The Scottish orchestras and new music, 1945-2015

Noltingk, Jacqueline Susan (2017) The Scottish orchestras and new music, 1945-2015. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This dissertation critically examines the presentation of new music in live concerts by three Scottish orchestras. It considers what they have commissioned, what performed, the context in which the music has been programmed, and who was involved. The orchestras are the three which are established on a permanent basis and give regular subscription series in Scotland: the BBC Scottish Symphony, Royal Scottish National, and Scottish Chamber Orchestras.

The study contributes to the debate around classical music programming of new music, taking these orchestras as examples. It asks how in practice some of those responsible for programming in the period from 1945 to 2015 have reconciled conflicting expectations and desires. On the one hand there is a vast heritage, an 'imaginary museum', of old music, and it is this which most audiences want to hear. On the other hand, living composers continue to write and some audiences want to hear their music performed. This is music which speaks of and to our own times.

The dissertation asks about some of the factors which have influenced programmers' decisions and how those programmers have presented new music to the public — alongside the old, in special events, or in another way. It considers the advantages and disadvantages of each type of programming.

Underlying these questions is the changing status in the west of western classical music. Even if it is not dying, as some commentators have stated, it is but one among many musics, with a relatively small market share. Given that situation, are orchestras, which are heavily dependent on public and/or private funding, still relevant to contemporary society? And if so, is part of their role to reflect aspects of that society by playing new music?

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, music commissioning, programming, repertoire, musica viva, musica nova, Alexander Gibson.
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Music
Supervisor's Name: Cloonan, Professor Martin
Date of Award: 2017
Depositing User: Jacqueline Noltingk
Unique ID: glathesis:2017-8727
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2018 12:19
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2018 15:55

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