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Scottish Ensemble is thrilled to reveal the details of its 2019/20 Season, celebrating the string orchestra’s 50th anniversary.

View the 2019/20 Brochure (mobile)
View the 2019/20 Brochure (desktop)
View the events online

Spanning August 2019 to June 2020, our 2019-20 season is bursting at the seams with new, imaginative and thought-provoking events which we’re looking forward to bringing to places across Scotland, the UK and the globe.

Reflecting our passion and drive for collaborating with a variety of creative minds, this season we’ll collaborate with artists and partners from across art forms, genres and disciplines, including visionary theatre-makers Untitled Projects, Icelandic composer/producer Valgeir Sigurðsson, acclaimed harpsichordist and Arcangelo Artistic Director Jonathan Cohen, exceptional European groups including Ensemble Resonanz and Trondheim Soloists, exceptional Scottish groups including Dunedin Consort, and social enterprise Social Bite, to name just a few.

The season also continues to see SE take music to a wider audience, whether by opening up classical music by creating engaging new experiences with collaborators outside of the classical sphere, or through
our commitment to taking music out of the concert hall and directly into communities.

We’ll also continue to create imaginative, meaningful ways to bring music to people who might not otherwise be able to experience it through an integrated programme of bespoke participatory events, workshops and learning opportunities. These are created in collaboration with local partners such as schools, hospitals and community groups, and inspired by themes from the season’s collaborations.

This season marks Scottish Ensemble’s 50th Anniversary, and the programme of events is both a continuation of our recent innovation, and a celebration of the distinctive qualities that have shaped Scottish Ensemble since it was founded in 1969: live performance of an exceptional standard, and an inquisitive, open-minded approach to how we can present and share the vibrant, vital, surprising, multi-faceted and utterly enjoyable art form that is classical music.

The main tours

Chamber Notes
29 August – 3 September 2019
3 – 7 February 2020

SE will welcome guest director Marianne Thorsen – former leader of the Nash Ensemble, and regular guest with Trondheim Soloists – for a concert celebrating the power of chamber music, as well as the virtuosity and talent of SE musicians and its collaborators, through a performance of the octets of Mendelssohn and Enescu.
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Baroque: Take Two
16 – 21 October 2019

A promenade concert with acclaimed harpsichordist and Arcangelo Artistic Director Jonathan Cohen, exploring a rich programme of Baroque concerti grossi and sonatas across two contrasting venues to explore the effect of our surroundings on the way we hear.
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9 – 13 November 2019

A collaboration centred around a new commission by acclaimed fiddler Aidan O’Rourke (Lau) and pianist/keyboardist Kit Downes, inspired by Edwin Morgan’s 1984 poem Slate and exploring its themes of Scottish landscape – both politically and environmentally – and the processes of change and time.
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For A Winter’s Night:
Concerts by Candlelight
3 – 11 December 2019

A 50th Anniversary special of our much-loved Concerts by Candlelight series, offering a series of musical snapshots and fragments from across our history – from pieces that have resonated with audiences, to our favourite commissions, to works from outside the classical repertoire.
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We Are In Time
25 February – 6 March 2020

A major new theatrical co-production with Untitled Projects. Directed and conceived by Stewart Laing (Untitled Projects / National Theatre of Scotland), with text from dramaturg Pamela Carter and a bespoke new score from Icelandic composer/producer Valgeir Sigurðsson for string orchestra and two vocalists, We Are In Time explores the journey of a transplanted heart through the voices of both the donor and the recipient.
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Seven Last Words
26 – 31 March 2020

The performance of a landmark Scottish work, James MacMillan’s Seven Last Words From The Cross, with Dunedin Consort, another leading Scottish Ensemble celebrated at home and abroad for their vivid interpretations and commitment to exceptional performances.
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The Bridge
14 – 17 May 2020

Supported by Creative Europe, The Bridge is a collaboration between three of Europe’s leading string ensembles – Scottish Ensemble (UK), Ensemble Resonanz (Germany) and Trondheim Soloists (Norway) – and a major European talent development organisation, the PLMF Music Trust (Estonia). From 14-17 May 2020, we’ll host the first Bridge festival, filling venues across the breadth of Glasgow – from concert halls, to theatres, to living rooms – with events that showcase the vitality, innovation and potential of the string repertoire, as well as the considerable talents of these exceptional European ensembles.
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Sound Bites
18 – 21 June 2020

Ending the season on a celebratory note, you’re invited to join us for a celebratory musical feast in collaboration with Scottish social enterprise Social Bite. Audience members and musicians will enjoy a meal together (provided by Social Bite, and curated by a local celebrity chef) before an evening of musical entertainment from ourselves, and some special guests.
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