Scottish Chamber Orchestra announces annual summer tour bringing world-class music to venues across Scotland

Tour Highlights:

  • A host of renowned guest directors and conductors including Andrei Feher, Jonathon Hayward, Philip Higham and Isabelle van Keulen
  • An Aberdeenshire residency including the UK premiere of Márquez’s Flute Concerto and family concert The Chimpanzees of Happytown
  • Scottish Chamber Orchestra (SCO) Principal Conductor Maxim Emelyanychev is joined by renowned SCO soloists Maximiliano Martín and Nikita Naumov and the full orchestra for a tour of the Highlands
  • Closing concert of the East Neuk Festival with Isabelle van Keulen and organist Tom Wilkinson (2 July)

View the season trailer here

The SCO is delighted to embark once again on its annual summer tour, from 8 June – 15 September 2023, bringing together a host of exceptional conductors and soloists to present world-class, live classical music to over 20 towns and cities across the nation. From Aberdeen to Findhorn and Stirling to Largs, the SCO Summer Tour aims to build relationships with local communities and showcase classical music to audiences who might otherwise not experience it.

Gavin Reid, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra“As we head towards our 50th anniversary in January, we’re delighted to showcase the very best of what the SCO has to offer to audiences across the length and breadth of Scotland in our 2023 Summer Tour. With Maxim Emelyanychev and many of our musical friends joining us across the summer months, we are so excited to once again be able to bring audiences together to share with them the joy and power of live music-making, wherever they are in Scotland.’ 

Launching the tour, the SCO Strings take audiences in Kinlochleven (8 June), Findhorn (9 June) and Montrose (10 June) on a European musical adventure. Director and cellist Philip Higham leads the Orchestra in a story of Europe at night, from Boccherini’s evocation of the streets of Madrid, to Mozart’s powerful Fantasia and much-loved Eine kleine Nachtmusik. At the same time the SCO Winds visit Braemar (7 June), Fort Augustus (8 June), Oban (9 June) and Birnam (10 June) with a programme of folk melodies and traditional Bohemian dances in a concert exploring the lively and evocative music of Dvořák and Janáček.

There’s a welcome return for director and violinist Isabelle van Keulen who joins the SCO for a tour across the South of Scotland, with a programme in which she leads the Orchestra and takes on the solo role in Vaughan Williams’ enduringly popular The Lark Ascending. The concerts in Largs (28 June), Lanark (29 June) and Duns (30 June) will also feature Beethoven’s first symphony and Arvo Pärt’s haunting elegy to Britten, his Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten.

Van Keulen also leads the SCO in its annual performance at the East Neuk Festival (2 July), which for the first time in a decade returns to the atmospheric Holy Trinity Church in St Andrews for its closing concert. Home to what has been called ‘the finest church organ in Scotland’, Tom Wilkinson unleashes its full magnificent power in a concert that opens in near silence with Arvo Pärt and closes on an exhilarating high with Philip Glass’s response to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, his American Seasons.

SCO Principal Conductor Maxim Emelyanychev leads the Orchestra on a tour of the Highlands, with a concert full of Italian flair and Mediterranean summer sunshine. Visiting Stirling (19 July), Elgin (20 July) and Forfar (21 July), the SCO’s Summer in Italy programme presents the musical drama of Rossini alongside energetic works by Bottesini showcasing the outstanding virtuosity of SCO clarinettist Maximiliano Martin and double bassist Nikita Naumov.

A residency in Aberdeenshire includes a full orchestral programme conducted by Andrei Feher and soloist André Cebrián in Aboyne (3 August), Turiff (4 August) and Inverurie (5 August) which includes the UK premiere of Márquez’sFlute Concerto ‘Son’ – inspired by the folk music of Mexico and Spanish, African and indigenous influences stretching as far back as the 18th century. Also part of the residency is the fabulously fun family concert, The Chimpanzees of Happytown, which visits Stonehaven (4 August) and Daviot (5 August). Presenter Ailing O’Dea brings to life the story of Chutney the Chimp in an inclusive performance designed with a relaxed and supportive approach to noise and movement within the auditorium. Ideal for four- to eight-year-olds. 

Bringing the Orchestra’s summer touring to a close, conductor Jonathon Hayward presents a concert of folktales and legends in Troon (14 September) and Cumbernauld (15 September). Featuring music by Mendelssohn and Beethoven and with soloists Maximiliano Martin and Cerys Ambrose Evans in Strauss’s Duet Concertino, in which the clarinet and bassoon are cast in Beauty and the Beast-like roles.

Tickets are on sale now via

Under 18s Go Free*

Under 26s / students / Universal Credit Concession £6

People with Disabilities Half price, essential companion goes free

*Excluding Cumbernauld Theatre