Scotland’s national orchestra to blog, vlog and tweet its every movement during inaugural visit to Orkney’s midsummer festival.

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) heads north to the Orkney Islands on Friday (19 June) for its first appearance at the St Magnus Festival and its supporters around the world will be able to join the musicians online for free.

Adopting ever more diverse methods of communicating with its followers, the RSNO will be sharing its numerous activities across the week using blogging, video, photography, podcasts and Twitter updates. Those tracking the Orchestra can log onto its dedicated blog at, and register to receive regular email updates and ‘tweets’, and to view daily text, photo and video updates from musicians and staff. The online provision will include everything from interviews and behind-the-scenes footage to rehearsal clips, and will even feature coverage of the Strings Players versus Rest of Orchestra football match. All online activity will also be syndicated across popular social networks such as Youtube, Flickr and Facebook.

The Orchestra will be presenting three public performances during the week. On Saturday 20 June Martyn Brabbins will conduct the RSNO in a programme featuring Sally Beamish’s Accordion Concerto The Singing with celebrated classical accordionist James Crabb, and Vaughan Williams’ Sea Symphony with the combined forces of the St Magnus Festival Chorus and Huddersfield Choral Society.

On Sunday 21 June RSNO Assistant Conductor David Danzmayr will lead the Orchestra in the Scottish première of contemporary American composer Jennifer Higdon’s Percussion Concerto, written for and performed by prominent Scottish percussionist Colin Currie. Bernstein’s West Side Story Overture and Dvořák’s Symphony No9 From the New World complete the programme.

On Tuesday 23 June Stéphane Denève will conduct the final concert of the residency, a French programme including Fauré’s Pelléas et Mélisande, contrasting Piano Concertos - contemporary composer Guillaume Connesson’s Piano Concerto The Shining One and Maurice Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G, both with French pianist Eric Le Sage – and Henri Dutilleux’s Symphony No1.

The RSNO will also be participating in the seventh Orkney Conducting Course (OCC) in 2009. OCC is directed by Martyn Brabbins and, as part of the St Magnus Festival, OCC gives emerging conductors the opportunity to work with professional orchestras, ensembles, conductors and soloists. In addition, RSNO musicians will be working with Sanday Fiddle Club, presenting workshops and providing guidance for the group, culminating in a joint performance at Sanday Community Hall, on Monday 22 June.

Director of Marketing and Communications, David Stark:

“The RSNO is honoured to be a part of this year's St Magnus Festival for what promises to be an eventful week at one of the UK 's cultural highlights. Of course, we realise that most of the Orchestra's followers will not be able to join us in Orkney and so we're delighted that we can still share some of the experience with the world through the online blog. Our musicians will be packing laptops, cameras, mobile phones and video equipment alongside their instruments, so that what goes on tour won't be staying on tour!"


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