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Chorus of the Scottish National Orchestra

Royal Scottish National Orchestra

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Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Also known as RSNO
Scottish Orchestra
Scottish National Orchestra
Royal Scottish Orchestra
Origin Glasgow, Scotland
Genres Classical
Occupations Symphony orchestra
Years active 1893-present
Associated acts RSNO Chorus
Music Director
Stéphane Denève
Assistant Conductor
Christian Kluxen
Conductor Laureate
Neeme Järvi
Conductor Emeritus
Alexander Lazarev
Walter Weller
Former members
George Henschel

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) is Scotland's national symphony orchestra. Based in Glasgow, the 89-member professional orchestra also regularly performs in Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee, and abroad. Formed in 1891 as the Scottish Orchestra, the company has performed full-time since 1950, when it took the name Scottish National Orchestra. It was awarded royal patronage in 1991. Shortly after the award it briefly used the title Royal Scottish Orchestra before reverting to its present name.

Under its first Scottish-born, and longest serving conductor, Sir Alexander Gibson, the orchestra began to develop an international profile. In line with Gibson's own specialities, the orchestra became known for its interpretations of Scandinavian composers, notably Jean Sibelius and Carl Nielsen. This was consolidated in the tenure of Neeme Järvi, who also led the orchestra through its first complete Gustav Mahler cycle. The second Scot to lead the orchestra, Bryden Thomson, maintained the Nordic link with a cycle of Nielsen symphonies.

The RSNO's base is at Henry Wood Hall in Glasgow and is also used as its recording venue. The RSNO also performs throughout Scotland, at such venues as the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Usher Hall (Edinburgh), Caird Hall (Dundee), Aberdeen Music Hall, Perth Concert Hall and Eden Court Inverness.

The orchestra had a long-standing recording contract with Chandos Records in the 1980s and 1990s which has recently been re-established. Today, it chiefly records for Naxos Records, most notably in a cycle of Anton Bruckner symphonies with the late Georg Tintner, cycles of Arnold Bax symphonies with David Lloyd-Jones, and several recordings of American works (including the complete orchestral works of Samuel Barber) under the baton of Marin Alsop. In May 2007, the RSNO made their first recordings with Stéphane Denève, of music of Albert Roussel, for Naxos. The first recording[1] received the Diapason d'Or de l'année for Symphonic Music. The second disc in the series was released in 2008.[2]

The RSNO is supported by the RSNO Chorus. The RSNO Chorus evolved from a choir formed in 1843 to sing the first full performance of Handel's Messiah in Scotland, in April 1844. The RSNO Chorus performs with the RSNO throughout the year, and for the RSNO's Season and Prom series in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee. In addition to its commitment to the RSNO, the Chorus performs independently and has toured worldwide. The current chorus director is Timothy Dean, since 2006.

The RSNO's artistic team is headed by music director Stéphane Denève and assistant conductor Christian Kluxen, with Simon Woods as its chief executive. Woods is scheduled to leave his RSNO post in 2011.[3] Denève began his tenure as music director in 2005, and in April 2007, his contract was extended through 2011.[4] In March 2010, the RSNO announced a 1-year extension of Denève's music directorship through the 2011-2012 season, and the conclusion of his tenure after that season.[5] [6] In January 2011, the RSNO announced the appointment of Peter Oundjian as its next music director, as of the 2012-2013 season, with an initial contract of 4 years.[7] [8]

In April 2007, the orchestra became one of Scotland's five national performing companies, supported directly by the Scottish Government (previously support came through the Scottish Arts Council).[9]

Tenures of Principal Conductors

  • George Henschel (1893-1895)
  • Willem Kes (1895-1898)
  • Max Bruch (1898-1900)
  • Frederic Cowen (1900-1910)
  • Emil Mynarski (1910-1916)
  • Landon Ronald (1916-1920)
  • Václav Talich (1926-1927)
  • Vladimir Golschmann (1928-1930)
  • John Barbirolli (1933-1936)
  • Warwick Braithwaite (1940-1946)
  • George Szell (1937-1939)
  • Walter Susskind (1946-1952)
  • Karl Rankl (1952-1957)
  • Hans Swarowsky (1957-1959)


  1. Tim Ashley, Roussel: Bacchus et Ariane; Symphony No 3, RSNO/ Denève, The Guardian, 8 June 2007. URL accessed on 2010-03-06.
  2. Tim Ashley, Roussel: Symphony No 2; Suite in F; Pour une Fête de Printemps, RSNO/ Denève, The Guardian, 13 June 2008. URL accessed on 2010-02-20.
  3. Royal Scottish National Orchestra (4 November 2010). RSNO Chief Executive will leave in Spring 2011. Press release. Retrieved on 2011-02-01
  4. Phil Miller (19 April 2007). RSNO to retain music director and receive £750,000 from executive. The Herald. Retrieved on 2007-05-21.
  5. Royal Scottish National Orchestra (March 2010). RSNO Music Director commits through 2012 and announces new European appointment. Press release. Retrieved on 2010-03-06
  6. Phil Miller, National orchestra maestro to leave Scotland, The Herald, 4 March 2010. URL accessed on 2010-03-06.
  7. Royal Scottish National Orchestra (31 January 2011). Peter Oundjian to be RSNOs new Music Director. Press release. Retrieved on 2011-02-01
  8. Phil Miller, Leading violinist gets top role at RSNO, The Herald, 1 February 2011. URL accessed on 2011-02-01.
  9. Scottish Government (29 April 2007). National performing companies get official status. Press release. Retrieved on 2008-08-21

External links

This page was last modified 01.02.2011 22:05:11

This article uses material from the article Royal Scottish National Orchestra from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.