Alasdair Nicolson was born in Inverness in 1961 and brought up on the Isle of Skye and the Black Isle. His first musical experiences were in traditional music before going on to study at the University of Edinburgh. An award-winning composer, he is now regarded as one of Scotland’s most important new musical voices. He has written music for many of the leading orchestras, ensembles and soloists in the UK and abroad and his music has been performed and broadcast all over the world from New York to Santiago, Tokyo to Sydney. Most recently premieres have been given by the Nash Ensemble, the London Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. He has a strong commitment to work within education, with amateur performers, and particularly with young composers; and has made a television programme with the BBC SSO about composition and written two books about composing. He is Director of the St Magnus Composers’ Course and Artistic Director of the award-winning Sound Inventors Project. Although he has a busy schedule writing music he has always maintained a career as a performing musician and works as conductor and pianist. He makes his debut as conductor this season with the London Symphony Orchestra.

“One of Scotland’s finest talents of the younger generation” The Scotsman.



The Glasgow Barons & Tom Poulson @ St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall
Jun 25 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

The work of the youthful Mendelssohn frames this concert. Written between the ages of 12 and 14, his 12 string symphonies are highly accomplished works both here showing all the light and shade characteristic of his later music. Alasdair Nicolson’s new work has been commissioned by the orchestra and relates to the famous carved medieval crosses and hogback stones in Govan Old Church.  Pärt’s Trisagion is an intense work taking its inspiration from the Slavic Orthodox prayer of the same name; it is a characteristically meditative and ritualistic piece.

The Glasgow Barons are one of Scotland’s newest orchestras which is already breaking boundaries and are based in the Govan area of Glasgow. They are joined by the virtuoso trumpet player Tom Poulson who, following his studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, is now performing all over the world.

The Glasgow Barons

Paul McAlindin            Conductor

Tom Poulson              Trumpet

Mendelssohn              String Symphony No.1 in C

Alasdair Nicolson        Concerto for trumpet and strings (Govan Stones) World Premiere

Arvo Pärt                     Trisagion

Mendelssohn             String Symphony No.10 in B minor