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Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO)
Street address: 73 Claremont Street, Glasgow G3 7JB, Scotland, United Kingdom
Telephone: 44 (0) 141 226 3868
Fax: 44 (0) 141 221 4317
Proprietor: Scottish Government
Contact: Stéphane Denève Music Director
Contact: Simon Woods Chief Executive
©Royal Scottish National Orchestra 1The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) is one of Europe’s leading symphony orchestras. Formed in 1891 as the Scottish Orchestra, the company became the Scottish National Orchestra in 1950, and was awarded Royal Patronage in 1991. A host of renowned conductors has contributed to its success, including Walter Susskind, Sir Alexander Gibson, Bryden Thomson, Neeme Järvi, Walter Weller and Alexander Lazarev. Stéphane Denève became Music Director in September 2005, and this new partnership has already enjoyed overwhelming critical acclaim. Denève heads a youthful artistic team as Music Director, with Garry Walker as Principal Guest Conductor, and James Lowe as Associate Conductor.
The RSNO performs across Scotland, including seasons in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen, Perth and Inverness. It recently toured Austria and Croatia, with two concerts in the Musikverein in Vienna, and last year performed in Paris as part of Festival Présences. The Orchestra played at the opening ceremony of the Scottish Parliament building in October 2004, and appears regularly at the Edinburgh International Festival and the BBC Proms in London.
©Royal Scottish National Orchestra 2The RSNO has a worldwide reputation for the quality of its recordings. Over 200 releases are available, including: the complete symphonies of Sibelius (Gibson), Dvořák and Prokofiev (Järvi) and Nielsen and Martinů (Thomson); a complete cycle of Barber’s orchestral works (Alsop); and film soundtracks such as Vertigo, Star Wars, Titanic, The Magnificent Seven and The Great Escape. Most recently, the RSNO has worked with Scottish folk/pop singer Eddi Reader on an album of Robert Burns’ songs, and has recorded four Glazunov symphonies, the complete score of Shostakovich’s ballet The Golden Age (Serebrier) and also his Symphony No 11 (Lazarev). In 2007 the RSNO’s much-anticipated first recording under Stéphane Denève will be released on the Naxos label – the first instalment of a complete cycle of Roussel’s orchestral works.
In 2006 the Orchestra launched RSNO musiconline, an internet music streaming and download service which allows subscription access to over 60,000 classical recordings via the RSNO website,
The RSNO’s award-winning education and community engagement programmes continue to develop musical talent and appreciation with people of all ages throughout Scotland. The introduction of a new concert series to the Glasgow calendar, Naked Classics, sees the RSNO use projections, lighting, a presenter and excerpts by the Orchestra to reveal the stories behind some of the great classical masterpieces.
Stephane Deneve (credit Drew Farrell)Previously funded through the Scottish Arts Council, the RSNO has received its funding directly from the Scottish Government since 1 April 2007, in line with the terms of the 2006 cultural policy statement Scotland's Culture.
The RSNO's Music Director Stéphane Denève, now recognised internationally as a young conductor of the highest calibre, made his inaugural appearance with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra on 29 September 2005 with a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.
In the 2005-6 season, Stéphane Denève conducted the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Verdi Orchestra Milan, Montreal Symphony, Washington National Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony and Minnesota Orchestra, and in May 2006 he conducted the orchestra of La Monnaie, Brussels, in a Poulenc triple-bill including La Voix Humaine. In the summer of 2006 he conducted the Russian National Orchestra at the Festival del Sole in Napa Valley and at the Tuscan Sun Festival, and in August 2006 he appeared with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra at the BBC Proms in London and the Edinburgh International Festival.
A graduate of the Paris Conservatoire where he was awarded a unanimous First Prize in 1995, Stéphane Denève began his career as Sir Georg Solti’s assistant for Bluebeard’s Castle with the Orchestre de Paris (1995) and Don Giovanni at the Paris National Opera (1996). He also assisted Georges Prêtre for Turandot at the Paris National Opera (1997) and Seiji Ozawa for Dialogues des Carmélites at the Saito Kinen Festival (1998).
RSNO logoStéphane Denève has a great affinity with the music of his native France, and has conducted works from Grétry, through Debussy and Ravel, to Connesson, as well as Berlioz, Roussel, Fauré and Poulenc. At the same time, he is very much at home in a broad range of repertoire, particularly in the music of the romantic era, but also in the works by Mozart and the early 20th-century composers.
In past seasons, Stéphane Denève has appeared with orchestras including the Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National de France, Sydney Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, New Japan Philharmonic, Gothenburg Symphony, St Petersburg Philharmonic and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic. He enjoys special relationships with the Rotterdam Philharmonic and Verdi Orchestra Milan, with whom he makes regular appearances. In North America, he has conducted the Washington National Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Houston Symphony and St Louis Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Detroit, Indianapolis and Seattle Symphony Orchestras.
In October 2004 he made his debut at the Royal Opera House in London, with Cosi fan Tutte, and later that season at the Netherlands Opera in a new production of L’ Amour des Trois Oranges with the Rotterdam Philharmonic. He has also conducted productions of Marriage of Figaro, Don Quichotte, and La Bohème at the Paris National Opera, Faust in Salzburg, Peter Grimes at Montpellier Opera, Béatrice et Bénédict at Bologna Teatro Comunale and Pelléas et Mélisande, Erwartung, Carmen and Bluebeard’s Castle at Cincinnati Opera.
2006-7 saw him appearing with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Verdi Orchestra Milan, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Symphony and Czech Philharmonic, and in the USA with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony, St Louis Symphony, and Indianapolis Symphony. In addition, he conducted La Traviata at La Monnaie in Brussels, and returned with the Russian National Orchestra to the Festival del Sole and Tuscan Sun Festival. With the Royal Scottish National Orchestra also conducted the closing concert of this year’s Edinburgh International Festival.
Further ahead, Stéphane Denève will make debuts in 2007-8 with the Philharmonia, Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra and the Deutsches Sinfonie Orchester Berlin, and in the summer of 2008 he will conduct Carmen at the Glyndebourne Festival.
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The Scotland Cultural Profile was created in partnership with the Scottish Government and the British Council Scotland
Date updated: 9 January 2008
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