THORBEN Dittes, whose four years as chief executive of the Scottish Ensemble has seen a huge increase in the profile and activity of the string group, has been appointed director of the Royal Northern Sinfonia and the classical music programme at Sage Gateshead. Dittes, who grew up in Germany, came to Scotland from a post with Sir John Eliot Gardner's Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra and will move to Tyneside in the autumn as the venue celebrates its tenth birthday and the orchestra welcomes Lars Vogt as its new music director.
Thanking Dittes for his work with the ensemble, chairman Ian Dickson announced that two members of the management team he has built would be stepping up from their current positions within the organisation with Fraser Anderson becoming interim general manager and Jenny Jamison interim director of artistic planning.
l scottishensemble.co.uk; sagegateshead.com
set for festival
EDINBURGH-BASED Irish singer Michelle Burke, who until recently featured with Celtic Connections favourites Cherish the Ladies, releases a new album to coincide with her Made in Scotland showcase concerts on the Fringe. The album, Step into My Parlour, features guests like Boys of the Lough's flautist-singer Cathal McConnell, Cherish the Ladies' accordionist Kathleen Boyle and former De Dannan singer Maura O'Connell, and the Fringe concerts, at Summerhall on August 9-11, 14 and 15, promise special guests.
Influences steer separate shows
INDIAN violinist Jyotsna Srikanth, who won five star reviews for her Edinburgh Fringe shows last year, returns with two different shows running daily from August 11 to 16.
Srikanth trained in both the Southern Indian and western classical traditions and draws inspiration from a wide range of music. Carnatic Nomad (the Space on the Mile) showcases Srikanth's South Indian roots and Nordic Raga (Acoustic Music Centre @ St Bride's) features her with Swedish saxophone and percussion team Pär Moberg and Dan Svennson.