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The Scottish Chamber Orchestra (SCO) is an Edinburgh-based UK chamber orchestra. One of Scotland's five National Performing Arts Companies, the SCO performs throughout Scotland, including annual tours of the Scottish Highlands and Islands and South of Scotland. The SCO appears regularly at the Edinburgh, East Neuk, St Magnus and Aldeburgh Festivals and The Proms. The SCO's international touring receives support from the Scottish Government. The SCO rehearses mainly at Edinburgh's Queen's Hall.


The SCO was formed in 1974, with Roderick Brydon as its first Principal Conductor, from 1974 to 1983. Other principal conductors have included Jukka-Pekka Saraste (1987–1991) and Ivor Bolton (1994–1996). The American violinist and conductor Joseph Swensen served as Principal Conductor from 1996 to 2005, and is now the SCO's Conductor Emeritus. Sir Charles Mackerras held the position of Conductor Laureate until his death in 2010. The Estonian conductor Olari Elts served as the SCO's Principal Guest Conductor from October 2007 to September 2010.[1] In October 2008, the SCO announced the appointment of Robin Ticciati as the orchestra's fifth principal conductor, effective as of the 2009–2010 season,[2] with an initial contract of 3 years.[3] In October 2010, the SCO announced the extension of Ticciati's contract as principal conductor for an additional 3 years, through the 2014-2015 season.[4] In March 2013, the SCO further extended Ticciati's contract as principal conductor to 2018.[5] In May 2014, the SCO announced the appointment of Emmanuel Krivine as its next principal guest conductor, effective September 2015, for an initial period of 4 years.[6][7]

The orchestra's prior chief executive of 23 years, Roy McEwan-Brown, retired in August 2016. In April 2016, the SCO announced the appointment of Gavin Reid as its next chief executive, effective 29 August 2016.[8]

Ticciati concluded his SCO tenure at the close of the 2017-2018 season.[9] In March 2018, Maxim Emelyanychev first guest-conducted the SCO, as an emergency substitute for Ticciati. Based on this appearance, in May 2018, the SCO announced the appointment of Emelyanychev as its sixth principal conductor, effective with the 2019-2020 season.[10]

The SCO's work in contemporary music has included collaborations with Gordon Crosse,[11] John McLeod,[12] and with Peter Maxwell Davies, notably the series of Strathclyde Concertos.[13][14] Einojuhani Rautavaara's Autumn Gardens received its world premiere with the SCO in 1999.[15] The SCO premiered Sally Beamish's Concerto for Orchestra (Sangsters) in November 2002.[16] The SCO has commissioned over 100 new works, from composers including Peter Maxwell Davies (the SCO's Composer Laureate), Mark-Anthony Turnage, Judith Weir, Sally Beamish, Karin Rehnqvist, Lyell Cresswell, James MacMillan, Hafliði Hallgrímsson, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Stuart MacRae, Edward Harper and Martin Suckling (appointed SCO Associate Composer in 2013).[17]

The SCO has recorded for a number of labels, including Deutsche Grammophon[18] and Hyperion.[19] It has a recording partnership with the Glasgow-based record company, Linn Records, with whom it has recorded 12 albums, including several recordings of Mozart symphonies conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras[20][21] and an album of Berlioz conducted by Ticciati.[22]

Principal conductorsEdit


  1. ^ Marisa Duffy (6 September 2007). "A season of musical delights". The Herald. Retrieved 16 September 2007. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Tim Cornwell (10 October 2008). "He's young and talented..and the future of classical music". The Scotsman. Retrieved 13 November 2008.
  3. ^ Phil Miller (10 October 2008). "'Exciting young conductor' to take over baton at Scottish orchestra". The Herald. Archived from the original on 3 December 2008. Retrieved 13 November 2008.
  4. ^ "Robin Ticciati extends contract until 2015" (Press release). Scottish Chamber Orchestra. October 2010. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 14 October 2010.
  5. ^ "Principal Conductor Robin Ticciati extends contract until 2018" (Press release). Scottish Chamber Orchestra. 15 March 2013. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  6. ^ "Scottish Chamber Orchestra appoints Emmanuel Krivine as Principal Guest Conductor" (PDF) (Press release). Scottish Chamber Orchestra. 2 May 2014. Retrieved 20 July 2014.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Scottish orchestra to benefit from the French connection". The Herald. 9 July 2014. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
  8. ^ "Announcing our new Chief Executive! Gavin Reid to succeed Roy McEwan at the helm of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra" (Press release). Scottish Chamber Orchestra. 20 April 2016. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  9. ^ Keith Bruce (22 March 2017). "The SCO's fine send-off season for conductor Robin Ticciati". The Herald. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  10. ^ "Scottish Chamber Orchestra announces new Principal Conductor as Maxim Emelyanychev" (PDF) (Press release). Scottish Chamber Orchestra. 29 May 2018. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  11. ^ Northcott, Bayan, "Recordings: Crosse: Elegy, Op.1 (1959-61); Symphony No.1, Op.13A (1976); Dreamsongs, Op.43 (1978)" (June 1981). Tempo (New Ser.), 137: 49-51.
  12. ^ MacDonald , Calum, "The Music of John McLeod" (April 1982). The Musical Times, 123 (1670): pp. 255-258
  13. ^ Johnson, David, "Reports: Scotland" (May 1984). The Musical Times, 125 (1695): pp. 284-285.
  14. ^ Warnaby, John, "Record Review - Maxwell Davies: Strathclyde Concerto No. 9 / Strathclyde Concerto No. 10 / Carolisima" (July 1997). Tempo (New Ser.), 201: pp. 53-55.
  15. ^ Edward Greenfield (28 July 1999). "A real find among Finns". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 September 2009.
  16. ^ Tom Service (18 November 2002). "SCO/Knussen (Matt Thomson Hall, Glasgow)". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 September 2009.
  17. ^ Kate Molleson (2 February 2014). "Martin Suckling is calm and composed for SCO 40th anniversary". The Herald. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  18. ^ Andrew Clements (31 March 2006). "Mozart: La Clemenza di Tito, Trost/Martinpelto/Kozena/Milne/Rice/Relyea/SCO and Chorus/Mackerras". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 September 2009.
  19. ^ Anthony Holden (23 September 2007). "This week's classical CDs (Beethoven, The Symphonies)". The Observer. Retrieved 5 September 2009.
  20. ^ Anthony Holden (24 February 2008). "Classical CD releases". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 October 2010.
  21. ^ Stephen Pritchard (7 March 2010). "Mozart: Symphonies 29, 31, 32, 35 & 36". The Observer. Retrieved 14 October 2010.
  22. ^ Andrew Clements (5 April 2012). "Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique; Overture to Beatrice and Benedict – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 March 2013.

External linksEdit