The Scottish Ensemble’s 2013/14 Season

7 Jun 2013 in Aberdeen City & Shire, Highland, Music

The Scottish Ensemble’s 2013/14 Season

Musical journeys around Scotland and Europe

The Scottish Ensemble will launch its 2013/14 season at the Music Hall in Aberdeen on Friday 7 June 2013. The choice of location is not accidental: it underlines the Ensemble’s commitment to its innovative regional touring model, the City Residencies programme. In October 2012 SE launched residencies in Inverness and Dundee, and in June 2013 Aberdeen and Perth also receive their first–ever Scottish Ensemble residencies.


Throughout the 4-day residencies SE undertakes a wide range of on- and off-platform events designed specifically around individual communities. Events have included: coaching sessions with young and amateur musicians, pop-up performances, late-night and cross-art-form events, tea dances, ceilidhs, and more. This new model is ambitious and has already delivered significant results. It has brought about a considerable increase in audience numbers, strengthened key relationships with community stakeholders and is bringing high-quality music-making to previously unreached groups.




The Scottish Ensemble’s season takes audiences on a number of exciting musical journeys around Scotland and Europe; each programme is inspired by place and musical identity. 2013/14 includes four major tours in Scotland, four city residencies, concerts at London’s Wigmore Hall, lunchtime concerts, and chamber music performances. It also includes late-night gigs and a whole range of activities in surprising and unusual locations as part of the city residencies.


Season highlights include:


· A season of work rooted in the idea of musical place and identify.


· Performances of Martin Suckling’s full set of Musical Postcards written for the Ensemble.


· A new commission from Danish composer Christian Winther Christensen in a programme to include classic Scandinavian string repertoire alongside contemporary voices.



A major tour of Scotland with rising star mezzo soprano Sophie Harmsen, which will culminate in a performance at London’s Wigmore Hall.


· Concerts with Chris Stout and Catriona McKay, to include Sally Beamish’s Seavaigers, plus new material from Stout and McKay.


· A new commission to some of Scotland’s most exciting composers, each writing a variation on a traditional Scottish melody.


· The continuation of SE’s relationship with key broadcast partner BBC Radio 3.






From Russian with Love

29 September Inverness; residency 26-29 September / Dundee 3 October; residency 30 September-3 October


The season begins in September/October 2013 with SE’s second residencies in Dundee and Inverness. In addition to numerous activities outside the concert hall there is a distinctly Russian flavour to the main concerts. Music with heart, soul and tremendous emotion from Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky opens the season and lets the new audiences SE encounters throughout the residencies experience a real musical high for their first Scottish Ensemble experience.


Tchaikovsky Andante Cantabile

Shostakovich String Quartet No. 2 in A major (arr. Morton)

Shostakovich Two Pieces

Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings in C major




Britain vs. Germany

21 October Aberdeen / 22 October Edinburgh / 23 October Glasgow / 24 October Perth / 26 October London


In October, SE is staging the classic musical football match of Britain vs. Germany. British string music has always formed an important part of the Ensemble’s work and here it is contrasted against German compositional forces in a concert of two halves. A string classic and a new work by both British and German composers, SE invites its audience to root for its team and come along to decide who wins this particular match.


Walton Sonata for Strings

Leopold Hurt Dead Reckoning

Martin Suckling Musical Postcards 1-4

Brahms String Quintet No. 2 in G Major (arr. Morton)




Nordic Nights

Concerts by Candlelight

6 December Aberdeen / 7 December Inverness / 8 December Dundee / 9 December Perth / 10 December Glasgow / 11 December Edinburgh



The Scottish Ensemble’s popular December ‘Concerts by Candlelight’ series has a Nordic twist in 2013. The programme includes a new arrangement for the Ensemble of Grieg’s string quartet and an usual journey through ‘Holberg’s Time’ with fascinating detours via exciting contemporary Scandinavian voices.




Grieg From Holberg’s Time (Holberg Suite)

with interludes from contemporary

Scandinavian composers including

Christian Winther

Christensen New Work (SE Commission)


Sibelius Andante Festivo

Grieg String Quartet No. 1



Love and War in Bohemia

21 February Inverness / 22 February Dundee / 23 February Glasgow / 24 February Edinburgh / 26 February London


Following her successful UK debut with the Scottish Ensemble in 2012, the thrilling mezzo soprano Sophie Harmsen returns to perform with the Scottish Ensemble in February 2014. She performs Dvořák’s magical love songs alongside virtuosic baroque arias in a concert centring on musical treasures from Bohemia. The concert concludes with a Suk’s beautifully romantic Serenade for Strings.


Pavel Haas Study for String Orchestra

Dvořák Love Songs (arr. Matthews)

Handel Selected Arias

Biber Battalia

Suk Serenade for Strings in E Flat Major


Mezzo soprano Sophie Harmsen




Aberdeen 24 April; residency 21-24 April / 29 April Perth; residency 26-29 April /30 April Glasgow / 1 May Edinburgh


In April, the Scottish Ensemble team up with folk super duo Chris Stout and Catriona McKay for the final musical journey of the season, one SE will take to Aberdeen and Perth as part of the city residencies. Sally Beamish’s Seavaigers was composed especially for the Ensemble and these two soloists; it describes a sea journey from Dundee to Shetland. The programme also includes Bach’s Double Violin concerto in a performance that explores the work’s folk roots. There is also a composite new commission from some of Scotland’s most exciting musical voices, all writing a variation on a traditional Scottish melody.


Stout/McKay Sunstone (new material)

Sally Beamish Seavaigers

Bach Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor

Various Composers Scottish Variations (SE new commission)


Violin Jonathan Morton

Scottish harp Catriona McKay

Fiddle Chris Stout




Scottish Ensemble Artistic Director Jonathan Morton said:


Presenting exciting concerts of the highest quality throughout Scotland and in London remains our main objective, but in 2012 our activities broadened significantly in two areas. Firstly, we launched our first annual city residencies, and secondly we raised our profile internationally through two major touring projects in the USA and in China and Taiwan. In quite different ways these experiences have enriched our purpose, and encouraged us to keep striving for deeper and more meaningful engagement with our audiences.


The 2013/14 season is rooted in the idea of musical place and identify. Highlights include a genre-crossing programme with folk musicians Chris Stout and Catriona Mackay, featuring an evocative score by Sally Beamish; our Christmas programme, including new and familiar Scandinavian music transporting you to a Nordic winter landscape; and in February, a musical collaboration with a star of opera stages and concert halls, mezzo soprano Sophie Harmsen.

We’re also presenting lunchtime concerts and chamber music programmes, in addition to the broad programme of off-platform events which take place as part of our residencies.

Source: Scottish Ensemble