A flagship collaboration between the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (SCO) and St Mary’s Music School is the centrepiece of a new outreach programme for 2020, bringing talented young instrumentalists together with professional musicians.
The SCO Wind Academy is open to school-aged flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon and French horn players who have reached Grade 6 standard and above and takes place over a series of three sessions in Edinburgh this spring. It follows the success of two String Academies that took place last year, welcoming young string players from the Central Belt and further afield.
The outreach programme, launched this week, also includes a series of open masterclasses featuring internationally respected musicians. It begins with the 7th Annual Nigel Murray Masterclass featuring German-French cellist and conductor Nicolas Altstaedt. Altstaedt is renowned worldwide for his musical integrity and effortless virtuosity and is one of the most sought-after and versatile artists today. He will also be performing Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 1 with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra during his stay in Edinburgh. The second masterclass in the series takes place in March and features violist Lawrence Power, in demand worldwide as a recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber music partner, and who is soloist with Nicola Benedetti in that week’s SCO performances of Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante.
On each occasion, the guest artist will work with a small number of schoolchildren on stage observed by an audience made up of other young musicians, their teachers and parents.
Further events in the series will be announced over the coming weeks.
St Mary’s Music School is also hosting an Open Day on the afternoon of 7 March. Young instrumentalists and their parents are welcome to find out more about life as a boarder or day pupil at Scotland’s specialist music school. The event will include the opportunity to meet pupils and staff, learn about the music and academic curriculum and hear about the funded places available through the Scottish Government’s Aided Places Scheme.
Launching the 2020 outreach programme, Headteacher at St Mary’s Music School, Dr Kenneth Taylor said:
“’St Mary’s Music School is delighted to launch 2020 with these exciting events which will be wonderful opportunities to learn, both for those young musicians who actively take part and for those who are able to observe.
“Our pupils are in the fortunate position of being able to work with world-renowned musicians on a frequent basis and it is an important function of the School to extend this opportunity to other young musicians and their teachers, with no cost attached.”