BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra appoints new Leader

Date: 06.06.2012     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 17.58
Category: Scotland; Orchestras
The eminent British violinist Laura Samuel has been appointed leader of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (BBC SSO). Co-founder of the renowned Belcea Quartet and one of the UK’s most accomplished and respected musicians, Ms Samuel will assume the post with the BBC SSO in the 2012-13 Season.

As leader-designate she will perform with the BBC SSO at the Edinburgh International Festival, in a performance of Richard Strauss’ Alpine Symphony conducted by the orchestra’s Chief Conductor, Donald Runnicles.

The Director of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra Gavin Reid said: “Laura Samuel is a musician of the very highest calibre and I am absolutely delighted that she is going to be joining the BBC SSO as our Leader. Laura joins an orchestra at the top of its game, enjoying a period of incredible artistic success in partnership with some of the world’s most exciting conductors. It’s a great team and it is wonderful to have Laura with us.”

Laura Samuel said: “I'm thrilled and honoured to accept the position of Leader of the BBCSSO, an ensemble of talented musicians which deserves its reputation as one of the finest. I look forward to the exciting season ahead and becoming part of this fantastic team.”

Ms Samuel has led the BBC SSO on several occasions over the last year, most recently in May 2012 in performances and recordings of Bruckner’s Symphony No 7, recordings which will form the orchestra’s first commercial CD under the baton of Donald Runnicles. She draws upon a particularly wide range of expertise ranging from baroque through classical, nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first century repertoire. As well as being one of the UK’s leading chamber musicians, she has been guest leader of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Iceland Symphony Orchestra and guest director/leader of the City of London Sinfonia.

Born in London in 1976 Ms Samuel studied with Itzhak Rashkovsky at the Royal College of Music in London. She co-founded the Belcea Quartet in 1994 and was a member for 16 years. Her work with the Belcea quartet has gathered many awards including first prize in the Osaka and Bordeaux International Competitions and a Gramophone Award. She is also a renowned concerto soloist and has performed with the English Chamber Orchestra and the Trondheim Soloists, and most recently performed the Barber Violin Concerto at the Queen Elizabeth Hall as part of the South Bank Bernstein Project.

She joined the London Bridge Ensemble in 2010 is also a member of the Nash Ensemble. She has taught at the Royal College of Music and Royal Northern College of Music and currently teaches at the Chamber Studio at Kings Place in London. Ms Samuel plays the ‘Nissel’ Stradivarius violin made in 1731.