Formed in 1974 the Scottish Chamber Orchestra is internationally recognised for its innovative approach to music-making and programme planning. The Orchestra performs throughout Scotland, including annual tours of the Scottish Highlands and Islands and South of Scotland, and appears regularly at the Edinburgh, East Neuk, St Magnus and Aldeburgh Festivals and the BBC Proms.
Its busy international touring schedule has recently included Poland, Hungary, Turkey, India, Germany, Austria, Spain, Belgium, and The Netherlands. The Orchestra’s international touring receives support from the Scottish Government.
The Orchestra appointed young British conductor Robin Ticciati to the post of Principal Conductor from the 2009/10 Season. In February 2010, they gave their first overseas concert together at Lingotto, Turin and, in August 2010, Ticciati made his Edinburgh International Festival debut with the Orchestra. Ticciati has recently extended his contract as Principal Conductor with the Orchestra for a further three years to 2015.
The SCO’s long-standing relationship with Conductor Laureate, the late Sir Charles Mackerras resulted in many exceptional performances and recordings, particularly at the Edinburgh International Festival where they established an enviable reputation for concert performances of opera. The Orchestra’s recent recording with Sir Charles – a double-disc featuring Mozart’s last four symphonies – was released to international acclaim on Linn Records in February 2008. The disc has won the Symphonic Works Award at the Midem Classical Awards; BBC Music Magazine Disc of the Year and the Critics’ Choice Award at the 2009 Classical BRIT Awards.
In September 2009, the Orchestra was awarded its second Bank of Scotland Archangel by The Herald in recognition of its sustained high quality contribution to the Edinburgh International Festival. The Archangel is the highest honour presented within the Awards, and the Orchestra is the first winner to have been awarded an Archangel twice.
The SCO has led the way in music education with a unique programme of projects. SCO Connect provides workshops for children and adults across Scotland and has attracted interest and invitations from overseas.