Under 18s can hear the Scottish Chamber Orchestra for free

Under 18s can hear the Scottish Chamber Orchestra for free

Chief Conductor Robin Ticciati enters his final season with the SCO

SCO announces its new programme, including a bold ticketing initiative

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra announces its 2017–18 season today, the final year Chief Conductor Robin Ticciati will be in charge.

The musical programme itself is divided into a various themes. There's a concentration on individual composers: Dvořák in particular is highlighted, but there's also a handful of Beethoven's symphonies, including the Fifth. There are star soloists, with keyboard virtuosos Mitsuko Uchida, András Schiff, Robert Levin, Elisabeth Leonskaja, and others practically queueing up to play concertos, as well as four of the SCO's own Principals getting solo spots. Some major international artists make their SCO debuts, including violist Maxim Rysanov, Australian sax-meisterin Amy Dickson and dynamic American conductor Karina Canellakis. But the most striking feature of the programme is in the pricing: tickets for all Season concerts are to be free for under 18s.

Cheaper seats for kids are routinely available at classical concerts, but this is the first time in a long time that a major orchestra has gone the full distance and offered young people a free introduction to a hefty chunk of the classical repertoire. A family of four can now afford to go to an SCO concert for roughly the cost of an afternoon at the movies, at least if you include the price of popcorn.

Other highlights of the programme include new works by two of Scotland's most important composers: a saxophone concerto from the ever-prolific Sir James MacMillan, and the world premiere of a new work by the multi-award-winning Tom Harrold. Percussion master Colin Currie presents the Scottish Premiere of the late Einojuhani Rautavaara's colourful Incantations concerto, written in 2008 especially for Currie. The season closes with Renaud Capuçon as the soloist in Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto, conducted by Gustavo Gimeno.

Look for details of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra's upcoming concerts on our website.