Some of the world’s finest classical artists will share their unrivalled insight with the next generation in an exclusive new festival of learning at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS).
The first-ever Safe and Sound festival taking place this month (February) brings students at the national conservatoire together with inspirational classical musicians from around the world. The leading names include:
Marin Alsop: Conductor, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
Martyn Brabbins: Conductor, English National Opera and RCS Visiting Professor of Conducting
Roderick Cox: Conductor, recent appearances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra and Houston Grand Opera
Sir John Eliot Gardiner: Conductor, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
Julie Landsman: former Principal Horn, the Metropolitan Opera
Bryn Lewis: Principal Harp, London Symphony Orchestra
Anthony McGill: Principal Clarinet, New York Philharmonic
Michael Seal: Conductor, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Peter Verhoyen: Principal Piccolo, Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra
Errollyn Wallen CBE: influential composer, singer-songwriter and RCS Visiting Professor of Composition
Students will enjoy access to the celebrated artists in a programme of live and interactive conversations. Global stars will take part in a series of captivating conversations exploring everything from diversity and inclusion in classical music to how to programme and write for orchestra, in sessions co-hosted by the Conservatoire’s academics and students.
Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “It’s a pleasure to be able to bring together the wealth of excellence and artistry represented by these wonderful musicians and I’m grateful to them for their generosity in sharing their experiences with our students through this festival of learning. At this time it feels particularly important that we continue to be inspired and connected through music.”
Dr Gordon Munro, Director of Music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “Safe and Sound offers an invaluable insight into the world of classical music and what it means to be a musician today. We aim to create unique and enriching educational experiences for our students, where they can learn from the best through meaningful professional opportunities.”
Sam McShane, Head of Artistic Planning at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, explained how Safe and Sound came to fruition: “We wanted to create a positive and motivational festival for our community and approached some of the most inspirational figures in the orchestral world, inviting them to lead masterclasses or to take part in conversations about their journey and the specific areas that are close to them. All of the conversations with conductors and composers will be hosted by both a student and a member of staff and I’m excited about collaborating in this way.”
Students will have the chance to hear from Sir John Eliot Gardiner, regarded as one of the world’s most innovative and dynamic musicians. His work, as founder and Artistic Director of the Monteverdi Choir (MC), English Baroque Soloists (EBS) and Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique (ORR), has marked him out as a key figure both in the early music revival and as a pioneer of historically informed performances.
In Orchestral Playing with a Difference, he will be joined by RCS Head of Strings David Watkin and members of Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique.
Conductor Marin Alsop, of Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, will join forces with Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, to discuss a career filled with many significant milestones and to share advice for young musicians.
Marin has longstanding relationships with the London Philharmonic and London Symphony orchestras, and regularly guest conducts major international ensembles such as the Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Filarmonica della Scala and the Danish National. She has been honoured with the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award and made history as the first female conductor of the BBC’s Last Night of the Proms.
Guests include two recent additions to the RCS School of Music – celebrated conductor Martyn Brabbins, who was last week announced as Visiting Professor of Conducting. For more than thirty years, Martyn has been at the forefront of British music in a career that has taken him from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra to the Kirov, La Scala and his current position as Music Director at English National Opera.
Also in conversation is influential composer, singer-songwriter and educator Errollyn Wallen CBE – appointed RCS Visiting Professor of Composition last year – described by The Observer as ‘a renaissance woman of contemporary British music’. Errollyn’s prolific cross-genre output spans everything from opera and dance to film and television.
Students will learn from the best in online masterclasses led by distinguished artists including principal players of Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique; Julie Landsman, former Principal Horn with the Metropolitan Opera and Bryn Lewis, Principal Harp, London Symphony Orchestra.
Masterclasses will also be delivered by Anthony McGill, Principal Clarinet, New York Philharmonic and Peter Verhoyen, Principal Piccolo, Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra.
Inspiring Conversations with:
- Conductor Roderick Cox with RCS Head of Artistic Planning Sam McShane and student Simone Seales: Diversity and Inclusion in Classical Music
- Michael Seal, Conductor, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with Sam McShane and student Adam Gibbs: A Mic on the Podium – From Orchestral Player to Conductor
- Sir John Eliot Gardiner – Conductor, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, RCS Head of Strings David Watkin and members of Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique: Orchestral Playing with a Difference
- Martyn Brabbins – Conductor, English National Opera with RCS Director of Music Dr Gordon Munro and student Derrick Morgan: Leadership
- Marin Alsop – Conductor, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra with Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, RCS Principal, and student Simone Seales: Marin’s Milestones and Advice to Young Artists
- Composer Errollyn Wallen CBE with Sam McShane and student Simone Seales: Programming and Writing for Orchestra.
- Julie Landsman, former Principal Horn, the Metropolitan Opera
- Bryn Lewis, Principal Harp, London Symphony Orchestra
- Anthony McGill, Principal Clarinet, New York Philharmonic
- Peter Verhoyen, Principal Piccolo, Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra
- Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique:
- Peter Hanson, Leader
- Lucy Jeal, Violin II
- Oliver Wilson, Viola
- Robin Michael, Cello
- Cecelia Bruggemeyer, Double Bass
- Robert Kendell, Timpani
- Michael Niesemann, Oboe
Find out more about studying music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
Main image of Marin Alsop © Grant Leighton