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Lift-off for RSNO's new wing

The national orchestra's plans for state-of-the art facilities have made a sound start. Elizabeth Buie reports

The national orchestra's plans for state-of-the art facilities have made a sound start. Elizabeth Buie reports

Construction has begun on a new home for the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, which will feature world-class education and learning facilities.

The #163;17.6 million project includes a new purpose-built rehearsal and recording facility and 600-seat music venue.

The plans for the new wing - which will be integrated with the existing Glasgow Royal Concert Hall - include dedicated state-of-the-art learning and education facilities, with flexible sensory areas, and integrated digital technologies for recording, composing and broadcasting music, and connecting with communities across Scotland and further afield.

The orchestra's new home will also be equipped with enhanced foyer spaces for audiences and visitors, a music library for the orchestra's extensive archive that will ensure access to scores for research, practice and performance, private practice and small ensemble rehearsal rooms, and administrative and technical offices for the orchestra and stores for its equipment.

Culture secretary Fiona Hyslop said: "The building will enable the RSNO to share its new facilities with a range of other young musical talent, including the National Youth Performing Companies, while the people of Glasgow will get a purpose-built music venue to further enhance their city's reputation as Unesco City of Music."

The educational and learning facilities will include a music lab where young people can compose or edit music. The new wing will also enhance the RSNO's outreach work by offering digital connectivity across the learning and rehearsal spaces and the main concert hall. This will allow performances and other musical activities to be streamed and broadcast to schools and community centres the length and breadth of Scotland.

As part of its outreach work last year, the RSNO launched the Astar CD, which it created for babies born in Scotland between 15 October 2012 and 14 October 2013.

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