Robin Ticciati – Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Love affairs, even in the highly emotionally charged world of classical music, are not always shouted about from the rooftops. But in the love-at-first-sight relationship between the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and their new principal conductor, 26-year-old Robin Ticciati, it seems that everyone is smitten and proud to be so. Now making his season debut with the orchestra, it was actually on the SCO’s Highland tour in summer 2008 that it all started. ‘It was only for two weeks, but it was a very special beginning,’ says Ticciati, who is a protégé of Sir Simon Rattle, ‘and that’s the important thing. There was a feeling of the joy of discovery through relating to each other and making music together.’
As principal conductor, Ticciati conducts five wide-ranging programmes in his first season. Starting with two which bring leading mezzo-sopranos Magdalena Kozená and Karen Cargill to the SCO stage, the repertoire he and the orchestra will cover moves from Henze to Brahms and Mahler, Berlioz to Haydn, Ligeti to Mozart, and is completed in the spring with Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony. ‘The Henze – Symphony No 1 – will fit like a glove,’ he says, ‘and is hopefully a piece that not many people know too well. Henze revised it many times, so that reflects how much he thought of it himself. And the Brahms Symphony No 2? The wonderful thing is to look at the Romantic era through the glasses of the SCO’s classical training. Historical precedent is there for it being performed by a chamber orchestra. I feel that it is perfect.’ With Kozená as soloist in Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn, Ticciati’s first mainstream week with the orchestra is set for surefire success. And for audiences who want to join in the love affair, there is a chance to get to know Robin better through a series of regular pre-concert talks.
City Halls, Glasgow, Fri 11 Dec; Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Sat 12 Dec