St Andrews’ Heisenberg Ensemble marks 30 years with gala concert

Alec Frank-Gemmill will play at the gala performance.
Alec Frank-Gemmill will play at the gala performance.

The Heisenberg Ensemble, St Andrews’ own professional orchestra, celebrates its 30th anniversary this year with a special gala concert.

The orchestra’s modest beginnings were reflected in its name; Werner Heisenberg was a physicist famous for his Uncertainty Principle and since the orchestra was only assembled for a single concert its future was indeed uncertain!

However not only has it survived, it has flourished and grown into the respected professional orchestra we hear today.

The Gala Concert on Saturday, February 2, in the Younger Hall at 7pm, will be an event for all the community to celebrate – and two very special guests will be performing for the occasion:

Douglas Allan is a wildlife cameraman and photographer, best known for his work in polar regions and underwater.

Born in Dunfermline, Douglas worked worked for the British Antarctic Survey as a research diver, scientist and photographer, and later as principal cameraman on many BBC wildlife programmes including The Blue Planet, Planet Earth, and Frozen Planet.

Doug will bring alive the tale of ‘Peter and the Wolf’ as narrator in Prokofiev’s much loved piece.

As Principal Horn in the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Alec Frank-Gemmill is a regular and very popular visitor to St Andrews.

Dividing his time with concertos, recitals, chamber music and orchestral playing, Alec has worked with the major figures in classical music today.

He is regularly guest Principal Horn with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.

He will bring his brilliance to Strauss’ youthful and very tuneful concerto.

Also on the programme is Ravel’s ‘Mother Goose Suite’, charming music telling the stories of Tom Thumb, Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty.

The orchestra is conducted by founder and Musical Director Gillian Craig.

Tickets are available in advance from the Byre Theatre box office on 01334 475000 or online at The Byre Theatre or at the door on the night.