The Orchestra of the Scottish Enlightenment: Amplified Clavichord

Sat Jun 22 2024 at 08:15 pm to 09:30 pm

St Vincent's Chapel: Scottish Episcopal Church | Edinburgh

Matthew Shiel
Publisher/HostMatthew Shiel
The Orchestra of the Scottish Enlightenment: Amplified Clavichord
Tonight's concert celebrates music for the clavichord (Bach's favourite instrument) alongside Mozart's tragic Symphony No. 25
About this Event

"Artistic Director Matthew Shiel shone" (⭐⭐⭐⭐ThisWeek Culture)

The Orchestra of the Scottish Enlightenment

The Scottish Enlightenment was the period in 18th and early 19th century Scotland characterised by an outpouring of intellectual and scientific accomplishments. Among the Scottish thinkers and scientists of the period were Joseph Black, James Boswell, Robert Burns, William Cullen, Adam Ferguson, David Hume, Francis Hutcheson, James Hutton, Lord Monboddo, John Playfair, Thomas Reid, Adam Smith and Dugald Stewart.

The Orchestra of the Scottish Enlightenment are a historically-informed classical orchestra who celebrate the music and performance practices of this glorious period in Scottish history. For example, our concerts are often conducted from the piano as Mozart and Bach would have done and our programmes are a variety show of solo sonatas and intimate chamber works alongside concertos and symphonies.

Each concert includes a peice by a Scottish composer and composers from the Scottish Enlightenment include: James Foulis (1710–73) Thomas Erskine, 6th Earl of Kellie (1732–81) James Oswald (1710–69), Alexander Reinagle (1756 - 1809), William McGibbon (1690 - 1756) and the great Scots bard himself - Robert Burns (1759 - 1796).

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Thomas Erskine, 6th Earl of Kellie - Overture in D major (Op.1 No.1)

Johann Sebastian Bach - Keyboard Concerto in D minor (BWV1052)

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach - Farewell to my Silbermann Clavichord in a Rondo (Wq.61)


Mozart - Symphony No. 25 in G minor (K. 183)

Clavichordist and Conductor: Matthew Shiel

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The clavichord is a stringed rectangular keyboard instrument that was used largely in the Late Middle Ages, through the Renaissance, Baroque and Classical eras. Historically, it was mostly used as a practice instrument and as an aid to composition, not being loud enough for larger performances. The clavichord produces sound by striking brass or iron strings with small metal blades called tangents - allowing the keyboard player to perform the striking effect of vibrato like a violinist or cellist.

In order to make the instrument more suited to public performance, it will be connected to an amplifier. It is claimed that it was the favourite instrument of Johann Sebastian Bach.

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Tonight's Conductor: Matthew Shiel

Matthew Shiel is a concert pianist and conductor based in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was the recipient of a scholarship to study piano at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where he graduated with first class honours and several academic and performance prizes.

Matthew has performed at venues including: National Portrait Gallery of Scotland (Edinburgh), Unitarernes Hus (Copenhagen), The Glasshouse International Centre for Music (Newcastle), Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (Glasgow) and St Giles' Cathedral (Edinburgh) and has been invited to be a guest speaker to the Wagner Society of Scotland and the University of Middlesex.

Matthew has performed several piano concertos with the Scottish Meditation Orchestra (Mozart - Piano Concerto No. 23 in A, K. 488), Àirigh Orchestra (Rachmaninoff - Piano Concerto No.2, Op.18 and Koželuch - Concerto for Piano Duet in B-flat major, P.IV:8), Abbotsford String Orchestra (Bach - Keyboard Concerto in D Minor, BWV 1052 and Mozart - Piano Concerto in D minor, K.466), Little Biggar Orchestra (Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 27 in B-flat major, K. 595). Matthew was also entrusted to give the world première of Dr Alfredo Caponnetto's Baroque Concerto - which the composer kindly dedicated to Matthew. Matthew has also performed with The Band of His Majesty's Royal Marines Scotland.

Matthew is chief conductor of the Scottish Meditation Orchestra and the The Orchestra of the Scottish Enlightenment and he teaches piano at the University of Edinburgh. Matthew is currently a Live Music Now artist, a charity and young artists scheme founded by Sir Yehudi Menuhin; it encourages gifted young musicians to perform to those who are unable to access live music such as those living with dementia, hospital patients receiving cancer care or children with additional support needs.

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Event Venue & Nearby Stays

St Vincent's Chapel: Scottish Episcopal Church, St Vincent Street, Edinburgh, United Kingdom


GBP 7.50 to GBP 24.50

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