Auricle Ensemble

Auricle Ensemble Group Photo
  • Chris Swaffer - artistic director

Formed in 2007, the Auricle Ensemble burst into musical life in Scotland with an array of intriguing programmes, virtuoso playing and an approachable and inclusive style to performance. Auricle's diverse repertoire attracts some of Scotland's finest professional players who have performed works by Schoenberg, Copland, Britten, Shostakovich, Daugherty, Ives, Walton, Bernstein, Stravinsky, Milhaud, Weill, Strauss, Dukas, Gershwin, Wagner and Prokofiev. Auricle’s first concert saw some of Scotland’s top jazz artists performing alongside classical musicians to a sell-out audience. The ensemble has since received many favourable reviews and invitations to perform around the UK. 2010 saw the start of Auricle's residency at St Bride's, Glasgow and the beginning of its acclaimed two year Mini-Mahler project performing the reduced versions of Mahler's works that were arranged for Arnold Schoenberg's Private Music Society in Vienna. Other projects included a concert version of Kurt Weill's Threepenny Opera and Peter Maxwell Davies' music theatre works. Auricle’s version of Walton's Façade (see link below) toured major festivals in spring and summer 2015 and Stravinsky's Soldier's Tale during 2018.

Recent projects have included Re-Write (including music by Jonny Greenwood, Stewart Copeland, Sarah Hayes and Steve Reich), with future plans including Kurt Weills' enchanting Christmas story Zaubernacht, Roxanna Panufnik's ɹolᴉɐS uʍop ǝpᴉsd∩ ǝɥ┴, John Adams' Grand Pianola Music, the original version of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, arrangements of Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht and other mouth-watering offerings.

Christopher Swaffer - artistic director

Chris is currently artistic director of the Auricle Ensemble, the University of St Andrew’s Symphony Orchestra and the Edinburgh Festival Symphony Orchestra. He has guest conducted many ensembles, including the St Petersburg Academic and Ukrainian State Symphony Orchestras, the Metropolitan Ensemble and the Slaithwaite Philharmonic Orchestra and is regular guest conductor with the Kelvin Ensemble. Chris's passion for new music has seen him conduct many premieres, including the UK premiere of the Ives Society Critical Edition of Charles Ives' Second Symphony and seven world premieres at the Royal Northern College of Music with contemporary music group Ensemble 11. He also recently conducted the first public performance of Howard Blake’s Diversions for marimba in the presence of the composer, with soloist Heather Corbett. Chris was educated at Chetham's School of Music and holds a Masters degree in composition and conducting from the University of Manchester where he studied with John Casken and Garry Walker. He has studied privately with Clark Rundell and Denise Ham and has actively participated in many masterclasses both in the UK and abroad. He recently also gained a place at the Bard Summer Music Festival, New York where he conducted Mahler’s Sixth Symphony. As well as his professional commitments, Chris has also been music director or guest conductor of over thirty amateur, youth and university orchestras and is a conducting consultant for '', and the NOTION conducting software and syllabus, delivering training across Europe.


Façade Walton and Sitwell’s complete entertainment
Mini-Mahler Full late-Romantic orchestral works arranged for chamber ensemble
Copland - The City Live soundtrack to Lewis Mumford’s groundbreaking 1939 film
Re-Write New classical works by Steve Reich, Jonny Greenwood and Sarah Hayes
A Soldier's Tale Stravinsky's timeless music theatre work
The Upside Down Sailor The true story of British sailor Tony Bullimore's dramatic shipwreck and rescue