A TALENTED group of young classical musicians – among them a pupil of Hermitage Academy – is to visit Helensburgh this weekend to perform a “re-imaginging” of one of Beethoven’s greatest works.

The Undici Project, whose ranks include 15-year-old bassoonist Fergus Butt, will play the composer’s revolutionary third symphony in what they describe as “a new reduced orchestration for 11 players”.

Their performance takes place at the Mackintosh Club in Sinclair Street on Sunday, January 19 at 3pm.

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Intended to show this extraordinary work from a different perspective both in scale and context, the performance will include a narrative containing interesting facts and anecdotes, as well as offering some insight into the work’s creation and the composer’s life.

Conducted and presented by Helensburgh resident John Grant, the ensemble for Sunday’s concert will comprise Erin Andrews (flute), Ross Williams (oboe), Katie Holton (clarinet), Freya Bell Gillon (horn), Valerie Barr (accordion), Serena Whitmarsh and Paul Docherty (violins), Anna Morrison (viola), David Palazzo (cello) and Callum McCluskey (bass), as well as Fergus on bassoon.

Mr Grant said: "It's quite hard to get hold of orchestrations of symphonic works for smaller groups and smaller venues, so I set up my own project to make arrangements of those big works for 11 players - 'undici' being Italian for 11.

"The players themselves are a mix of very gifted amateurs and students - some are members of orchestras I conduct, including the Kelvin Ensemble and the Strathclyde University Orchestra, and some are students at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

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"They're all people I've worked with at some stage. I know Fergus very well - he wasn't originally asked to do it because of his age, but we needed someone to play that role and Fergus was the first person I thought of.

"I think the Mackintosh Club could be an ideal venue - it's quite small, but that means what we do will hopefully have a big impact.

"It'll be a much more informal performance than you normally get of classical music - I generally find that the way classical music is performed can be a bit stuffy, so I'm hoping to present it in a new way which I think will be quite exciting."

Tickets for the performance, priced £10 plus booking fee, are available online via eventbrite.com and from the Mackintosh Club on 01436 674375.

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