Red Note Ensemble

  • Artist

Since its formation Red Note Ensemble has taken up a leadership position as Scotland’s contemporary music ensemble, performing and developing an extensive, highly-varied and critically-acclaimed programme of new music to the highest standards, and taking new music out to audiences across Scotland and internationally.

Red Note performs the established classics of contemporary music, commissions new music, develops the work of new and emerging composers and performers from Scotland and around the world, and finds new spaces and new ways of performing contemporary music to attract new audiences. Within Scotland the ensemble has performed from the Outer Hebrides to the Borders in concert halls, bothies, pubs, clubs and aircraft hangars, amongst other unusual settings.

Outwith the UK it has a growing international reputation, performing to great acclaim at festivals in France, Germany, Belgium, Holland and Australia in recent years. The ensemble also undertakes an extensive programme of Access, Engagement and Participation (AEP) work, focusing particularly upon working with younger and older people, people with multiple disabilities, people living in areas of multiple deprivation, and also working to address inequalities of access and representation due to race/ethnicity and gender imbalances. We also undertake an extensive performer and composer development programme within schools, universities and conservatoires nationally and internationally. 

Red Note’s work in 2018 included tours of Maja S.K. Ratkje and Kathy Hinde’s Aeolian and James Dillon’s Tanz/haus: triptych 2017 in Scotland (Sound Festival – Aberdeen) and Europe (Sacrum Profanum Festival in Krakow, Transit Festival in Leuven and November Music in ‘s-Hertogenbosch), performing at the St Magnus International Festival with a new production of Vesalii Icones, a new co-commission for Oscar Strasnoy with Ensemble Modern, new works from Scottish-based female composers (Lisa Robertson, Aileen Sweeney, Electra Perivolaris, Lucy Hollingworth, and Sarah Rimkus) for Sound Festival, and performances with clarinettist and composer Mark Simpson and the Red Note Advanced Academy at the Lammermuir Festival. 

Amongst our regular creative learning projects including New Music Makers, 2018 also saw Red Note work with Brian Irvine to create the Oakwood Songbook, a new creative project with all of the pupils at Oakwood Primary School in Easterhouse.

Red Note is Associate Contemporary Ensemble at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow and Associate Ensemble of the sound festival Aberdeen.
Red Note is a Delphian Records recording artist, recently releasing CDs of music by EddievMcGuire, John McLeod and David Wilde to great acclaim, and a 4th CD – of music by Lyell Cresswell – released in 2018.

Red Note has also recently become a PRS Foundation Talent Development Partner .

“The premiere was delivered with superb focus and intensity by Scotland’s top contemporary music ensemble, Red Note, who seem incapable of being dazed by anything and who add their own wit and bright spirit to whatever they tackle” Kate Molleson, The Herald

“Red Note Ensemble’s blistering account of three radical masterpieces….a magnificent achievement in dazzling venue” David Kettle, The Scotsman

“Red Note Ensemble is a Scottish success story.” Anna Picard, The Times

“Red Note Ensemble, superb Scottish specialists in the contemporary, deliver ever piece with precision and relish.” BBC Music Magazine

“(Red Note’s pianist) Simon Smith knocked off outrageously elaborate figuration as though a tune on a pub piano.” Paul Driver, Sunday Times