Media Release: Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s annual festival of new music celebrates ten years

Ūhte, Plug's opera, filmed on the set of River City AMS

Plug@10 May 3-6 2016

Plug 2016 kicks off with:

  • 104 musicians
  • 37 new works
  • ten concerts
  • one opera

THE Royal Conservatoire of Scotland celebrates a decade of new music in Plug@10 with the world premiere of a new opera, 37 new works by student composers as well as some classics by guest composer, Sir James MacMillan.

Filmed on the set of the BBC’s River City, the ten-minute opera, Ūhte, composed by student composer, Henry McPherson, tells the story of three magicians and the silence where magic was once found. The opera will be screened at the opening concert of Plug on May 3.

Conducted by the inspirational Martyn Brabbins, the opera is a truly interdisciplinary collaboration, featuring students of the RCS Opera School, with prosthetics, props and wardrobe created by RCS Productions students and filmed by RCS screen students.

Throughout the four-day festival, RCS will present a Plug to remember with visiting artists, competition winners, late night concerts and the return of some of Plug’s original artists.

The opening concert features the combined forces of Red Note Ensemble and MusicLab, featuring new works by four young composers, including the winner of the prestigious Craig Armstrong Prize.

The tenth anniversary celebrations continue with two concerts from one of the great names in contemporary music, Ensemble Modern, who make their RCS debut on May 5.

This German-based ensemble has been at the forefront of new music since it began back in 1980. Ensemble Modern bring Plug to a close with a final concert on May 6, Ensemble Modern does Ensemble Modern.

We are delighted to welcome back Plug’s first ever ensemble in residence, the Hebrides Ensemble, with a concert that includes the winners of the Walter and Dinah Wolfe Memorial Award – alongside works from this year’s guest composer, Sir James MacMillan.

The Composers Collective has a surprise in store for the audience with a programme devised from start to finish by a team of student composers working behind closed doors. What will they come up with? Who knows.

Following their successful debut concerts last year, Glasgow New Music Expedition – under their brilliant young conductor, Jessica Cottis – returns to Plug for a programme of new works influenced by the SCP Foundation, a fictional ‘X-Files’-type of organisation, with stories created through collaborative creative fiction writing.

A new strand to the festival this year is the launch of Late Night Plug, giving the audience the opportunity to sit back and relax to the sounds of our electroacoustic composers, Classical Guitarists, and even some late-night jazz with the Big Band.

Composer, Lucy Hollingworth’s The Poetess rediscovers and reimagines a piece for music theatre that she wrote in 1983 but which has never been performed. The piece, to be premiered on May 5, examines the struggle of a female poet in the mid-20th century who strives to escape from the roles society tries to force her into.


Notes to editors:

A Decade of Plug – fast facts

During the past ten years, Plug has had:

  • 475 world premieres
  • 2,061 musicians
  • 105 concerts
  • 90 conductors
  • 105 concerts

Media enquiries to: Katie Bell,  0141 270 8387

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Ranked sixth in the world for performing arts education, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland delivers world-class teaching and research with global impact. The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is a national and international centre of excellence for the performing arts. Building on our roots in 1847 as a national academy of music, we are now one of Europe’s most multi-disciplinary performing arts higher education centres offering specialised teaching across music, drama, dance, film and production as well as encouraging trans-disciplinary learning throughout our innovative curriculum.

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Contact: Katie Bell
Phone: 0141 270 8387