Scotland’s Contemporary Music Ensemble

Since its formation in 2008, Red Note Ensemble has taken up a leadership position as Scotland’s contemporary music ensemble, performing and developing both an extensive, highly-varied and critically-acclaimed programme of new music.

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 2020 started with an acclaimed performance of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King at the Cottiers theatre as part of the Leverhulme Conducting Fellowship of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Due to the coronavirus pandemic we had to adapt our programme to the new circumstances, but we continued to place the development of new talent at the centre. We took the opportunity to expand our online presence with the regular series Fridays@3, alternating digital editions of Noisy Nights and especial programmes featuring our recorded albums. In 2020 Noisy Nights presented 14 concerts, premiering 70 new pieces by 60 composers from around the world. As resident ensemble at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, we recorded 6 new pieces by Aidan Teplitzky, Filip Holscky, Graeme Law, Isaac Philips, Katrin Klose, and Tom Green for PLUG, RCS’ annual festival showcasing the best works from the next generation of composers. In partnership with sound, we delivered an online edition of Go Compose!, a residency for Scottish-based composers (new works by Rūta Vitkauskaitė, Rylan Gleave, Georgina MacDonell Finlayson, Fiona Harrison, and Amit Anand Vamanacharya), and the world premiere of Th’first munth is th’wurst iv awl (the first month is the worst of all) by Ben Lunn.

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, releasing CDs of music by Eddie McGuire, John McLeod and David Wilde to great acclaim, and a 4th CD – of music by Lyell Cresswell – released in 2018.

Red Note is also a PRS Foundation Talent Development Partner and a Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries host.

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

Meet The Team

Meet The Board