New national orchestra created in Scotland

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(First Edition)

A major orchestra to rival London's main opera orchestras was created yesterday with the proposed merger of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Scottish Opera's orchestra, writes James Cusick.

The new 94-piece symphony orchestra, which will be known as the National Orchestra of Scotland, is the result of lengthy negotiations between the BBC and Scottish Opera, with the Arts Council acting as honest brokers.

Seona Reid, director of the Scottish Arts Council, described the proposed merger as 'the best use of public funds'. She said the scale of the new venture would develop the BBC's role in promoting Scottish and contemporary composers and would enhance Scottish Opera's repertoire by giving it access to larger orchestral resources.