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St Andrews Chamber Orchestra to perform unique Scottish Isles concerts

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The St Andrews Chamber Orchestra will perform two special concerts on the Isles of Arran and Bute as part of Music Planet, a unique project that brings together musicians, scientists and researchers at the University of St Andrews, next weekend (17 and 18 March).

The St Andrews Chamber Orchestra will perform on Saturday 17 March at Lochranza Village Hall, Isle of Arran in aid of COAST (Community of Arran Seabed Trust). Beginning at 5pm, this family concert will include performances of Mendelssohn’s Hebrides overture and Beethoven’s Pastoral symphony. Introductions to the music are provided by Rufus Sullivan from the University of St Andrews Music Centre.

On Sunday 18 March, the Orchestra will perform in the grand setting of Marble Hall, Mount Stuart House, Isle of Bute. In addition to Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony, the concert will also feature the vigorous and optimistic Third Symphonyin C major by Jean Sibelius.

Music Planet is an innovative integration of research and artistic expression, investigating the relationship between humans and their environment through the performing arts. A collaboration between the University of St Andrews’ Music Centre and School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Music Planet seeks to connect audiences to environmental change the way they connect to art and music.

Dr Bede Williams, Head of Instrumental Studies at the University of St Andrews, said: “We are all very excited about the forthcoming concerts in Arran and Bute. Bringing the performance of orchestral music together with environmental messages is not something that is often done, though we have discovered that there are many artistic possibilities in doing so. We hope that it will be a unique experience for audiences to hear the work we’ve been doing, and that the concerts may shed new light on both the music we’re performing, and environmental research at the University.”

The St Andrews Chamber Orchestra brings together the best instrumentalists from the University of St Andrews to perform a wide range of chamber orchestra repertoire from the Baroque to the present day. Conducted by the University’s Director of Music, Michael Downes and Dr Bede Williams, with coaching from Feargus Hetherington, the Orchestra has performed across the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The Orchestra’s recent repertoire includes a survey of Brahms’ four symphonies, Beethoven’s last three symphonies, including a memorable performance of the Ninth with the St Andrews Chorus, Peter Maxwell Davies’ exhilarating Orkney Wedding with Sunrise and the world premiere of North Sea Edge by Sally Beamish. The last two works were performed as part of a special concert for the University’s 600th anniversary.

Admission to the concert at Lochranza is £8, £5 (concessions) and is free for under 18s. Tickets are available on the door. Tickets for the concert at Mount Stuart cost £10 and are available in advance from Mount Stuart House on 01700 503877.


Notes to editors

Information on the concerts is available online.

Find out more about Music Planet online.

Notes to picture/online editors

A photograph of the St Andrews Chamber Orchestra is available via Dropbox.

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office. Contact Christine Tudhope on 01334 467320, 07526 624 243 or Christine.Tudhope@st-andrews.ac.uk.

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