Nevis Ensemble – Scotland’s Street Orchestra, is different. Artistically-led by Holly Mathieson and Jon Hargreaves, the orchestra is committed to taking music to everyone, everywhere through a programme of projects and touring. This energetic, vibrant group is equally at home in a children’s playground or hospital as it is in a supermarket, prison, museum or mountaintop.
“If there is one exciting new thing about Scotland of which they should be spreading the news, it is the Nevis Ensemble.”
Keith Bruce, The Herald
“Take the orchestra out of the concert hall, and that is when you will truly notice the real power and importance of music.”
Jenny Akroyd, saxophone
The award-winning Nevis Ensemble is different; there’s nothing else quite like it. It’s vision is ‘music for everyone, everywhere’. Artistically-led by Holly Mathieson and Jon Hargreaves, Scotland’s first street orchestra burst into life in August 2018, and is an arts organisation with an explicit social remit at its heart: to bring the therapeutic and community- strengthening value of high-quality live orchestral music of all genres to everyone in our society.
Nevis Ensemble’s work is a tangible response to the lack of opportunities many people face in accessing quality live music, and the benefits it brings. In less than a year, the orchestra has reached 22,500 people through 130 concerts, including those facing hardships through ill-health, isolation, poverty, disability, political asylum and those whose challenges are hidden, unsupported. A carefully curated series of community- based project runs in parallel to the fast-and-furious performance schedule.
Full-scale orchestral performances of diverse, fun and high-quality music: surprising commuters first thing in the morning; entertaining residents in communities with limited arts provision; giving guerrilla-style appearances in swimming pools; generating huge public audiences in public spaces and museums; connecting with homeless asylum seekers in relaxed late-night concerts.
In 2019 Nevis will give the most extensive tour of the Hebrides by an orchestra, and in 2020 will tour five European countries, supported by The Scottish Government.