. That triumphant event planted the Glasgow passion for singing and by the turn of the 20th century there were more than 100 choirs

up and running in the city. The roots of a professional orchestra began to take hold in the 1870s. The fearsome critic of the Glasgow Herald, one Thomas Logan Stillie, launched a subscription concert series for a 50-strong ensemble called the Glasgow Resident Orchestra, and from the off it planned tours, too, to Edinburgh, Dundee, Perth – in eff ect, it was Scotland’s fi rst national orchestra.

What’s more, it could play. When Brahms’ friend Hans von Bülow conducted at City Hall in 1875, Stillie declared “such a gorgeous concert of instrumental music was never before heard in Glasgow”. Soon the Glasgow Resident Orchestra was luring world-class soloists to Scotland: Polish piano legend Ignacy Jan Paderewski, violinists Eugène Ysaÿe, Pablo de Sarasate, even Joseph Joachim. By 1885 the

band had grown to 85 regular players and its conductor, the extravagantly hirsute August Manns, routinely took to the podium in white kid gloves.

But there was discontent afoot. Playing standards fl uctuated because freelancers were recruited for a season that was too short to develop a cohesive ensemble sound. In 1891, a West of Scotland ship-owner called James Allan fronted £20,000 to establish a brand new orchestra: one with enough rehearsal time to become truly world-class. It would be called the Scottish Orchestra.

Problem was, the new band worked in competition with the old one, and that split the audience. A feud ensued and in the end Henschel’s 26-week season blew the Choral Union Orchestra’s 10-weeks out of the water. August Manns stood down and the two bands merged. Henschel conducted Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony to celebrate, and the Scottish Orchestra played under the banner of the Glasgow Choral and Orchestral Union until 1950.

Maestro carouselOver the next half-century the Scottish Orchestra’s fortunes would rise and fall according to the times. Concerts were paused altogether between 1916 and 1919 (the Orchestra did mark Armistice Day with Elgar’s The Spirit of England) while in smoother periods the

1894 concert programme 1901 Scottish Orchestra list

Willem Kes

George Henschel

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musicians boarded branch lines to Greenock, Forfar, Ayr, Paisley, Dunfermline, Stirling –anywhere that wanted to hear them.

Meanwhile a cast of august central-European conductors came and went. There was Willem Kes, the exacting Dutchman who, in 1896, took the Orchestra on its first foreign tour: a bold two-week foray into the Netherlands. There was Wilhelm Bruch, nicknamed ‘Sleepy Billy’; the quiet Dr Frederic H Cowen, about whom Elgar once said – and this is a glorious example of damning with faint praise – that “he never imposed his own personality on the music”. Richard Strauss visited in 1902 and 1903 to wow Scottish audiences with his huge orchestral showpieces.

There was the graceful Emil Młynarski; the sensible Sir Landon Ronald, tasked with getting the Orchestra back on its feet after WWI; the willowy Felix Weingartner, a devoted Beethovenian and one-time successor to Mahler at the Vienna Opera. And, in 1923, the swaggering Serge Koussevitski, ablaze with charisma. A year later he would become the most renowned conductor the Boston Symphony Orchestra ever had – a starry transatlantic career trajectory that set a precedent for Scottish Orchestra conductors to come.

There was the one whom Vaughan Williams called “Glorious John” and whom his rival Thomas Beecham called “that upstart”. John Barbirolli’s great legacy would be left at the Hallé, but in the 1930s he spent six golden seasons at the helm of the Scottish Orchestra. Depression-era finances were stringent but ticket sales soared as the dauntless 31-year-old Cockney tackled massive works (Stravinsky’s Petrushka, Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben) and bolstered the Orchestra’s contingent of female players. A grand total of ten might be no great shakes by today’s standards, but it was better than the UK average in 1934. On nights off Barbirolli invited his musicians for spaghetti at his Charing Cross flat but the love affair couldn’t last. Eventually he was seduced

across the Atlantic to an un-turndownable post at the New York Philharmonic.

Another fine chef, another harsh taskmaster, Georg Szell likewise ended up heading west to make the Cleveland Orchestra into one of the best in the world. But in the late 1930s the stern Hungarian treated Scotland to searing performances of Strauss, Mozart, Bartók, Shostakovich and Hans Gál. He was an old-school autocrat, imposing and uncompromising, but he had one of the sharpest ears in the 20th century and he whipped the Scottish Orchestra into shape.

The WWII years were tough. The Orchestra played a reduced home season and touring was cancelled for fear of air strikes. Aylmer Buesst and Warwick Braithwaite took successive charge, both keen Wagnerians, which was an awkward thing to be in 1940s Britain. The genial Walter Susskind arrived in 1946: young, dapper, hungry for any repertoire going. Eye witnesses at the Usher Hall reported him wiggling his bum along to the viola triplets at the beginning of Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll.

And yet throughout all this – even after storming John Barbirolli

Neeme Järvi, Bryden Thomson, Sir Alexander Gibson

SNO with Bryden Thomson, Henry Wood Hall

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the inaugural Edinburgh International Festival in 1947 – the Orchestra remained part-time. Every summer the musicians disbanded to seek jobs in seaside pavilion bands or festival opera pits. Barbirolli called the situation “utterly absurd”, and at last more permanence was achieved in 1950 when the Orchestra proudly added ‘National’ to its name to reflect its new full-time status. Seventy-five players signed a hefty contract that allowed them four days off each month and two weeks’ paid holiday each year.

New name, new eraThe first decade of the new era was guided by a pair of venerable Viennese chiefs. Karl Rankl had studied with Schoenberg and Webern but preferred the Germanic mainstream and disapproved of female players; Hans Swarowsky was a sharp dresser, a smooth talker, a traditionalist through and through. Neither was exactly progressive, but it’s impressive to think of the depth of Austro-Czech experience woven into the RSNO’s foundations.

The next appointment proved the seismic one. Alexander Gibson was a Scot, born in Motherwell, and when he accepted the SNO job at 33 he was already making waves in London’s opera houses. But while his predecessors had often used Scotland as a staging post to bigger things, Gibson wanted to

make Scotland his big thing – and boy did he succeed. He conducted all seven Sibelius symphonies in his first season (quite the opening move!) and later programmed surveys of Hans Werner Henze, Mahler and more. After a performance of Mahler’s First Symphony in Edinburgh, the critic Andrew Porter called Gibson “a poet, a master of the broad span”. In the glorious 25 years he spent as SNO Principal Conductor (1959 to 1984), he gave the Orchestra the unique identity it had been waiting for.

Gibson dreamed of making the SNO into a Vienna Philharmonic equivalent: a heavyweight ensemble to serve both opera pit and concert stage. In 1962 he founded a wildly ambitious young company called Scottish Opera. Thousands flocked to the opening week performances of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, and The Times declared Gibson “the hero of the evening”. Eventually the season became too demanding and the SNO parted ways with Scottish Opera, but not before remarkable stagings of Henze’s Elegy for Young Lovers, Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, Berlioz’ The Trojans and even a complete Ring cycle.

Equally audacious was Gibson’s contemporary music series Musica Nova, through which the SNO presented premieres by Berio, Birtwistle, Musgrave and numerous others. The major coup of Musica Nova

was the UK premiere in 1961 of Stockhausen’s immense Gruppen – 120 players, three conductors (Gibson, Norman del Mar and John Carew) and an audience packed to the rafters. One listener shouted “rubbish!” before the applause kicked in, but the event was a triumph. By the 1970s, The Observer was moved to compare Glasgow’s contemporary music programming to London’s. “In Glasgow they set about things more purposefully,” the critic concluded, “and that is what I call artistic direction.”

Boxing matches and moving boxes What a whirlwind those first few years of the Gibson era must have been. Scottish Opera and Musica Nova were momentous additions to Scotland’s musical life,

In the glorious 25 years he spent as Principal Conductor, he gave the Orchestra the unique identity it had been waiting for.

Walter Susskind

SNO with Gibson, Usher Hall, Aug 1965

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but there was tragedy, too, when the SNO lost its glorious Glasgow home. St Andrew’s Hall had been the finest place for orchestral music in Britain: a classic ‘shoe-box’ auditorium whose acoustics were up there with Vienna’s Musikverein and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. When it opened in 1877 it could hold 3000 people and the SNO regularly packed it full, but the city also used it for sporting events on the Orchestra’s nights off. In October 1962 a smouldering cigarette was flicked into a pile of dust at an amateur boxing match between Scotland and Romania. Next morning, smoke was seen from 20 miles away and paintwork on nearby cars bubbled from the intensity of the blaze. Gibson said the loss was “like losing a close friend”.

For the next 25 years the SNO flitted from Gaiety Theatre to City Hall to Kelvin Hall to SECC,

none of the spaces really good enough. But the band played on: after one performance of Webern’s Symphony Op21, The Herald noted that the SNO had “reached and maintained an exceptionally high standard. This in itself is a strong argument for building a concert hall of adequate size in Glasgow as quickly as possible.”

A hall, no, but a home of sorts was found in 1979 in the shape of Henry Wood Hall – formerly Trinity Church on Claremont Street and converted into rehearsal space and management offices. The chairman gave a heartfelt speech at the opening: “The players have been literally wandering minstrels, traipsing around from one hall to another. Now,” he beamed, “they have a home of their own.”

Another year, another benchmark: in 1980 Fiona Grant became the first woman to run a British orchestra, and she went on to appoint Neemi Järvi as Gibson’s successor. It was a bold move. The ferociously spirited Estonian never conducted a bar the same way twice and he recorded vast swathes of Prokofiev and Shostakovich, Dvořák and Scriabin. On tour at the Berlin Philharmonie he earned the Orchestra a standing ovation for a Tchaikovsky Five that had “whipped into an experience of quite extraordinary intensity,” according to The Herald’s Michael Tumelty. In Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, “Järvi’s approach to his absolutely sterling orchestra was powerfully engaging,” reported Paul Driver in The Times.

Back at home, things were on the up and up. Pat Lally – leader of Glasgow District Council and architect of the city’s 1980s civic revamp – declared the new Glasgow Royal Concert Hall “the great hall of the people of Glasgow”. The SNO played new works by Thomas Wilson and Thea Musgrave at the grand opening in autumn 1990. This also seemed the right moment to adopt a ‘royal’ in its name: after all, the Queen had granted patronage back in 1977. Thus the SNO became the RSO and the swashbuckling new Viennese Music Director Walter Weller conducted

Strauss’ Four Last Songs to celebrate. But the audience missed the ‘national’ and in December 1992 the management settled for having it all: R and N together in RSNO. So far it seems to have stuck.

The Orchestra’s first two decades as the RSNO were marked by pulverising accounts of Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky under Alexander Lazarev and by a new Gallic sensibility from Stéphane Denève, whose superb Debussy survey released on Chandos in 2012 prompted The Observer’s Fiona Maddocks to sum up: “the RSNO, keenly responsive to Denève after his seven seasons as chief conductor, confirm the absolute precision, transparency and […] passion required for these scores.” Current Chief Executive Dr Krishna Thiagarajan said he made his decision to leave New York for the RSNO job after hearing great recordings from the Gibson, Järvi and Denève years.

The Orchestra’s first two decades as the RSNO were marked by pulverising accounts of Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky…

St Andrew’s Hall

Stéphane Denève

22 rsno.org.uk/SEASON1617

So when Peter Oundjian arrived as Music Director in 2012, he inherited an orchestra steeped in Teutonic, Scandinavian, French and British music, old and new; an orchestra honed by the 20th century’s great disciplinarians and equally comfortable in the vast glittering concert halls of China or the Clickimin Leisure Complex of Lerwick.

And, just before turning 125, the RSNO couldn’t resist one last move. In October 2015 the final boxes were packed at Henry Wood Hall and the glassy doors of the new RSNO Centre were thrown open. This substantial extension to the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall is a state-of-the-art rehearsal room, a 600-capacity concert venue, a high-tech education facility that will enable interactive projects to stream across the country. Never has the Orchestra, along with fellow family members the RSNO Chorus and Junior Chorus, had more potential to be a truly national resource. It’s hard to imagine there will be any looking back.

Kate Molleson

Left Peter Oundjian

Right RSNO Centre, 2015

RSNO with Peter Oundjian, New Auditorium, 2015

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Conducting historyFrom George Henschel to Peter Oundjian, over the last 125 years Scotland’s National Orchestra has performed under the direction of many of the finest conductors of its day. Whether termed Principal Conductor or Music Director or, as was the case for the concert Seasons between 1923 and 1933, “a variety of a series of Orchestral Conductors of repute”, the remit has always been the same – to create the best sounding Orchestra for the people of Scotland and beyond.

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CHRISTMAS SWINGALONGSUN 11 DEC 2016 : 3PM

The RSNO Big Band join Owen and Olly as they swing on down to the Usher Hall to get you In the Mood for a cool Christmas. Don’t miss this all-singing, all-dancing seasonal showstopper! With the Manor School of Ballet.

Owen Gunnell PRESENTEROliver Cox PRESENTERRSNO Big BandManor School of Ballet

OWEN AND OLLY’S BEASTLY BASHSUN 30 OCT 2016 : 3PM

Join mischief-makers Owen and Olly and their fi lthsome friends from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra for a hornswoggling Hallowe’en concert celebrating Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday. Featuring the RSNO Junior Chorus.

Owen Gunnell PRESENTEROliver Cox PRESENTERRSNO Junior Chorus

CHILDREN’S CLASSIC CONCERTS

From The Snowman via John Williams to Amadeus Live, enhance your subscription further by adding our exciting family, fi lm and festive concerts to your booking form or phone the Box Offi ce on 0131 228 1155 to book today.

The RSNO is proud to work in partnership with Children’s Classic Concerts.

Sponsored by

CHILDREN’S CLASSIC CONCERTS

Sponsored by

More great concerts for you to enjoy26 rsno.org.uk/SEASON1617

THE RSNO CHRISTMAS CONCERTSUN 18 DEC 2016 : 3PM

We’re walking in the air…it isn’t Christmas until The Snowman has taken you on his magical journey through the winter sky. Enjoy this special showing of the festive classic on large screen, accompanied by the RSNO and narrated by a special star guest. Hosted by the irrepressible Christopher Bell, this Christmas party for the whole family is fi lled with seasonal favourites, carols old and new – and, of course, a chance for everyone to sing along!

Christopher Bell CONDUCTORRSNO ChorusRSNO Junior Chorus Changed Voices

JOHN WILLIAMS AND FRIENDSFRI 24 FEB 2017 : 7.30PM

From sharks to spies, whether you’re swashbuckling with Indiana Jones or cycling though the air with a little alien who just wants to phone home, you already know the tunes. John Williams has given us the soundtracks to some of Steven Spielberg's greatest cinematic adventures of the past fi ve decades and no-one knows this music better than movie maestro Richard Kaufman. Including music from Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Saving Private Ryan and Star Wars, experience the thrill of these legendary soundtracks live in concert – with the best sound quality you’ll ever hear!

Richard Kaufman CONDUCTOR

AMADEUS LIVEFRI 19 MAY 2017 : 7.30PM

Winner of eight Academy Awards®, four BAFTAs and four Golden Globes, Amadeus is more than just a classic period drama with the best soundtrack of all time – it’s a romantic comedy, a mystery, and a tense psychological thriller. With Tom Hulce as Mozart and an Oscar-winning performance by F. Murray Abraham as Salieri, it’s also one of the most entertaining fi lms ever made about classical music. Don’t miss this remarkable screening with Mozart’s incredible music performed live by the full RSNO and RSNO Chorus.

Ludwig Wicki CONDUCTORRSNO Chorus

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Sponsored by

IN FOCUS: MAHLERSAT 20 MAY 2017 : 10AM-4PM

Join RSNO violist Katherine Wren as she leads a day of discovery focusing on the music of Gustav Mahler. Mahler’s major works centre around the symphony and song and oft en the boundaries between the two become blurred. One such work is the Third Symphony, a work of enormous proportions. Spend the day taking an in-depth look at how Mahler explores nature and innocence in this symphony and how he incorporates texts from Also sprach Zarathustra and Des Knaben Wunderhorn into this mighty work.

Tickets for Mahler in Focus cost £25 and include lunch and refreshments.

Spaces are limited. To book your tickets, visit rsno.org.uk/engage or email [email protected]

More great concerts for you to enjoy

In partnership with

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13/03/2017Broward Center, Fort Lauderdale

14/03/2017Kravis Performing Arts Center, West Palm Beach

15/03/2017Kravis Performing Arts Center, West Palm Beach

16/03/2017Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Sarasota

17/03/2017Community Church, Vero Beach

19/03/2017Phillips Performing Arts Center, Gainesville

20/03/2017Mann Performing Arts Hall, Fort Myers

22/03/2017Peabody Auditorium, Daytona Beach

SPAIN19–27 JANUARY 2017

Tour presented by Intermusica

The RSNO returns to Europe in January 2017 with a four-date tour of Spain with Music Director Peter Oundjian. Following the success of her performances in Scotland with the Orchestra, we’re delighted that pianist Ingrid Fliter will be accompanying us on our travels, performing Mendelssohn’s First Piano Concerto.

PROGRAMME 1Beethoven Leonore Overture No3 Mendelssohn Piano Concerto No1 Brahms Symphony No2

PROGRAMME 2Rossini Overture to The Silken Ladder De Falla Nights in the Gardens of SpainTchaikovsky Symphony No4

Peter Oundjian CONDUCTORIngrid Fliter PIANO

Full dates and venue information will be published at rsno.org.uk/tour

FLORIDA, USA13–22 MARCH 2017

Tour presented by CAMI

With Music Director Peter Oundjian at the helm and guest soloist Scottish superstar Nicola Benedetti set to sparkle, the RSNO is ready to fl y the fl ag for Scotland in the United States of America. Our fi rst tour to the States in thirty-fi ve years, we’re delighted to make the trip with an exciting eight-date tour of Florida.

PROGRAMME 1 Borodin Overture to Prince IgorBrahms Violin Concerto Tchaikovsky Symphony No4

Don’t miss a special Scottish preview of this concert in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall: Thu 9 Mar 2017 : 7.30PM

PROGRAMME 2Debussy Prélude à l’après-midi d’un fauneBruch Violin Concerto No1 Beethoven Symphony No5

Don’t miss a special Scottish preview of this concert in the Usher Hall, Edinburgh: Fri 10 Mar 2017 : 7.30PM

Peter Oundjian CONDUCTOR Nicola Benedetti VIOLIN

INGRID FLITER

PETER OUNDJIAN

RSNO on tour in 2017

Northwood Charitable Trust

Supported by

NICOLA BENEDETTI

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RSNO CHORUS

RSNO JUNIOR CHORUS

RSNO CHORUS ACADEMYTUESDAYS : 6PM-8PMRSNO Centre, Glasgow

Are you passionate about classical music but have never sung it before? Then come and join the RSNO Chorus Academy. Open to singers of all abilities, the group is led by RSNO Chorus Director Gregory Batsleer and will focus on choral and singing techniques and musicianship, including reading a musical score. The Academy meets on a Tuesday night and is a fun way to meet like-minded individuals and develop your singing.

For more information about how to book for the RSNO Chorus Academy, visit rsno.org.uk/chorus-academy or email [email protected].

BLOCK 1November 22, 29December 6, 13January 10, 17, 24Saturday January 28 aft ernoon rehearsal 2.30PM–4.30PM with a sharing event for friends and family at 5PM

BLOCK 2April 18, 25May 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 Saturday 3 June 2.30PM–4.30PM with a pre-concert Choral Recital at 5PM

COME AND SING : MOZART REQUIEMSAT 1 APRIL 2017 : 10AM-5PM; public concert 6PMGlasgow Royal Concert Hall

Don’t miss this amazing opportunity to sing live in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall accompanied by Scotland’s National Orchestra! One of the greatest pieces written for chorus, Mozart’s Requiem is full of glorious harmonies. Join Chorus Director Gregory Batsleer and members of the RSNO Chorus for the day to rehearse Mozart’s spine-tingling Requiem, before putting on a live public performance with the Orchestra and soloists from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland for family and friends. This is your chance to stop singing in the shower and come and sing with Scotland’s National Orchestra!

Come and Sing participation tickets: £25, including tea and coff ee.

Come and Sing audience tickets: £10, U26 £6, U16 free

For more information about how to participate or to book tickets, please visit rsno.org.uk/come-and-sing.

*featuring the RSNO Junior Chorus

OWEN AND OLLY'S BEASTLY BASH*

SUN 30 OCT 2016 : 3PM

VERDI REQUIEMFRI 2 DEC 2016 : 7.30PM

THE RSNO CHRISTMAS CONCERTSUN 18 DEC 2016 : 3PM

BRAHMS AND BARRY FRI 5 MAY 2017 : 7.30PM

AMADEUS LIVE FRI 19 MAY 2017 : 7.30PM

MAHLER THREE*

FRI 2 JUN 2017 : 7.30PM

We’re delighted that the wonderful singers of the RSNO Chorus and RSNO Junior Chorus will be joining the Orchestra throughout the Season for some spectacular performances. From Verdi’s Requiem via Amadeus Live to our brand new commission for RSNO Chorus, our singers play a central role in the RSNO family under the guidance of Chorus Directors Gregory Batsleer and Christopher Bell.

If you are interested in auditioning to join the RSNO Chorus or have a child interested in auditioning for the RSNO Junior Chorus, please visit rsno.org.uk/chorus or email [email protected].

Chorus Spectacular

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JOHN WILLIAMS AND FRIENDSFRI 24 FEB 2017 : 7.30PM

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THE RSNO CHRISTMAS CONCERTSUN 18 DEC 2016 : 3PM

OWEN AND OLLY’S BEASTLY BASHSUN 30 OCT 2016 : 3PM

CHRISTMAS SWINGALONGSUN 11 DEC 2016 : 3PM

CHILDREN’S CLASSIC CONCERTS

CHILDREN’S CLASSIC CONCERTS

Introduce your little ones to the wonder of classical music with our family-friendly concerts.

See their faces light up as they watch their favourite fi lms on the big screen accompanied live by the musicians of Scotland’s National Orchestra or enjoy the antics of Children’s Classic Concerts presenters Owen and Olly in our special Hallowe’en and Christmas concerts. The perfect way to start their own musical journey.See pages 26-27 for full details of our family concerts.

A GREAT NIGHT OUT FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY

With the RSNO, there’s no need to pay the babysitter! Children are welcome to all RSNO Season concerts in the Usher Hall. From Beethoven to Rachmaninov, children aged 15 and under can experience the full wonder of the RSNO live in concert for free when accompanied by an adult.

Plus, show your U16 ticket to the programme sellers on the night and you’ll receive a free concert programme. (Maximum two free children per adult ticket. Additional children £6 each.)

Family Concerts

30 rsno.org.uk/SEASON1617

RSNO TAKEOVER 2017RSNO Takeover is a Music Teacher Award nominated two-day work experience programme for anyone aged 16 to 18 who wants to work in the arts. Fift y young people are given the chance to work across the RSNO. From marketing, press and PR, to fundraising, teaching, conducting and performing, participants are involved in every aspect of preparing a classical concert.

If you’re interested in taking part in RSNO Takeover on Monday 12 and Tuesday 13 June 2017, apply online at rsno.org.uk/engage or email the RSNO Engage Team at [email protected].

YOUNG AMBASSADORSAre you interested in classical music and aged 16 to 18? Why not become an RSNO Young Ambassador? RSNO Ambassadors attend concerts and spread the word about great classical music to their peers. They have the chance to meet musicians and conductors, and act as a youth advisory board for the Orchestra.

Call the RSNO Engage Team today on 0141 225 3552 to fi nd out more about becoming a Young Ambassador.

RSNO FOR SCHOOLSEvery year the RSNO delivers a series of specially tailored workshops and activities for nursery, primary and secondary schools. Full information about RSNO Engage for Schools can be found at rsno.org.uk/engage.

School and youth groups are most welcome to all RSNO Season concerts. Musician meet and greets and special pre-concert talks can be arranged for groups. All tickets are £6 with accompanying adults going free*.

Please phone the RSNO Engage Team to book on 0141 225 3552.

TICKET OFFERS FOR YOUNG PEOPLEThe RSNO has a number of great ticket off ers for young people*. Details of each off er can be found at the back of this brochure on p35.

Under 16s go freeUnder 26s and mature students £614-18’s attend for free with friendsSchool and youth groups £6 tickets* Terms and conditions apply. Off ers are subject to availability.

“ Truly fantastic experience. Thoroughly enjoyed my time and learned so many new things I’ll use in the future. Highly recommend this to anyone – you don’t have to play an instrument to be involved!”Megan Lawson : RSNO Takeover 2015

SPECIALOFFERS

RSNO EngageInspiring the next generation

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For 125 years, audiences in Scotland and across the globe have revelled in the rich RSNO sound. Its history and pedigree is exceptional.

In 1900, Gustav Holst joined the Orchestra as second trombone. In 1902, Richard Strauss conducted a programme including his Don Juan and Death and Transfiguration. In 1933, John Barbirolli became Principal Conductor. And we cannot overlook our modern history such as the tenure of Music Director Sir Alexander Gibson or the definitive recordings of Neeme Järvi.

Our move to the new RSNO Centre at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall is the foundation stone for the next era. In addition to our artistic team, led by Music Director Peter Oundjian and Principal Guest Conductor Thomas Søndergård, the new building will be the catalyst to drive forward our clear vision for the RSNO over the coming years. It will contribute immensely to the development of the Orchestra’s distinctive sound, alongside the acclaimed RSNO Chorus and Junior Chorus.

JOIN THE RSNO CIRCLE... and get to know us better

SUPPORT THE RSNO BY BECOMING A MEMBER OF THE RSNO CIRCLE TODAY. YOUR GIFT WILL ENABLE US TO:

Secure a new programme of concerts for children, schools and families.

Prepare the foundations for a regular commitment to international touring, flying the flag for Scotland’s National Orchestra overseas and building confidence and pride around the RSNO on an international stage.

Launch the RSNO’s new record label and develop and promote a new programme of recordings.

Progress our broadcast schedule with weekly concert slots on Classic FM and more regular broadcasts on BBC Radio 3.

Continue the conservation of the RSNO archive.

32 rsno.org.uk/SEASON1617

AS A MEMBER OF THE RSNO CIRCLE YOU WILL:

Receive advance information and priority single ticket booking for Season concerts.

Have the opportunity to attend RSNO Circle Open Rehearsals.

Be kept up to date with RSNO news with our magazine Inner Circle.

Be informed about RSNO Circle events in your area.

Be acknowledged in our Season concert programmes (Sonata, Concerto, Symphony and Virtuoso supporters only).

Provide vital support to Scotland’s great national symphony orchestra.

Get to know us better!

To join the RSNO Circle please add a gift to your subscription payment. Simply complete the box on the booking form with your preferred level of membership.

Alternatively, if you do not wish to join the Circle at this time, please do make a one-off gift on your booking form.

You can make your gift go further by dating and signing the Gift Aid box. If you are a UK taxpayer the RSNO will be able to claim an additional 25p for every £1 you donate.

Thank you to all our Circle members who kindly give to support our work on and off the concert podium.

If you have any questions about the Circle please telephone 0141 225 3565 or email [email protected].

* Sonata, Concerto, Symphony and Virtuoso members will be acknowledged in RSNO Season programmes.

YOUR LEVEL OF SUPPORT:

£1,080VIRTUOSO*

£540SYMPHONY*

£270CONCERTO*

£120SONATA*

£35/30†OVERTURE

or £90 per month by Direct Debit

or £45 per month by Direct Debit

or £22.50 per month by Direct Debit

or £10 per month by Direct Debit

annually †Concession

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A big thank you to our partners

First Rule Investment Consultancy LtdGlasgow Chamber of CommerceInstitute of DirectorsScots Magazine

The Scottish Council for Development & IndustrySmart Graphics

PRINCIPAL SPONSORS & CORPORATE DONORS

OFFICIAL TRANSPORT PROVIDER

CORPORATE PARTNERS CHAIR SPONSORS

PRINCIPAL MEDIA PARTNER BROADCAST PARTNER

PROJECT PARTNERS

Children’s Classic ConcertsChildren’s Hospice Association ScotlandCulture RepublicDrake Music Scotland

Glasgow LifeHorsecross ArtsNational Trust for ScotlandNational Youth Choir of Scotland

Renfrewshire CouncilRoyal Conservatoire of ScotlandScottish Partnership for Palliative CareSistema Scotland

Skills Development ScotlandStarcatchersUsher HallYoung Scot

We’re taking the train so why don’t you?ScotRail is the RSNO’s Official Transport Provider for the Season. RSNO musicians will not only travel in comfort to all corners of the nation, but will also reduce the environmental impact of a busy touring schedule. We recommend you make tracks for our concerts by taking the train. The Usher Hall is just a short walk from Edinburgh Waverley and Haymarket Stations. With convenient, fast and frequent services throughout Scotland and a wide range of great value off-peak and group fares, ScotRail is bound to have just the ticket to hit the right note!

Visit scotrail.co.uk or call 0344 811 0141 to book tickets.

34 rsno.org.uk/SEASON1617

Book your tickets today!UNDER 16s GO FREEChildren aged 15 or under go free to all 19 RSNO Season concerts in the Usher Hall. Children must be accompanied by a paying adult. Maximum of two free children’s tickets per adult. Additional children £6 each. Show your ticket on the night to receive a free programme.

UNDER 26s AND MATURE STUDENTSIf you are aged between 16 and 25 inclusive, or are in full-time education, you can purchase tickets to all 19 RSNO Season concerts in the Usher Hall for £6 each*. Proof of age or valid full-time student card must be shown.

14–18 YEAR OLDSThe RSNO has a limited number of free tickets available for each of our concerts, which are intended to encourage 14–18 year olds who are interested in classical music, and want to attend RSNO concerts with friends. You can apply for these tickets by calling the Engage team on 0141 225 3552.

UNEMPLOYEDIf you are of working age and in receipt of unemployment benefit, you can purchase tickets to all 19 RSNO Season concerts in the Usher Hall for £6 each*.

PATRONS WITH DISABILITIESPatrons with disabilities and their carers are entitled to 50% off full price single tickets. Please purchase tickets in advance. (Disabled concessions are not applicable to subscription prices.) Wheelchair spaces (£6 each).

GREAT DISCOUNTS FOR GROUPSGroups of 6–10 save 20% off full price tickets. Groups of 11+ save 30% off full price tickets. Email [email protected] to book. Discounts are subject to availability.

SCHOOL AND YOUTH GROUPSSchool and youth groups are most welcome to all 19 RSNO Season concerts. All tickets are £6, with accompanying adults going free*. Please email [email protected] to book.

* Seating area restrictions may apply to some performances. Subject to availability. Full details of RSNO ticket offers are available online at rsno.org.uk/great-ticket-offers

BOOKING FOUR OR MORE SEASON CONCERTS?Complete and return the booking form in the centre of this brochure to access our great ticket discounts.

BOOK YOUR TICKETSPhone*: 0131 228 1155Open Mon–Sat 10am to 5.30pm

Online*: rsno.org.uk

In person: Visit the Usher Hall Box Office at Lothian Road, Edinburgh EH1 2EA Open Mon–Sat 10am to 5.30pm*A transaction fee of £1 is charged for phone and online bookings.

SINGLE TICKET PRICESSeason concerts: £39, £29, £22, £16.50, £12.50Film and Festive concerts: £35, £26, £17Children’s Classic Concerts: Adult from £10, Child from £6

SAVE UP TO

35% BY SUBSCRIBINGTO THE SEASON!

Subscriptions on sale from Wednesday 16 March 2016. Single tickets on general sale from Tuesday 3 May 2016. RSNO Circle members can priority book single tickets from Monday 25 April 2016.

39BOX OFFICE 0131 228 1155

2016:17 SEASON

19 Killermont Street, Glasgow G2 3NX+44 (0)141 226 3868 rsno.org.ukScottish Company No 27809 Scottish Charity No SC010702

The RSNO is supported by the Scottish Government

Music at the MuseumGLW Fri 16 Sep 2016 : 8PMGLW Sat 17 Sep 2016 : 8PM

Under the Skin of RachmaninovGLW Wed 5 Oct 2016

Benedetti Plays Tchaikovsky EDN Fri 7 Oct 2016 GLW Sat 8 Oct 2016

Chamber: Schubert OctetGLW Sun 9 Oct 2016 : 2.30PM

Lewis Plays The EmperorDND Thu 13 Oct 2016EDN Fri 14 Oct 2016GLW Sat 15 Oct 2016

Beethoven SevenEDN Fri 21 Oct 2016GLW Sat 22 Oct 2016ABN Sun 23 Oct 2016 : 3PM

Symphony, Soup and a Sandwich: Beethoven EightGLW Wed 26 Oct 2016 : 1PM

Children’s Classic Concerts: Owen and Olly’s Beastly BashGLW Sat 29 Oct 2016 : 3PMEDN Sun 30 Oct 2016 : 3PM

Rachmaninov ThreeDND Thu 3 Nov 2016 EDN Fri 4 Nov 2016GLW Sat 5 Nov 2016

Mahler OnePTH Thu 10 Nov 2016EDN Fri 11 Nov 2016GLW Sat 12 Nov 2016

Dvořák Cello ConcertoEDN Fri 18 Nov 2016GLW Sat 19 Nov 2016

Chamber: Italian StringsGLW Sun 20 Nov 2016 : 2.30PM

A St Andrew’s PartyGLW Sat 26 Nov 2016

Verdi RequiemEDN Fri 2 Dec 2016GLW Sat 3 Dec 2016

Children’s Classic Concerts: Christmas CountdownGLW Sun 4 Dec 2016 : 1PM & 3PM

Vogt Plays BeethovenEDN Fri 9 Dec 2016GLW Sat 10 Dec 2016

Children’s Classic Concerts: Christmas SwingalongEDN Sun 11 Dec 2016 : 3PM

The RSNO Christmas ConcertDND Fri 16 Dec 2016GLW Sat 17 Dec 2016 : 2PM & 6PMEDN Sun 18 Dec 2016 : 3PM

Handel’s MessiahGLW Mon 2 Jan 2017 : 3PM

Viennese GalaDNF Fri 6 Jan 2017 LNG Sat 7 Jan 2017 PTH Sun 8 Jan 2017 INV Tues 10 Jan 2017STR Wed 11 Jan 2017

RSNO in ConcertKDY Fri 27 Jan 2017MSB Sat 28 Jan 2017

The Lark AscendingEDN Fri 3 Feb 2017GLW Sat 4 Feb 2017

Chamber: Sibelius & Strauss Piano QuartetsGLW Sun 5 Feb 2017 : 2.30PM

Tchaikovsky FourPTH Thu 9 Feb 2017EDN Fri 10 Feb 2017DND Sat 11 Feb 2017

Järvi’s 80th BirthdayEDN Fri 17 Feb 2017GLW Sat 18 Feb 2017

John Williams and FriendsEDN Fri 24 Feb 2017GLA Sat 25 Feb 2017 : 3PM & 7.30PMDND Sun 26 Feb 2017 : 3PM

Beethoven’s EroicaEDN Fri 3 Mar 2017GLW Sat 4 Mar 2017ABN Sun 5 Mar 2017 : 3PM

Symphony, Soup and a Sandwich: Dvořák SixGLW Wed 8 Mar 2017 : 1PM

Benedetti Plays BrahmsGLW Thu 9 Mar 2017

Benedetti Plays BruchEDN Fri 10 Mar 2017

Musical SafariGLW Thu 30 Mar 2017 : 10.30AM

Composers’ Hub WorkshopGLW Fri 31 Mar 2017 : 10AM

Come and Sing: Mozart RequiemGLW Sat 1 Apr 2017 : 10AM

Under the Skin of BeethovenGLW Wed 5 Apr 2017

Brahms FourDND Thu 6 Apr 2017EDN Fri 7 Apr 2017GLW Sat 8 Apr 2017

Chamber: Beethoven Quintet GLW Sun 9 Apr 2017 : 2.30PM

Beethoven OneEDN Fri 21 Apr 2017GLW Sat 22 Apr 2017

In Focus: MahlerGLW Sat 22 Apr 2017 : 10AMEDN Sat 20 May 2017 : 10AM

Tchaikovsky’s PathétiqueEDN Fri 28 Apr 2017GLW Sat 29 Apr 2017ABN Sun 30 Apr 2017 : 3PM

Brahms ThreeEDN Fri 5 May 2017GLW Sat 6 May 2017

Chamber: Delightful StringsGLW Sun 7 May 2017 : 2.30PM

Symphony Soup and a Sandwich: Dvořák EightGLW Wed 10 May 2017 : 1PM

A Night at the BalletGLW Sat 13 May 2017

Amadeus LiveEDN Fri 19 May 2017GLW Sat 20 May 2017

Chamber: Masters of the BassGLW Sun 21 May 2017 : 2.30PM

Sibelius FiveEDN Fri 26 May 2017GLW Sat 27 May 2017

Season Finale! Mahler ThreeEDN Fri 2 Jun 2017GLW Sat 3 Jun 2017

RSNO in ConcertDNF Sat 10 Jun 2017

All concerts start at 7.30PM unless otherwise noted.

BOX OFFICE NUMBERS

Aberdeen ABN 01224 641122Dundee DND 01382 434940Dunfermline DNF 01383 602302Edinburgh EDN 0131 228 1155Glasgow GLW 0141 353 8000Inverness INV 01463 234234Kirkcaldy KDY 01592 583302Langholm LNG 01387 381196Musselburgh MSB 0131 665 2240Perth PTH 01738 621031Stirling STR 01786 473544

Thank you to: RSNO photography: © Mark Hamilton 2016Lighting and projections: Phil Smith, Matthew Smith – Phil Smith Associates LtdDesign concept: Ken Maskrey Design consultants: Stand