Aberdeen Sinfonietta was founded 18 years ago, originally as a small group of strings and harpsichord which played regularly in Aberdeen and also toured throughout Scotland. In 1997, at a time when the group was beginning to feel the need to expand its musical repertoire, they were given the exciting opportunity to expand considerably in order to perform as a chamber orchestra in the Music Hall with Roger B. Williams as conductor, and with the brilliant Russian pianist Mikhail Kazakevich as soloist. Since then the Sinfonietta has established itself as one of the foremost contributors to music-making in the north-east, and in addition to giving a regular series of concerts in the Music Hall, it provides the orchestra for prominent choral societies in and around Aberdeen, including Aberdeen Bach Choir and the Stonehaven Chorus. It also plays regularly with Haddo House Choral and Operatic Society and Haddo Youth Music Theatre.
- The first performance of John McLeod's Chronicle of St Machar, commissioned by Aberdeen Bach Choir (1999);
- The performance of the same work in Edinburgh, and the subsequent commissioning and performance by Aberdeen Sinfonietta of the orchestral suite Machar - Portrait of a Saint (2000);
- Our concert with the distinguished cellist Moray Welsh, principal cellist with the LSO (2000);
- A performance of Bach's B Minor Mass with Aberdeen Bach Choir (2001);
- Elgar's Dream of Gerontius, conducted by James Loughran, as a tribute to Lady Aberdeen for her 90th birthday (2003);
- Rehearsing and performing with guest conductor William Conway (2004);
- A performance of the Beethoven Violin Concerto with Lorraine McAslan (2005);
- A Gala Concert with Aberdeen Bach Choir in its 50th anniversary season, conducted by James Lobban and Roger B. Williams, and with Mikhail Kazakevich as soloist in the Grieg Piano Concerto (2005).
The orchestra's education initiatives have included very successful children's concerts in association with Aberdeenshire Council, in Inverurie, Huntly and Aboyne, where we have had children participating in a variety of ways, from bringing along and playing their own instruments, to writing poems and producing images for back-projection, to illustrate the famous Carnival of the Animals. We have also organised master-classes with distinguished soloists, and we intend to continue to involve young people in ways which help to educate and inspire the musicians and the audiences of the future.
Leader: Bryan Dargie
Bryan Dargie studied music at Aberdeen University, during which time he regularly travelled to Edinburgh for violin lessons with the then leader of the Edinburgh Quartet, Miles Baster. He was awarded a Sir James Caird scholarship to continue his studies at the Royal Academy of Music, where his teachers were Frederick Grinke for violin and Sidney Griller for chamber music. After a number of years of playing with leading London orchestras, including the Royal Philharmonic and the London Mozart Players, he returned to Aberdeen, where he has established himself as an influential violinist and violin teacher, with wide experience of solo playing, of leading orchestras, in particular Aberdeen Sinfonietta, and of chamber music playing. For many years he was a member of the Aberdeen Piano Trio, and he is currently the leading violinist with Aberdeen Chamber Players
with the Aberdeen Sinfonietta