RSNO: A Russian Winter The Snow Maiden and The Nutcracker Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, 2 Sauchiehall Street, 353 8000. 7.30pm. £11–£34 (under 26s £5; under 16s free). Tchaikovskyan candyfloss: Act 2 of The Nutcracker, plus pieces by Rimsky- Korsakov and Rachmaninov featuring Olga Scheps (piano). Christian Kluxen conducts. Edinburgh FREE Cadenza: Edinburgh Erskine Christmas Carol Service St Cuthbert’s Church, 5 Lothian Road, 229 1142. 7.30pm. Retiring collection. Seasonal charity concert in aid of ex- forces personnel. FREE Edinburgh University Composers’ Orchestra Reid Concert Hall, University of Edinburgh, Bristo Square, 650 2427. 7.30pm. Nigel Osborne conducts new works by student composers.

Glits Choir: A Victorian Christmas St Bride’s Centre, 10 Orwell Terrace, 346 1405. 7.30–10pm. £10 (£7). See Wed 7. Scottish Chamber Orchestra: Northern Landscapes The Queen’s Hall, 87–89 Clerk Street, 668 2019. 7.30pm. £9.50–£28 (£7.50–£26; students £5). The world premiere of Haflidi Hallgrímsson’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra Op 46 with soloist Jennifer Pike, plus works by Sibelius and Grieg.

Friday 9 Glasgow Royal Conservatoire Brass Old and New Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, 100 Renfrew Street, 332 5057. 1pm. £10.50 (£7.50). Nigel Boddice conducts pieces by Gabrieli and a new work by Mark-Anthony (Anna Nicole) Turnage. Philip Higham & Simon Lane Cairns Church, 11 Buchanan Street, Milngavie. 7.30pm. £10 (students £5; children free).

PREVIEW CANDLELIT CONCERTS BALTIC RENAISSANCE Scottish Ensemble, Oran Mor, Glasgow, Tue 6 Dec; Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh, Sun 11 Dec

While the phrase ‘it’s Baltic’ is usually heard in relation to Scotland’s freezing temperatures, this winter it can be applied to something a bit warmer. The Scottish Ensemble’s traditionally candlelit concerts home in on the Baltic nations and music by some of their finest composers. Best known is Arvo Pärt, whose distinctive and mystical Fratres is at the core of a programme which alternates contemporary Baltic composers from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania with Byrd and Purcell from Renaissance England. Explaining the thinking behind this unusual juxtaposition of musical

styles, artistic director Jonathan Morton says, ‘There’s been a huge rise in the popularity of Arvo Pärt’s music and I was really keen to do a concert of more music from that part of the world, bringing in lesser known composers too. It should all work well together, with a sense of looking back alongside a sense of contemplation.’

One of the less well known composers is Estonian Erkki-Sven Tüür,

whose Symphony No 8 was premiered by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra last year. More unfamiliar is Bronius Kutavicius from Lithuania. ‘I’d actually never heard of him,’ says Morton, ‘and don’t even know how to pronounce his name, but his music is completely extraordinary. I’ve never heard anything like it. He has a unique version of minimalism, that’s absolutely not American.’

Morton believes that Kutavicius’s music finds its roots in the

geographic location of this group of ex-Soviet states. ‘It makes use of Lithuanian folk music and is extremely powerful, beautiful and immediate. It sounds primeval, ancient,’ he says, ‘and is very shamanistic and hypnotic. He’s a fascinating figure.’ Throwing the Baltic and the British together in this way is a typically inventive piece of Scottish Ensemble programming which augurs well for a candlelit concert with a difference. (Carol Main)

110 THE LIST 17 Nov–1 Dec 2011

Works for cello and piano by Beethoven, Janácek, Liszt, Britten and Franck. Scottish Chamber Orchestra: Northern Landscapes City Halls, Candleriggs, 353 8000. 7.30pm. £12–£26 (seniors £10–£24; students £5; children £5; unemployed £5). See Thu 8. Edinburgh FREE Edinburgh University Singers Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 1 Queen Street, 624 6200. 1.45pm. John Kitchen conducts seasonal choral music. Ludus Baroque: Christmas Oratorio Canongate Kirk, 153 Canongate, 668 2019. 7.15pm. £17.50 (£13). Richard Neville-Towle conducts Bach. RSNO: A Russian Winter The Snow Maiden and The Nutcracker Usher Hall, Lothian Road, 228 1155. 7.30pm. £11–£34. See Thu 8. Toccata Ladies Choir Christmas Carol Concert Christ Church, Morningside Road, 557 2060. 7.30pm. £7. Christmas charity concert. Ticket price includes a glass of wine or soft drink.

Saturday 10

Glasgow Junior Conservatoire of Music Orchestra and Choir Concert Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, 100 Renfrew Street, 332 5057. 3pm & 7.30pm. £10.50 (£7.50). Showcase concert for young musicians. Edinburgh Cadenza at Christmas Polwarth Parish Church, Polwarth Terrace, 01383 851 279. 7.30pm. £8.50 (£7; children £2). A seasonal mix of old and new carols. A Christmas Celebration Kevock Choir The Queen’s Hall, 87–89 Clerk Street, 668 2019. 7.30pm. £6–£14. Seasonal concert. Edinburgh Chamber Orchestra Morningside United Church, 15 Chamberlain Road, 447 8724. 7.30pm. £10 (£6). Edinburgh’s longest-running amateur orchestra presents a programme including Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, Saint-Saëns, Mendelssohn and popular Christmas carols. Edinburgh University Brass Band Reid Concert Hall, University of Edinburgh, Bristo Square, 650 2427. 7.30pm. £5 (£3). Angus Tully conducts. New Edinburgh Orchestra St Serf’s Parish Church, 280 Ferry Road, 668 2019. 7.30pm. £9 (£6; children £1). Tim Paxton conducts works by MacCunn, Dodd and Saint-Saëns. Carole Cerasi St Cecilia’s Hall, Niddry Street, 668 2019. 7.45pm. £17 (seniors £15 ; students & unwaged £5). Cerasi (fortepiano) plays Haydn sonatas. Loud & Proud Festive Gig Greyfriars Kirk, Greyfriars Place, 473 2000. 8pm. £9 (£7). Edinburgh’s LGBT choir hangs the mistletoe.

Harps Of Gold The Queen’s Hall, 87–89 Clerk Street, 668 2019. 2.30pm. £10 (£8; children £5; family ticket £25). Charity concert of seasonal harp music. FREE Edinburgh University Renaissance Singers National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, 0300 123 6789. 3.30pm. Noel O’Regan directs an afternoon session of Christmas carols. St Giles’ at Six: Rudsambee St Giles’ Cathedral, Royal Mile, 226 0673. 6pm. A free choral concert. FREE Edinburgh University Carol Service McEwan Hall, Bristo Square. 7pm. John Kitchen conducts this ever- popular event. Turn up early (doors open at 6pm) because places go fast. Scottish Ensemble: Concerts by Candlelight Greyfriars Kirk, Greyfriars Place, 668 2019. 7.30pm. £10 (students £5; under 16s free with paying adult.). See Tue 6.

Monday 12

Glasgow RCS Woodwind Department: Bassoons Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, 100 Renfrew Street, 332 5057. 1pm. £7 (£5). Student bassoonists with their tutors from the SCO and RSNO. RCS Chamber Choir and Orchestra: Celebrating Christmas St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, 300 Great Western Road, 337 2862. 7.30pm. £13.50 (£11). Vocal and instrumental music from the baroque period to the present. Edinburgh Hebrides Ensemble: A Chemistry of Music Canongate Kirk, 153 Canongate, 668 2019. 8pm. £6 (£3). The premiere of a new work by Edinburgh composer Julian Wagstaff, plus works by Beethoven and Borodin. FREE Red Note: Noisy Night 16 Traverse Theatre, Cambridge Street, 228 1404. 8pm. An informal evening of new music for violin, cello and harmonium. Don’t miss the ten-minute Composing Challenge.

Tuesday 13

Edinburgh Edinburgh Royal Choral Union: Christmas with the Choral St Cuthbert’s Church, 5 Lothian Road, 228 1155. 7.30pm. £10 (£5). Seasonal concert.

Wednesday 14 Edinburgh Dollar Academy Annual Christmas Concert Usher Hall, Lothian Road, 228 1155. 7.30pm. £8.50. Carol concert with the Scottish premiere of Chilcott’s On Christmas Night. Grew Brothers and Friends Inspace, 1 Crichton Street, 650 2750. 8pm. By donation. Experimental electro-acoustic music.

Sunday 11 Thursday 15

Glasgow FREE BBC SSO: Discovering Music City Halls, Candleriggs, 353 8000. 2pm. Discover Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No 2 in the company of presenter Stephen Johnson, soloist Denis Kozhukhin and conductor Martyn Brabbins. FREE Kelvingrove Sunday Organ Recitals Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Argyle Street, 276 9599. 3–3.45pm. See Sun 20. Merchant Sinfonia and Merchant Voices Christmas Concert City Halls, Candleriggs, 353 8000. 8pm. £3. Annual Christmas concert. Edinburgh Edinburgh Grand Opera: Carols at the Castle Edinburgh Castle, Royal Mile, 225 9846. 1pm, 2pm & 3pm. Castle admission £14 (£11.20; children £8.20); concert admission included. Short concerts of carols and seasonal songs.

Glasgow Brass Diversions Westbourne Music, 7 West George Street, 649 5347. 12.45pm. £8 (£7; children £4). Seasonal favourites and works by Bach and Gershwin. BBC SSO: Debussy & Borodin City Halls, Candleriggs, 353 8000. 2pm. £7–£9. Works by Debussy and Vaughan Williams, plus Borodin’s knees-up- mother-Russia Symphony No 2. Lawrence Power solos on viola and Martyn Brabbins conducts. Edinburgh CLIC Sargent Carol Concert Usher Hall, Lothian Road, 228 1155. 7.30pm. £10–£18 (£5–£16). Charity concert featuring clarinet virtuoso Emma Johnson playing Chopin and Gershwin. Edinburgh University Renaissance Singers Canongate Kirk, 153 Canongate, 556 3515. 7.30pm. £8 (£5). Noel O’Regan directs pieces by Lassus and others.