Scottish Ensemble’s Guide To… Quintets (tour)

Five of us will soon be setting off for a week-long trip around Scotland to play quintets. As one of our slightly exhausted office staff announced at the end of an extremely busy 2015: “that’s five people.” At that point, we probably did all need the clarification. The string quintet doesn’t tend to get as many outings… Read more »

Easing into 2016.

A new year sounds like such a bright, fresh prospect – what a shame each year opens with January, that bleakest of months. In an effort to negate the effects of short days and cold nights, we have thrown ourselves in to planning our shiny new season, to be announced in May, and stretching from… Read more »

The Classical Effect

If you live in Glasgow, where the Scottish Ensemble office is based, it’s been hard not to follow the after-effects of The Glasgow Effect – an otherwise innocuous year-long artistic project conceived by Glasgow resident, artist and academic Ellie Harrison which takes its name from the nickname for the unexplained low life expectancy of people… Read more »

Three Pärts Bach: A Guide to Pärt

Arvo Pärt – a cult musical icon for the 21st-century. Pronounced Per-t or Pear-t, depending on your accent, Pärt seems to have become one of those composers with the power to attract ‘the young ones’, which seems to be shorthand for ‘anyone who isn’t really into classical music, persee, but will like things like Pärt… Read more »

Three Pärts Bach: A Guide to Bach

There is, in Scotland, a special time of the year when November slides into December and the miserable sodden rain and howling wind that characterises much of the former turns into even colder, more miserable and more sodden rain which then, if we’re lucky, crystallises into even colder flecks of sleet and snow which covers… Read more »

Concerts by 21st-century candlelight, with DO Architecture

‘Tis the season to bang a few candles on the poster for your event and call it Christmassy. In fact, you’re hard stumped to find a Christmas event that doesn’t have some sort of glowing warmth involved in the advertising, if not the event, because, let’s face it, doing anything by candlelight is (a) an… Read more »

Guest Director Matthew Truscott introduces the December tour

We really are thrilled to welcome Matthew Truscott, leader of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and one of the regular leaders of Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, as Guest Director on this year’s Christmas concert. He has put together a frankly brilliant programme which combines and links some of the most enjoyable and accomplished string pieces… Read more »

Music is power, music is peace.

  The Divan is not a love story, and it is not a peace story. It has very flatteringly been described as a project for peace. It isn’t. It’s not going to bring peace, whether you play well or not so well. The Divan was conceived as a project against ignorance. A project against the… Read more »

Q: How many arts professionals does it take to plan a residency?

A: Well, one, kind of… it’s a bit more complicated than you might think. As part of our ‘not just normal concerts’ remit we have, since 2012, been putting on SE Residencies, which are when we plan a cluster of events in a specific city or location which go out of the concert hall and into the… Read more »

A short interview with David Matthews

Having just been premiered on our festive Night & Day concerts, acclaimed British composer David Matthews’ brand new arrangement of two Chopin nocturnes for string orchestra has without a doubt been one of the highlights of the tour – both for us and our audience, it would seem. Whilst Bachtrack described Two Nocturnes as being “meltingly beautiful”, The… Read more »

20th-Century Perspectives: City Spaces & Strings

Tommy Ga-Ken Wan, a Glasgow-based photographer with an international reputation spoke to SE Artistic Director Jonathan Morton about the upcoming event 20th-Century Perspectives: City Spaces & Strings. He also took some beautiful, striking images of the event’s secret location. Outside the performance space Tommy Ga-Ken Wan The Provencal-Rosé paradox is the name scientists give to the… Read more »

Scottish Ensemble Residencies: The View from a Young Artist Part 2

Talented violinists and SE Young Artists Katrina Lee and Wen Wang continue our residency blog as the Ensemble travels to Dundee for another 4-day residency.  After our first main concert in Inverness, everyone clambered onto the coach with bottles and nibbles! What a fantastic way to spend the time travelling to Dundee and to celebrate… Read more »