The Royal Scottish National Orchestra is set to make a glorious return to their natural home in Aberdeen with their first concert at the Music Hall since lockdown this weekend.
RSNO chief executive Alistair Mackie said they can’t wait to present the Mozart Clarinet Concerto at the iconic Union Street building on Sunday October 10 for the landmark performance.
“The Music Hall is one of the best venues in the country and it’s the place we’ve played in almost since we started,” he said. “It’s a great place to come and we always get fantastic audiences. It’s a shame we haven’t been up there (due to the pandemic).
“We’ve been trying to keep our digital work to reach people in places like Aberdeen, but it’s nothing like actually being on the ground in a concert hall making music again. It will be beautiful and wonderful.”
The concert itself not only features Mozart’s famed work but also the stirring Karelia overture from Sibelius and Vaughan Williams glorious Fifth Symphony, recently voted the greatest of all British symphonies.
Alistair is also delighted that Aberdeen audiences will be able to hear the RSNO’s new principal clarinet, Timothy Orpen, in action for the first time since he joined the company just as lockdown began last year, from the Royal Opera House in London.
Lovely programme with great musicians
“He’s a remarkable player and we wanted to feature him as a soloist as early as we could, so that people who know the orchestra get to know the new star player that we have,” said Alistair.
“I was listening to the rehearsal yesterday and he’s absolutely phenomenal.”
Alistair believes audiences are in for a real treat on Sunday and is looking forward to seeing as many people as possible in the hall when acclaimed conductor Rory Macdonald will lead what promises to be a stylish production.
“Rory has been a friend of ours for a while and this is his choice of repertoire. Vaughn Williams Fifth Symphony is not often played, but it’s an absolutely gorgeous piece of music. It’s a lovely programme, with great musicians, so I’m buzzing.”
During lockdown, the RSNO went digital with their online concerts proving extremely popular. So much so, that Alistair said the digital offerings will continue this season, with productions available online, mixing in with the live shows.
No substitute for hearing RSNO play live
“It is very much for me in partnership with live, it’s not an either or,” said Alistair. “I hope our digital work helps reinforce our live work and stay connected with places we can’t get to every month.”
After Sunday’s concert, the RSNO will next return with their much-loved Christmas concert, including The Snowman, narrated by Outnumbered star Hugh Dennis – who recently appeared in the Bond film, No Time To Die.
Before that, though, Alistair is looking forward to the RSNO’s return to the Granite City this Sunday.
“First and foremost, it’s a great show. You’ll have a smile on your face as wonderful music is played beautifully. We haven’t heard live music for 18 months, so get in the hall. There’s no substitute for it.”
For tickets to the RSNO’s Mozart Clarinet Concerto go to aberdeenperformingarts.com