Out of the Shadows

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Venues in Scotland: Edinburgh's first purpose built music venue in 100 years, and a state-of-the-art recording studio in Glasgow

Image of the new Dunard Centre slotted in behind the Dundas Mansion in St Andrew's Square, Edinburg
Image of the new Dunard Centre slotted in behind the Dundas Mansion in St Andrew's Square, Edinburgh

It seems to be all go in Scotland when it comes to developing music venues. Hot on the heels of the decision to turn Edinburgh's old Royal High School into a National Centre for Music [see my article] comes the decision of Edinburgh City Council to approve plans for the Dunard Centre, the city's first purpose-built music and performance venue in over 100 years, which is set to become the new home of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Whilst in Glasgow, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra's has launched its new purpose-built state-of-the-art recording facility, Scotland's Studio.

Whilst the planning process for the Dunard Centre has not been uncomplicated, the council's decision looks set to confirm that the new centre, which is to be ingeniously inserted just behind Dundas House off St Andrew Square, will go ahead and create a 1000-seat performance venue on this forgotten site. The flexible setting will be a home for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra as well as host for other ensembles, choirs, solo musicians and bands. There are also plans for a café and an all-day events schedule intended to reinforce the centre as a cultural hub, with education and community outreach programmes as well.

The centre is being developed by Impact Scotland, designed by David Chipperfield Architects and is supported by Royal Bank of Scotland, and named for the Dunard Fund which is a major funder of the project. The Dunard Fund was set up by American philanthropist Carol Colburn Grigor; previously a concert pianist who performed on tour in Edinburgh, Carol Colburn Grigor is married to the Scottish film-maker Murray Grigor. Further information about the project from the Impact Scotland website.

Scotland's Studio is a brand new studio facility which is purpose-built in Glasgow for the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO). It builds on existing infrastructures such as the RSNO Centre which opened in 2015, and features not only cutting-edge mixing technology, but the RSNO’s New Auditorium, an acoustically adjustable and flexible space, ideal for the specialised production of recordings for film and television soundtracks as well as hosting educational projects.

The studio is being positioned as a 'one-stop-shop'  able to provide full end-to-end production for industry. Aimed at the film and game industry soundtrack recording outside of London, the RSNO being the only orchestra in the UK with a fully functioning recording facility that can record sound to picture. The studio will also be open to other Scottish based orchestras and musicians, giving them access to not only a world-class recording studio, but also allowing them to advance within the creative industries.

RSNO and Blair Mowat in the new Scotland's Studio
RSNO and Blair Mowat in the new Scotland's Studio

Full information from the dedicated studio website, and for the nerds amongst you, there is a brochure to download [PDF]

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