Opening the door to history in Edinburgh

assembly-rooms-occulorium-in-crush-30-nov-2016-1
Like Jim Perrin whose book I was reading on the train last night, I always enjoy finding new things or revisiting old favourites in familiar places. My first port of call this morning was the Assembly Rooms in George Street, the first Advent Door to be opened. I joined the 11am guided tour with a small crowd and heard about the various adaptations and renovations of the current building since it was opened in 1787, the most recent being completed in 2012. It replaced buildings in the old town which were described by Youngson in his book The Making of Classical Edinburgh as providing opportunities for ‘dancing. This – as a later age would have thought of it – unpresbyterian diversion was carried on in the form of public assemblies in the Old Assembly Room in the West Bow as early perhaps as 1710’. Here is an illustration of that building:
assembly-rooms-west-bow-1710-30-nov-2016-1
That Assembly and its predecessor did not only provide entertainment for the upper classes but also raised funds for the support of the poor. After the last renovation, the building is now a venue for conferences, exhibitions and weddings. They are keen to advertise their green credentials but no mention of supporting the poor. It does have a fabulous ballroom:
assembly-rooms-chandeliers-in-ballroom-30-nov-2016-1
Here is one of the Coade Sybils in the Crush:
assembly-rooms-coade-sybil-in-crush-30-nov-2016-1
and a chandelier in the later drawing room made from pressed rather than cut glass:
assembly-rooms-drawing-room-30-nov-2016-1
The music room was lit in red for World Aids Day
assembly-rooms-music-room-30-nov-2016-1

I ended the day at the Queen’s Hall enjoying the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s concert:

SIBELIUS 
Valse Triste
Scene with Cranes
MAXWELL DAVIES 
Strathclyde Concerto No 2
BARTOK 
Divertimento
MAXWELL DAVIES 
An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise – this last piece with the obligatory dram for the conductor, cheers from the orchestra and a finale with a piper.

One thought on “Opening the door to history in Edinburgh

  1. What incredible history & ornate chandeliers to boot. That’s very cool the music room was lit in red to acknowledge World Aids Day.

    I noticed you attended the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (courtesy of Facebook check-in) and I was hoping you were enjoying the program! 🎼🎻

    Liked by 1 person

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