New Season Previews
Various venues, Scotland-wide
After the short post-Edinburgh Festival classical music famine, it is back to feast time on the concert and opera scene as all the main companies celebrate the start of their autumn seasons. October alone would surely justify Glasgow its coveted title of UNESCO City of Music, although the Edinburgh’s Usher Hall is noticeable by its absence from the schedules of the SNO and RSNO. First off the starting block in Dundee, before touring to Glasgow and Edinburgh, is the Scottish Ensemble who showcase two young virtuoso soloists in a programme which goes under the title of Red. Award-winning trumpeter Alison Balsom joins with Perthshire pianist Alasdair Beatson for the light-hearted concerto by Shostakovich that features both instruments in solo roles.
Russians are also very much at the forefront for the start of Glasgow’s Concert Halls International Classical Season. Legendary conductors Gennadi Rozhdestvensky and Yuri Temirkanov appear with just nine days between them, the first with the 75 year-old LPO – just a couple of years younger than himself – and the second with the St Petersburg Philharmonic, who made a huge impact when they last appeared in Glasgow in 2005. Both visit with music by Tchaikovsky, the last Russian to be heard in the season until the Brodsky Quartet appear in April with the complete string quartets of Shostakovich offering a unique opportunity to become totally immersed in these masterpieces over the course of a weekend.
The Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Royal Scottish National Orchestra cope with the ongoing loss of the Usher Hall in different ways. For their opening concert, the SCO move to the smaller capacity of Greyfriars Kirk, but accommodate everyone who wants to hear them by performing their programme of Beethoven and Schumann on two consecutive nights. Just a few days later, the SCO Strings open a new series of the highly successful CL@SIX concerts, an hour of music timed to coincide with the end of the working day.
The RSNO move back to their previous temporary home of Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre, where the number of concerts in their season is reduced and not always on the same day, so ticket-buyers should watch out as performances are spread across Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
Finally, Scottish Opera transfer their colourful Edinburgh Festival production of Smetana’s The Two Widows to Theatre Royal, Glasgow and, continuing the theme of marriage, also present a new production of Cimarosa’s operatic comedy, The Secret Marriage.