In 2019, Scottish Ensemble is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

50 years is an important milestone and one that offers us the opportunity to consider what we might be able to achieve in the decades to come. We’ve been asking ourselves what success would look like far into the future – and we’d like to ask you to consider this question with us. Can you help us realise our vision?

Click Here to Donate to our Fund for the Future

What is our Fund for the Future?

Every year, our generous supporters – from trusts to individuals – contribute an essential £150,000 to our charitable activities. This is support that we seek and utilise on an annual basis.

In this, our 50th year, we are looking further ahead and seeking to raise an additional £100,000. This will be our Fund for the Future – a special source of support that will help Scottish Ensemble further strengthen its position as one of the most exceptional, innovative chamber music groups performing today. For the next five years, the resources raised for our Fund for the Future will go towards delivering key projects that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.

The fund will be used to develop three core strands of our work:

Creation and Collaboration

At 50 years, we want to ensure our work continues to stand apart through its innovation, quality and collaborative spirit.

Collaboration has been a key element of Scottish Ensemble’s work since its earliest beginnings in 1969, providing music for baroque operas staged at Lledlanet Nights, Scottish publisher and polymath John Calder’s unique multi-arts festival.

More recently, our cross-artform collaborations with visual arts, dance and theatre have enabled us to continue to reach a larger and more diverse audience and to truly mark our mark on international stages.

To ensure this work continues to flourish and reach the highest possible standards, we need to invest in the creative ideas and people that sit at the heart of these music-focused productions.

If we reach our campaign target, we will be able to:

  • Seek out the most inventive creative voices – composers, designers, directors or performers – who are trailblazers in reinvigorating classical music through collaboration.
  • Support more time for intense, deep exploration of our projects’ themes. To ensure collaborations reach their fullest potential to inspire and excite our audiences and supporters, they need to germinate in a fertile artistic environment – think artists pacing a room together for days at a time!
  • Run ‘new ideas’ sessions encouraging new voices and creative minds to pitch and discuss early project concepts to our musicians and team – helping us find the next outstanding idea that could change the face of Scottish music.

Inspiration and Imagination

At 50 years, we want to support new generations of music lovers and performers, and the health and wellbeing of Scotland’s young people.

With a strong track record of delivering engaging projects for young people from the earliest stages of Scottish Ensemble’s existence, we would now like to increase our capacity to perform across Scotland’s schools and to learn from Scotland’s young people.

Music education and especially instrumental provision is increasingly under threat due to stretched local authority budgets. we believe now is the right time to increase our presence in schools – advocating for the importance of musical education, and for its ability to stimulate learning across a range of subjects, as well as to increase confidence, empathy and problem-solving skills.

If we reach our campaign target, we will work to:

    • Develop the idea of Scottish Ensemble ‘Home School’. Scottish Ensemble will be deeply embedded in a school’s yearly programme, connecting with 1000+ pupils, as well as staff, and using music to bring the curriculum to life and to support morale, integration and aspiration.
    • Inspire thousands of children across Scotland by captivating whole primary schools through live, powerful performances bringing classical music to life right in the school hall. Led by Scottish Ensemble musicians, we’ll tell the stories behind iconic works for strings, through a new annual schools’ programme on a scale we’ve not yet been able to consider.
    • Start to implement free family concerts with community partners across Scotland to ensure no young person need miss out on a live Scottish Ensemble performance.

Festivals and the Future

Photograph of Scottish Ensemble musicians arriving at venue

At 50 years, we want to lead the way in international musical development.

From our first performances at Lledlanet Nights, the festival spirit is still in our blood! In 2018, Scottish Ensemble was successful in securing funding from the Creative Europe programme of the European Commission, and is now leading The Bridge, a new cooperation project between European string ensembles.

This significant new project was to culminate in a new international festival of string ensembles in Glasgow in May 2020 (postponed due to Covid-19) and the inauguration of a European Strings Ensembles Network! This is a hugely exciting development of our work and a significant new event for Scotland’s music audiences, with the potential to generate a true legacy for string music across Europe. While Creative Europe supports 60% of this project’s funding, we must also bring in additional support to enable this project to fulfil its potential.

If we reach our target, we will use support from our Fund to the Future to:

      • Present a truly varied, dynamic and ground-breaking programme of performances across Glasgow when we welcome three international performing groups to Scotland for this festival (date TBC due to Covid-19).
      • Find additional, sustainable ways to strengthen our cultural ties with Europe through additional events, performances and exchanges around The Bridge; using our musical heritage to unite and reinforce a shared and vital European identity for audiences at home and abroad.
      • Bond together – through digital infrastructure and special commissions – an ambitious network of exceptional string groups across Europe which will generate new Europe-wide ideas and musical initiatives.

Ways to Support

The Fund for the Future is about making a donation now which could enable special projects for years to come. Any donation is welcome, and you could choose to support the fund in a range of different ways including:

Donations are gratefully received across three categories:

      • Gold: £5,000 – £20,000+ (Benefit value = <5% of donation)
      • Silver: £1,000 – £4,999 (Benefit value = <5% of donation)
      • Bronze: £50 – £1,000 (Benefit value = <£25 of donation)

Benefit values represent the actual cost of a membership. Amounts given over and above this are given by choice as a donation to Scottish Ensemble and are eligible for Gift Aid.

And How We’ll Thank You

Your special donation will ensure your connection with Scottish Ensemble is cemented for years to come.

Regular public acknowledgements of your support will be a key way we recognize this. Our Fund for the Future donors will be listed in all our major publications and online, and will continue to be for the duration of the Fund’s lifetime.

This is a long-standing relationship, one that will continue to impact our work for years to come.

In addition to this we’ll:

For all Fund for the Future supporters:

      • Invite you to a special event at the end of our anniversary year to celebrate the impact of the Fund for the Future
      • Share special commemorative 50th Anniversary gifts – both digital and physical – with you throughout the year

For Fund for the Future Silver supporters and up:

      • Extend invitations to special events related to the key ambitions outlined above for the next five years

Fund for the Future Gold supporters and up:

      • Offer headline credits for our major supporters on projects they most want to support
      • Personally introduce you to musicians and collaborators involved in key projects and give you insights into the creative process

And for those giving over £20,000…

…we will create a bespoke thank you event, and tailor a special set of benefits in collaboration with you, as well as confirming your lifetime membership of our Strings Attached scheme.

Click Here to Donate to our Fund for the Future

If you have any questions about making a donation to the Fund for the Future, contact our Interim Development Manager on 0141 332 4747, or

Download the Fund for the Future Information Pack (PDF)