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Scotland is renowned across the globe for its rich culture and heritage, and its contribution to the world past and present. From its thriving contemporary arts and music scene to its achievements in industry, medicine, science, law and literature, Scotland's story is one of immense achievement
Scottish Ensemble: Raising the Bar
The Scottish Ensemble, whose new season was announced last week, has achieved spectacular results and set in train certain developments which could well have a profound impact on the international profile of the group.
It’s not unfamiliar for the 12-strong string group to welcome occasional guests into its circle: just this season tenor Toby Spence, who has a close and long-standing relationship with the Scottish Ensemble, was back with them singing Jacques Brel. (And we haven’t quite heard the last of that one, by the way.)
And only last month they were joined by the choir Tenebrae for two special Easter concerts focusing on James MacMillan’s Seven Last Words From The Cross.
But look at the line-up they have unveiled for next season: they will be joined by the great Dutch cellist Pieter Wispelway in the UK premiere of a new work by leading Finnish composer Aulis Sallinen. They will be joined by cellist Natalie Clein in a performance of John Tavener’s iconic piece, The Protecting Veil, which will form part of a minimalist evening in Kelvingrove Art Galleries organised by Svend Brown, new artistic director of Glasgow Concert Halls.
In a spectacular coup, the ensemble will be joined by superstar trumpeter Alison Balsom in the world premiere of a new work by James MacMillan – London performance only, first time round.
And not only are they being joined by top English violinist Anthony Marwood in a rare performance of Schumann’s Cello Concerto in an arrangement for violin and string orchestra, Scottish Ensemble artistic director and leader Jonathan Morton is handing over the entire programme to Marwood, whom he has invited to guest direct the ensemble.