Scottish Ensemble (SE) is thrilled to announce its 2019/20 season, spanning August 2019 to June 2020 and marking the string orchestra’s 50th anniversary.

Founded in 1969, SE has established a reputation as the UK’s leading string orchestra, and is today known for exploring the imaginative and innovative ways in which classical music can be presented and shared. Since its first major cross-artform collaboration in 2014 (with visual artist Toby Paterson, at Glasgow’s Anderston Centre), the group has become increasingly known - both in Scotland, and further afield - for its adventurous, forward-thinking productions with artists of all kinds that introduce music for strings to new audiences, and connect it to our wider experience of contemporary life.

Across its celebratory 2019-20 season, SE continues on this trajectory offering a series of thought-provoking, experience-driven events performed across Scotland, the UK and the globe. Bursting with collaborative energy, SE will present new events with artists and partners from across art forms, genres and disciplines, including theatre company Untitled Projects, Icelandic composer/producer Valgeir Sigurðsson, harpsichordist and Arcangelo Artistic Director Jonathan Cohen, 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 its commitment to taking music out of the concert hall and directly into communities - both of which have grown and diversified SE’s audiences across the past seven years.

SE will 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 creative 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.

Marking Scottish Ensemble’s 50th Anniversary, the programme of events is both a continuation of SE’s recent innovation, and a celebration of the distinctive qualities that have been at the core of the group’s output since its inception: an inquisitive, open-minded, cross-disciplinary approach to presenting classical music, a sense of agility and flexibility in its programming and approach, and, above all, performance of an exceptional standard.

SE Artistic Director Jonathan Morton said: “It’s such an exciting time for Scottish Ensemble and, looking back over 50 years, it’s fascinating to see how far it has come. SE has shared the power and enjoyment of music with a whole range of people not only in Scotland, but across the world – and it’s showing no signs of stopping any time soon… I am really looking forward to a season that pays homage to some of our roots – be that getting back to baroque music or telling stories through song. But perhaps more so, I am hopeful this season will light up our collective curiosity with its mix of different perspectives, vivid musical voices and intriguing ideas. We will also explore how music, deeply rooted in our psyche and imagination, connects with the world we live in, and how it might help us reflect on some of the important issues we face. We hope our creative collaborators, as well as the places and ways in which we perform, will allow our audiences to delve into these ideas with us. And of course we hope they’ll also join us in celebrating a half-century of music-making!”


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