Nevis viola player, Sagnick Mukherjee received support from our Directors’ Fund in 2020 to carry out a research project on Indian polymath Rabindranath Tagore. Here, Sagnick writes about his findings so far.

Rabindranath Tagore was a poet, playwright, author, composer, artist, and educationist who reshaped the cultural landscape of South Asia in the late 19th and early 20th century as an exponent of the Bengali Renaissance. My aim for this project is to transcribe some of his music, study various recordings of his works, and further explore these musical ideas on violin.

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From November 2020 – January 2021 we offered one of our musicians the chance to undertake a Marketing and PR placement with Nevis, to get experience and receive training and mentoring from industry experts. Trumpeter, Isaac Boothman tell us how it’s all going.

This wasn’t how I expected to join an orchestra. In 2019, when I was living in Birmingham, I had auditioned for Nevis Ensemble, ready to join a couple of days of music-making in May 2020. Fast-forward to November 2020, and I was living with my parents, in a Zoom meeting with the Nevis team, listening in on schemes like now almost-impossible-full-ensemble-live-recordings(!), to sustainability meetings with national orchestras.

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Nevis Ensemble Marketing and PR Assistant, Isaac Boothman chats with Nevis co-Artistic Director, Holly Mathieson.

How did you end up in Nevis Ensemble?

A mysterious Scotsman (Jamie!) got in touch and asked if Jon and I would be interested. He didn’t really elaborate, and if I’m honest, I didn’t really realise the scope and depth of the project he had in mind until we started the first tour a year or so later!

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Nevis Ensemble Marketing and PR Assistant, Isaac Boothman chats with Nevis flautist, Gabriela Jaros.

How did you end up in Nevis Ensemble? 

It was only few months after I first came to Scotland and I was looking for orchestral auditions here. I found Nevis and decided to apply! It was before the very first tour so I didn’t have any idea what to expect so I probably went really pale when I had to play a graphic score during the audition! 

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Nevis Ensemble Marketing and PR Assistant, Isaac Boothman chats with Nevis violinist, YeYe Xu.

How did you end up in Nevis Ensemble?

In the summer of 2017, Jamie Munn (CEO) and I toured Scotland and The Netherlands with our Dutch friends The Ricciotti Ensemble, which was the first street orchestra founded in 1970. Neither of us had ever performed to the scale of this group, in respect of concert terrain (including under the rain!), demographic and musical repertoire.

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Nevis Ensemble Marketing and PR Assistant, Isaac Boothman chats with Nevis French horn player, Molly Edwards.

How did you end up in Nevis Ensemble?

I was lucky enough to end up in the Nevis Ensemble based on a recommendation from a friend. I had been playing in another orchestra who then asked me if I would be interested in playing with Nevis on their first tour. I haven’t looked back since then! 

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Nevis Ensemble Marketing and PR Assistant, Isaac Boothman chats with Nevis saxophonist Jenny Akroyd.

How did you end up in Nevis Ensemble?

So in 2018, I saw Nevis on Facebook or somewhere, and it was when they were first doing their call out for musicians. I’d been wanting to join Street Orchestra, but every time they did auditions or tours I couldn’t do them. So then when I saw this, I thought: ‘well I’ve never been to Scotland’!

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Nevis Ensemble, artistically-led by Holly Mathieson and Jon Hargreaves, is delighted to announce that composers Ailie Robertson and Harry Baines will be writing new carols for the orchestra following an Open Call that received almost 200 submissions from around the world. Set to new Gaelic and Scots texts, Nevis Ensemble will record the new works alongside international mezzo-soprano and Nevis Ambassador Andrea Baker.

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