The Scottish Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1974; it consists of 38 regular players, though its number can vary according to a given work's instrumental demands. The ensemble gives a regular series of concerts in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, St. Andrews, Dumfries, Perth and other Scottish cities, but does not claim any one location as its home. It also give regular concerts throughout the Scottish Highlands and Islands, as well as abroad, inRead more Europe, Asia, and the U.S.
As of 2001, the orchestra's principal conductor was Joseph Swenson, who succeeded Jukka-Pekka Saraste. Serving as conductor laureate is Sir Charles Mackerras, who has made a number of highly successful recordings with the orchestra including the Brahms symphonies and five Mozart operas; the ensemble's greatest successes have come under Mackerras' baton, at least in the recording venue.
The repertory of the orchestra is quite varied, encompassing the works of Mozart and Haydn, as well as of Prokofiev and Peter Maxwell Davies. Indeed the orchestra has commissioned a number of works from the latter composer, including 10 so-called Strathclyde Concertos.
Conductors who have led the orchestra include Emmanuel Krivine, Andrew Litton, Nicholas McGegan, Frans Brüggen, and Jaime Laredo. The instrumental makeup of the ensemble is as follows: seven first violins and five second; four violas, four cellos, and two double basses; two flutes and one piccolo; two oboes and one English horn; two clarinets and one bass clarinet; two bassoons and one contrabassoon; two horns; two trumpets; one timpani. The SCO has recorded for Telarc, ASV, Delos and other labels. Read less