Rave reviews from Edinburgh Fringe 2022!

RTO was delighted to receive the following (genuine!) reviews following our return to the Fringe in August 2022 with our new conductor Count Michael Von Graham!

Amidst the splendour of world class ensemble up the road in the Usher Hall came The Really Terrible Orchestra making, indeed, a truly joyful noise (the venue was St Cuthbert´s) best described as awesome cacophony. These players happily admit that they failed Grade 3 in their youth and have not, in truth, progressed a great deal further. The music making, interspersed by seriously bad jokes from their conductor Michael Graham and a touching speech from their founder Alexander McCall Smith, concentrated – at times mercifully – on short pieces ranging from Beethoven to Sondheim via Haydn enhanced by kazoo.

But eloquence, sonority, rigorous precision is hardly the point here. Hilarity is. And they pitch it just right, despite pitch being a considerable challenge. Many orchestras would kill for the happy diversity of the cheering audience – from the 107yr-old to whom we sang birthday greetings, to the lusty howling along of babies in a carry cots.

As finale, we sang along to Abba and `Thank you for the Musi’c. Put your hands together for this lot. Long may they make us smile.

Mary Miller


‘How can one follow such an explosion of delight – the RTO’s superhuman, multifarious presentation shone beyond words – truly a remarkable improvement to your vital scores, each one an enlightening new Work of Art, a wonderment in the making, indeed a glowing memory… the scope was never-ending, I remain transfixed with joy.

Thank you, thank you, unique and glorious RTO.



Our Emerging Composers

Edwin at desk
Edwin Sun Winner of the Emerging Composers Competition 2016 A Wee bit of Irish Scottish Jig
 Feyi Adebiyi Sinfonia No 1
 Jack McKenzie A Tale of Old
 Caroline Penn The Witches
 Ryan Yard River Travels Onwards

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Emerging Composer Announced!

Edwin and Sandy cropped fuzzy

The £1,000 winner was Edwin Sung, with the Celtic A Wee Big Irish Scottish Jig. Choosing a runner-up from some fantastic compositions was impossible, so we had 4. See here for details.
We have 5 terrific pieces of music to rehearse and play in a special concert next Spring. Watch the website for details.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2015

The Really Terrible Orchestra will be returning to play at the Fringe Festival on Saturday 15th August 2015. Tickets will be available from an orchestra member or edinburgh fringe box office shortly.

Programme will include newly commissioned music, Challenging pieces by Greig, Beethoven, and Rossini.


Alexander McCall Smith in conversation during our debut concert at Glasgow's City Hall on 13 October 2012.

You can find more images about this unique event here
Photography: ©Alex Hewitt.

Five Star RTO

Five-star the RTO continues to lead the revolution for the musically disadvantaged with its unique musical interpretations. A triumph that proves bad is good. With its blend of humour, musicality and lack of technical prowess, the players surge through a lively programme taking the audience with them, creating a wave of excitement and hope that nothing will go wrong. The RTO never disappoints. 'These musicians who are dreadful are always a hot ticket. How can that be?' (ABC News) MORE

Fanfare for Glasgow

13 October 2012 at CIty Hall, Glasgow.

Click on the image to view the Glasgow Gallery.

Photographs: © Alex Hewitt.