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This group of Edinburgh-based musicians is a treat to listen to…

Paul Hamblin
Usher Hall, Edinburgh

The Rose Street Ensemble

The Rose Street Ensemble first took to the stage in 2007, as a massed string orchestra in a concert of works by British composers. Since then, we have performed innovative and exciting programmes under the baton of James Lowe on a regular basis. 

The ensemble provides us with an opportunity to play music we love with similarly-minded colleagues and friends. Our programmes use the wonderful resources of the string orchestra repertoire as a starting point - but from there anything can happen. Highlights over recent years have been:

  • Music for Voices and Strings - a concert pairing performances of song and vocal music with later string orchestra developments
  • Emigre - a concert of songs and string works by Emigre Composers, featuring readings by Crawford Logan
  • Seven Last Words - A performance in conjunction with the Calton Consort of James MacMillan's Seven Last Words from the Cross
  • Veris Gratia - preparation and performance of a new edition of Kenneth Leighton's magnificent Cantata for choir, flute, strings and timpani, coupled with Poulenc's Organ Concerto

They then launched into the thrilling finale [of Bartok's Divertimento for Strings] , Lowe accentuating the drama at every turn, yet also bringing humour to the lovely waltz pastiche. It was a fantastic performance, something underscored by the fact that on listening this afternoon, the Mackerras disc didn't quite seem to have the same energy.

Full Review by Tam Pollard, Where's Runnicles?

We also occasionally perform as a symphony orchestra. In 2008 we accompanied Murray McLaughlan in a performance of both Brahms Piano Concerti.

But not only the soloist needs Brahmsian muscle for these works. So does the orchestra, and here McLachlan profited from the presence of the recently-formed Rose Street Ensemble, whose 50 freelance professionals, conducted by Robert Dick, brought firm articulation to the music, holding enough in reserve to make the second concerto - with a thundering scherzo and lovely cello tone in the slow movement - sound even more rewarding than the first.

Full Review by Conrad Wilson, the Herald

Details of all our past concerts are available in our events archive. Please sign up to the newsletter on the left for information of forthcoming events.

We can provide almost any combination of orchestral forces. Liz is a highly experienced concerts manager and orchestral fixer, and with Scotland’s most talented freelance professionals at our fingertips we are the ideal choice to provide musicians for your event.

Previous orchestral bookings include:

Small orchestra to accompany the Hadley Court Singers in Mozart and Haydn choral works under the direction of Simon Nieminski, Haddington, East Lothian.

Chamber Orchestra to accompany the Dumfries Choral Society in Goodall, Handel and Mozart under the direction of Nicola Junor, Dumfries.

Symphony Orchestra to accompany the finalists of the Watson Forbes Centenary International Viola Competition in Bartok, Hindemith and Walton under the direction of Robert Dick, St. Andrews.


Want to know more? Make a booking enquiry or please email us

Scotland’s most versatile string ensemble

Get In Touch : Use our Booking Form
or Call Liz: +44 (0)7719 702 265 or Pete: +44 (0)7979 595 919
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