Media Release: New faces at the RSNO

Chris and Lena

Scotland’s national orchestra appoints new principal trumpet and associate principal First Violin

THE Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) has appointed Christopher Hart as its new principal trumpet and Lena Zeliszewska as associate principal First Violin (No4).

The new appointments will be in place for the start of the orchestra’s 2016:17 Season which starts on 6/7 October.

Christopher has performed across the UK and Europe with ensembles such as the London Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony and Stavanger Symphony Orchestras.

He has recorded Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat (Linn Records), and has also recorded with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra.

Chris recently performed Sir Peter Maxwell-Davies’ Trumpet Concerto at the Royal College of Music and is developing a career as a recitalist with the Countess of Munster Musical Trust Recital Scheme.

As a student at the Royal Academy of Music, London, Christopher won both the John Solomon Brass Prize for solo performance and the Worshipful Company of Musicians Brass Ensemble Prize, as well as being awarded a Regency Award upon his graduation for outstanding achievement and a DipRAM for an outstanding Final Recital.

During his time in Cardiff, Christopher won First Prize in the 2014 Concerto Competition, resulting in a performance of the Tomasi Trumpet Concerto in St. David’s Hall, Cardiff in July 2014.

Christopher succeeds John Gracie, who retires from the orchestra following 35 years’ service as RSNO principal trumpet.

Newly-appointed RSNO principal trumpet, Christopher Hart, said: “I am absolutely delighted to be joining the RSNO. The orchestra has a terrific heritage, to be taking over the principal trumpet position from John Gracie is a tremendous honour and I look forward to performing with my new colleagues.”

Lena Zeliszewska is a former member of the European Union Youth Orchestra and the Verbier Festival Orchestra, and guested with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

In 2010, Lena was appointed No5 sub-principal First Violin with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO).

Since 2011, she has also been a member of Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (BCMG). Highlights of her time in the CBSO and BCMG have included numerous performances at the BBC Proms, Wigmore Hall and the Luzerne Festival.

In 2013, Lena was granted a two-year sabbatical to complete a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Northwestern University (Evanston, IL), studying violin performance with Prof. Gerardo Ribeiro.

During her time at NU, she was a first-prize winner of Cliff Dwellers Arts Foundation String Competition, a third-prize winner of Thaviu String Competition, and the winner of NU Concerto Competition.

In November 2014, she was the soloist for Szymanowski’s First Violin Concerto, performed with the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Victor Yampolsky.

In April 2015, Lena was one of only four NU students to perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, as part of The Conservatory Project 2015.

New RSNO associate principal First Violin, Lena Zeliszewska, said: “One of the main factors which drives and inspires me as a musician and a person is a constant search for new challenges and opportunities to learn more about music, performance and life in general.

“More often than not, I learn that from my fellow musicians and so I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the RSNO and to begin this new and exciting musical journey!

“And of course I can’t wait to explore the city of Glasgow and the absolutely stunning Scottish countryside!”

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Contact: Daniel Pollitt
Phone: 01412253571