Versatile, enterprising and ambitious, the Scottish Ensemble is a tight-knit band of outstanding string players who perform under Artistic Director Jonathan Morton. Founded in 1969 and based in Glasgow, the ensemble is the UK’s only professional string orchestra.
Their distinctive programming style habitually blends music from different ages offering new perspectives and making unexpected connections. Their SE Sessions concerts showcase the individual players of the ensemble in a relaxed, informal setting. In solo performances or in small groups, players share some of their favorite short works for their instrument, not necessarily in a classical style. In their 20th-Century Perspectives: City Spaces & Strings collaboration with internationally renowned visual artist Toby Paterson, they present an ambitious cross-artform collaboration connecting 20th-century music and architecture with contemporary art.
Committed to developing the string repertoire, the Ensemble regularly seeks out unusual pieces and new works. Commissions from John Tavener, James MacMillan, Sally Beamish, David Horne, John Woolrich, Craig Armstrong, Steve Martland and Thea Musgrave have enriched their concerts in recent years. The Ensemble’s extensive recording catalogue includes EMI Classics’ top-selling CD of 2010: Italian Concertos with Alison Balsom.
The Ensemble appears regularly at London's Wigmore Hall and has performed at the BBC Proms and St. Magnus, and the Aldeburgh and Edinburgh International Festivals. Internationally, it has toured to Austria, Brussels, China, France, Germany, Turkey and United States. As one of Creative Scotland’s Foundation Organizations, the Scottish Ensemble is proud to contribute to Scotland’s cultural status and creative identity.