From Kelvinbridge to Leipzig … amateur orchestra’s first foreign concert sells out

By Ellen Thomson at

Its members are non-professional yet its performances are of the highest order.

Now the Amicus chamber orchestra – whose players come from across central Scotland – is preparing to play on its first overseas tour.

West End audiences will be familiar with its concerts at St Mary’s Cathedral on Great Western Road in Kelvinbridge.

Amicus orchestra

Preparations: Leader of the RSNO Maya Iwabuchi rehearses with Amicus Orchestra. Photo credit: Bill Kean

But the orchestra’s next outing on Monday November 11 will be in front of a sell-out crowd at the Leipzig Gewandhaus.

Spokeswoman Ali Hutcheson said the group was really looking forward to the experience.

“The orchestra have been asked to perform a Scottish programme and have already sold out the 1900 seater iconic venue, the Gewandhaus.

“It’s very exciting for everyone involved and comes in our tenth anniversary year.”

Home grown: The orchestra has been asked to perform a Scottish programme. Photo credit: Bill Kean

Amicus was founded in 2008 by former members of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland.

It aims to bridge the gap between amateur and professional orchestras, by providing a top quality ensemble for experienced amateurs, music students and professionals.

The trip will be the culmination of a year of celebrations for the orchestra’s 10th birthday.

The orchestra will be conducted by the highly regarded Berlin-based British conductor Catherine Larsen-Maguire.

Highly-regarded: The orchestra will be conducted by Berlin-based British conductor Catherine Larsen-Maguire. Photo credit: Bill Kean

Showcasing the very best of Scotland, the Amicus Orchestra have invited Maya Iwabuchi, the leader of the RSNO, to perform as soloist in Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy.

Highland Piper and BBC piping specialist Iain MacInnes will join the orchestra for Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ evocative picture postcard from an Orkney wedding.

* Amicus Orchestra play the world-famous Leipzig Gewandhaus concert hall on Monday November 11.