Scottish Chamber Orchestra reveals new 2022/23 Season with star guests, new music, community projects and cross-genre collaborations

  • Principal Conductor Maxim Emelyanychev [pictured] returns for his third season with the Orchestra
  • Jay Capperauld is announced as the SCO’s new Associate Composer
  • Star guests include Nicola Benedetti, Bernard Labadie and Karen Cargill
  • The Season opens with the world premiere of Sir James MacMillan’s Second Violin Concerto
  • The SCO’s community residency in Greater Craigmillar enters its second year
  • A host of new cross-genre collaborations and concert formats, including the first ever UN:TITLED concerts, hosted by presenter Gemma Cairney

Watch the SCO’s 2022/23 season launch film here

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra is delighted to announce its first complete season of full-length, restriction-free concerts in more than two years. Led by Principal Conductor Maxim Emelyanychev, the Season features classical masterworks, choral greats, diverse collaborations, new music, digital offerings and landmark community projects.

Maxim Emelyanychev

Returning for his third Season as Principal Conductor, Maxim’s connection with the SCO continues to flourish and in the 2022/23 Season he appears in eight programmes performing as both conductor and soloist. Highlights of Maxim’s programmes include two premieres by Sir James MacMillan – the world premiere of his Second Violin Concerto performed by Nicola Benedetti (28-30 September), and the UK premiere of the composer’s football-themed Eleven (30 March – 1 April). Further performances include two great choral works – Haydn’s The Creation (6-7 October) and Brahms’ A German Requiem (11-12 May), an all-Brahms programme including his Violin Concerto with Aylen Pritchin (23-24 February), an evening of Mendelssohn with the SCO Chorus (1-3 March), and a lavish Baroque-inspired programme (24-26 November). Maxim Emelyanychev, Principal Conductor says: “I’m excited to be back with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra for the 2022/23 Season, and to be performing music that truly demonstrates the breadth of the Orchestra’s artistry. The 2022/23 Season inevitably feels like something of a rebirth after the restrictions of the pandemic, and what better way to mark that than with Haydn’s brilliantly exuberant Creation? I’m so looking forward to sharing this Season of musical adventures with our audiences here in Scotland and beyond.

Gavin Reid, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra says: “I really can’t quite describe just how it feels to be able to present a full programme of concerts and projects once again. Led from the front by Maxim Emelyanychev, our new season brings everything that is wonderful and special about the SCO. Electrifying performances of well-loved music from an extraordinary orchestra, with international artists such as Nicola Benedetti, Pekka Kuusisto, Karen Cargill, Allan Clayton and Lawrence Power, brand new music from some of our most creative minds including Sir James MacMillan, Anna Clyne, Nico Muhly, Cassandra Miller and Julian Anderson, adventurous collaborations with friends from different musical worlds such as US neo-folk singer/songwriter Sam Amidon and Scottish Traditional stars Chris Stout and Catriona McKay, and the sheer thrill of our own SCO Chorus in glorious music by Handel, Brahms, Haydn and much more. With unique digital performances, uplifting community music-making and a special nod to the first ever Edinburgh Music festival, I do hope you will join us as we embark on our latest musical journey.”

Star Guests, Choral Greats and Classical Masterworks

The SCO Chorus performs in six concerts this Season, presenting some of the best-loved choral works in the Classical canon. Led by Chorus Director Gregory Batsleer, highlights include Haydn’s The Creation (6-7 October), Handel’s Israel in Egypt (1-2 December) and Brahms’ German Requiem (11-12 May). Handel’s lavish music for royal occasions is celebrated in a concert featuring music from Zadok the Priest and Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne (23-24 March), while the women of the Chorus join Maxim Emelyanychev and sopranos Hilary Cronin and Jessica Cale for a performance of Mendelssohn’s music from A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1-3 March).

A much-loved fixture on the Scottish musical calendar, the SCO Chorus’ Christmas Concert will feature music by Bax and Rutter as well as the SCO commission The Heart of Night by Anna Clyne.

The SCO is delighted to welcome a starry host of guest artists to its 2022/23 Season; including conductor Mark Wigglesworth, who leads the Orchestra in a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No 5 alongside Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No 2 with Laura van der Heijden (27-29 April), John Storgårds, who conducts Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No 5 and the Scottish premiere of Cassandra Miller’s Viola Concerto, performed by Lawrence Power (4-5 May), and pianist Yeol Eum Son, who performs Mozart’s Piano Concerto in B-flat with conductor Andrew Manze (15-16 December). Further guests include conductors Peter WhelanClemens Schuldt and Joana Carneiro, violinist and director Anthony Marwood, violinist Colin Scobie, oboist and conductor François Leleux, mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill, as well as soloists from the SCO’s own ranks, including Principal Clarinet Maximiliano Martin and Principal Flute André Cebrián.

Cross-Genre Collaborations

As part of its commitment to introducing new audiences across Scotland to classical music, the SCO continues to present collaborations with artists from different musical worlds. BBC Radio 1 and Radio 6 Music presenter Gemma Cairney joins the SCO as the host of its first ever UN:TITLED concerts, that take the Orchestra outside the confines of the concert hall and present an informal and inspiring mix of music that defies conventional boundaries. With live performances from SCO players and special guests to be announced. Featuring Steve Reich’s sonically hypnotic Double Sextet, US composer Andy Akiho’s 21 for cello, marimba and electronics, and two works by Californian composer and environmentalist Gabriella Smith – Maré and Tesselations (29 October – Summerhall, Edinburgh and 30 October – St Luke’s, Glasgow). Inspirational Finnish multi-musician Pekka Kuusisto returns to the SCO with a residency in March. For his first performance he’s joined by friend and colleague, US neo-folk singer/songwriter Sam Amidon, for a performance featuring music from Sibelius and Janáĉek, Missy Mazzoli and new arrangements of Appalachian Folk Songs (9-10 March). For the second concert in his Residency, he presents the long-awaited Scottish premiere of Nico Muhly’s exuberant violin concerto Shrink, alongside Britten’s larger-than-life Les Illuminations sung by tenor Allan Clayton (15 -17 March). As part of Celtic Connections 2023, two of Scotland’s best-known traditional musicians – fiddler Chris Stout and harpist Catriona McKay – come together to work with the SCO for the first time, playing traditional duo pieces, new music and intimate chamber works, alongside special guests including acclaimed ‘Shetlandic’ poet Christie Williamson and conductor James Lowe (26-27 January). The SCO celebrates the music of Felix Yaniewicz, largely forgotten today but a remarkable figure in Scottish music – a Polish-Lithuanian composer and virtuoso violinist, and co-founder of the very first Edinburgh Music Festival in 1815. Conductor Peter Whelan and violinist Colin Scobie present his dramatic Third Violin Concerto, alongside a programme of music he performed and presented during the Scottish Enlightenment (7-9 December).

New Music

As always, the SCO celebrates and champions new voices, be they composers, musicians or young people looking to get into the classical music profession.  There are five premieres in the 2022/23 Season, including the world premiere of Sir James MacMillan’s Violin Concerto No 2and the UK premiere of Eleven as well as the Scottish premieres of Julian Anderson’s Cello Concerto ‘Litanies’, Nico Muhly’s Violin Concerto ‘Shrink’ and Cassandra Miller’s Viola Concerto.

Jay Capperauld announced as new Associate Composer

The SCO is delighted to announce Jay Capperauld as the Orchestra’s new Associate Composer, taking over from Anna Clyne. Over the next four years Jay will embed himself in all aspects of the SCO’s work not only composing new works for the Orchestra but also working closely with the wider SCO team. As part of the SCO in Craigmillar Residency Jay will create Tapestry, a commission celebrating the Greater Craigmillar community and developed in collaboration with local groups. He’ll also lead workshops as part of Seen and Heard, the SCO’s creative project for adults, which returns in autumn 2022. Jay will also be part of the SCO’s New Voices scheme, a two-year mentoring programme that will offer a platform for five emerging composers and music creators to expand their creative practice and experiment with the chamber music format. The 2022/24 cohort will work with the SCO to create new pieces of music that will be performed as part of future SCO Seasons. The programme follows on from the SCO’s successful New Stories scheme, expanding to encompass a broader and more diverse cohort. More details about New Voices will be announced shortly. Jay Capperauld, SCO Associate Composer says“I am incredibly honoured and humbled to be appointed as the SCO’s new Associate Composer. Having recently worked with this astounding orchestra on my piece ‘Death in a Nutshell’, I am beyond thrilled to have this unique opportunity to become further embedded in the SCO’s activities as well as form meaningful musical connections with the SCO musicians, audiences and everyone involved over the coming years. Amazingly, this is a real 360° moment for me, as the SCO performed my first ever attempts at composing music in workshops when I was in high school (and I still have that recording on CD at home); so to say that 15 years later, I will be embarking on this exciting relationship with the SCO is truly a childhood dream come to life”.

SCO in the Community

The SCO’s unique community residency in Greater Craigmillar, Edinburgh, enters the second year of its five-year programme in August. This is the Orchestra’s most substantial community project to date, as its team of professional musicians and creative learning practitioners deliver imaginative, cross-artform workshops and performances for children, young people, families and adults to explore their musical potential and help celebrate their creativity. More information on the SCO in Craigmillar can be found here. Further highlights of the SCO’s creative learning programmes and community work include aRe:ConnectTea Dance at the Queen’s Hall, the SCO’s first concert specially conceived for people living with dementia, together with their friends and family. The Orchestra presents an afternoon of music, tea and cake and a chance to join the SCO’s musicians as they perform much-loved, well-remembered classics and singalong, old-time favourites. The concert has been developed in close collaboration with people living with dementia and family members, in association with Alzheimer Scotland (7 February). The Orchestra also presents a Family Festival, sponsored by Baillie Gifford, featuring arts and crafts, wandering musicians and storytelling alongside an inclusive performance of The Chimpanzees of Happytown – a 45-minute relaxed concert for four to eight year olds performed by the SCO, conductor Gregory Batsleer, children’s TV presenter Chris Jarvis and the SCO’s very own Aisling O’Dea (11 February).

Reaching audiences digitally
Building on the work it has done throughout the pandemic to connect with audiences digitally, for the 2022/23 Season the SCO makes four performances available exclusively online and free of charge. Filmed in Edinburgh’s iconic Leith Theatre, the four specially conceived music videos are; Shostakovich’s powerful String Quartet No 8 (premiered on 5 January), String Quartet No 1 by Florence Price (9 February), Primal Message by Los Angeles-born composer Nokuthula Ngwenyama (6 March) and Jonny Greenwood’s 2014 work Water (6 April). The digital works are available to watch online for free for one month after the broadcast date.

Full SCO Digital Season listings are available at

2022/23 Subscriptions:
SCO Subscriptions booking opens on Wednesday 25 May, 10am and closes on Friday 24 June, 5pm.

Subscribe online: Customers will be able to renew Subscriptions or book a new one online at

Subscribe by Post:
Customers can use a booking form to subscribe by post. All booking forms should be returned to SCO Subscriptions, 4 Royal Terrace, Edinburgh EH7 5AB by Friday 24 June.

Subscribe by Phone:
Our Subscription team will be able to fill out a form for customers over the phone. Call 0131 557 6800 Monday-Friday, 10am-4pm. Tickets for individual concerts go on sale via venues on Monday 27 June at 10am.