The composer James MacMillan will lead the biggest export bash ever attempted in India by a British orchestra. Nicola Benedetti is also in the package with two orchestras – BBC Scottish and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland – and high-profile involvement from the Indian composer A R Rahman and his conservatory. Press release below.
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in most ambitious programme of cultural exchange by a British orchestra in India
Nicola Benedetti and James MacMillan join BBC SSO tour of India to mark 2014 Commonwealth Games
Major Celtic Connections concert with BBC SSO and AR Rahman on 30 January celebrates partnership
In the most ambitious programme of cultural exchange ever undertaken by a British orchestra in India, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra embarks on a three-city tour in March and April 2014 with concerts, educational workshops and exchange between students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the KM Music Conservatory of AR Rahman, the multi award-winning Bollywood composer and recording artist, best known to Western audiences for his music in Slumdog Millionaire.
Violinist Nicola Benedetti and composer James MacMillan join the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland on the tour, which includes a rich programme of events and public concerts in Chennai (29 March), New Delhi (2 April) and Mumbai (6 April). In addition, they will join the BBC SSO and the RCS in each of the cities for interactive workshops presented by the music education expert Paul Rissmann. The visit, in partnership with the British Council, is the centrepiece of the orchestra’s activities leading up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Cultural exchange begins when Indian artists come to Scotland prior to the tour – including AR Rahman himself with vocal students from his own KM Music Conservatory in Chennai – to appear with musicians from the BBC SSO and the RCS for the first Scottish performance of AR Rahman’s music. The high profile concert, on 30 January, is a highlight of Celtic Connections, Glasgow’s annual folk, roots and world music festival which attracts the cream of today’s international musical talent.
Among the other major events by the orchestra in advance of the Commonwealth Games, are a special Commonwealth Day Concert (Monday 10 March), broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. In the concert, MacMillan will conduct his own iconic work, The Confession of Isobel Gowdie and other music from composers associated with Glasgow, the host city of the 2014 Games.