Lynne Bulmer - MA (Music), BMus (Hons), FRSM Performer & Teacher



'Amicus Orchestra/Larsen-Maguire, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow' -  review by Keith Bruce for The Herald, 15th October 2019:

'Romantic Tchaikovsky and a chilling Shostakovich 10 from the Amicus Orchestra'     by David Smythe for - 15th October 2019

'Amicus Orchestra brings summer sunshine to Glasgow’s West End Festival'    by David Smythe for - 16th June 2019

  • Glasgow’s West End Festival is a cornucopia of some 400 events throughout June including comedy, historical walks, theatre and all sorts of music with a large classical content. The range covers orchestras, recitals, choral works and even a non-religious event for the pure enjoyment of singing Big Hymns. As part of the festival, the splendid Scottish Diaspora Tapestry was on display round the walls of St Mary’s Cathedral, an atmospheric setting for Amicus Orchestra’s summer concert.

Robert Baxter and Tobias Ringborg in rehearsal © Bill KeanRobert Baxter and Tobias Ringborg in rehearsal                                                        © Bill Kean

                          Amicus is a chamber orchestra formed to bridge the gap between amateur and professional orchestras, providing a top quality ensemble for
                          experienced amateurs, music students and professionals. For this concert of lush romantic music from Humperdinck, Bruch and Dvořák, pieces
                          all written within 25 years of each other, Amicus’ chamber forces were augmented by some brass players from the Royal Conservatoire of
                          Scotland.The guardian angel horns announced Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel overture, a brooding piece opening out to a tour of the lively
                          themes of the opera. Conductor Robert Baxter drew intricate detail from the players, balancing the sections well in a church acoustic which can
                          become muddy in full heroic orchestral passages. The lively woodwind, solid brass and sweeping strings gave an energetic account of
                          Humperdinck’s captivating score, folk music with a burnished Wagnerian edge.

                          In Glasgow, we are accustomed to seeing Tobias Ringborg in the pit conducting Scottish Opera, so it was intriguing to hear him as a soloist
                          perform Bruch’s Violin Concerto no. 1 in G minor taking a break from conducting the current production of Scottish Opera’s Magic Flute.
                          Ringborg gave an intense account of this popular piece, moving from energetic muscular double-stopping verve to sublime beauty in
                          the Adagio showcasing his instrument’s warm timbre in a sensitive account. Baxter again balanced the orchestra carefully, letting them fly in
                          the strong tutti passages, but sensitive to the soloist throughout. Ringborg’s face was a study in concentration, giving little away to Baxter’s
                          watchful sideways glances adding the exciting frisson of unpredictability which makes live performance so compelling. The piece built to a
                          thrilling finale, orchestra and soloist in surging passionate harmony.

Tobias Ringborg © Bill Kean

Tobias Ringborg                                                                                                             © Bill Kean 

                       The final work was Dvořák’s sunny Symphony no. 8 in G major, composed on the occasion of his election to the Bohemian Emperor Franz
                       Joseph Academy of Science, Literature and Arts. It is relaxed, cheerful and lyrical, drawing on infectious Bohemian folk melodies, but
                       passionate at times, the Amicus strings surging like a summer whirlwind across a flowery meadow. Baxter brought controlled measured
                       playing, the warm rich divisi cellos and horns shaping the calm scene, bird calls also arriving before the thrilling full orchestral passages opened
                       the work out, the energetic players showing huge commitment, leaning into the music. Expressive pointed woodwinds added a spicy edge, with
                       piccolo and a cor anglais making a brief appearance, delightfully jaunty oboes and clarinets and lovely solo flute playing. The adagio was warm,
                       but given a steely edginess in the detached chord passage. A lively waltz in the third movement was topped out by summery notes from the
                       flute before the opening trumpet fanfare bouncing round the cathedral walls announced the final Allegro with its variations and Slavonic
                       dance. Baxter carefully allowed each section to shine through creating a tapestry of contrasts, the string sound building the work to an exciting
                       exuberant finish with a brass and timpani flourish.

                       The enjoyment of the players was written on their faces, their animated performance and steely focus on the music.  And what a joy to see
                       Ringborg smuggled into the back of the violins for the Dvorak, a conductor getting a rare chance to enjoy being in the rank and file, his
                       beaming smile as wide as any of them.

  • Review of 'Amicus Orchestra meets NYOS' - Strauss: Four Last Songs and Mahler: Symphony no. 1 - Amicus Orchestra's 10th anniversary celebratory concert (conductor: Catherine Larsen-Maguire, soloist: Anush Hovhannisyan) in Bute Hall, University of Glasgow on Sunday 17th June 2018  by David Smythe for    

  • Review of Fife Opera's production of Mozart's 'Magic Flute' at the Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy on Sat 4th Nov 2017: 

                        'All credit to Fife Opera for bringing their staging off with such success.  Under the guidance of conductor Alistair Digges, the orchestral

                    standards were remarkably high with the band led by St Andrew's-based Francesco Scattolin.  It was all naturally paced and featured 

                    many lovely instrumental solos from the pit'  - from Opera Scotland,

  • Review of Meadows Chamber Orchestra concert (conductor: Peter Evans, soloists: Peter Evans & Jack Westwell) at the Queen's Hall, Edinburgh in June 2017 by Hugh Kerr:   click here   

  • Review of Dunbar Choral's 'Opera Gala' (conductor: Vaughan Townhill) in Dunbar Parish Church, Dunbar, May 2017 by John Cairns:  click here

  • Review of J S Bach's St John Passion in Dunbar Parish Church in May 2016 by Dunbar Choral conducted by Vaughan Townhill:

                    "...The first of the solo reflections with the intricate woodwind accompaniment fell to the alto, Katrine Townhill. The talent of the                           woodwind section with the solo cellist and harpsichord continuo supporting her rich delivery was clearly going to be demonstrated as                         the story unfolded. Bach then offers the soprano soloist the chance to show her skill. Susan Hamilton obliged with perfection in her                           joyful declaration to follow her Lord and Master, matched by the skilful flute accompaniment "

                     - from review by David Affleck for the East Lothian Courier

  • Review of concert in Dunbar Parish Church with the Dunbar Choral in May 2014 conducted by Vaughan Townhill:
                         "... After the interval came two very well known works, Bach's Brandenburg Concerto no. 2 and Vivaldi's Gloria.  The orchestra, who                          played at a consistently high standard all evening complementing the singers with sympathetic and balanced accompaniment,                                   came into their own in the Concerto which was played with flourish by soloists Pam Brown, Robert Dick, Ian Frost and Lynne Bulmer" 
                     - from review by John Cairns   
  • Review of 'An Evening of Movies and Musicals at Christmas', Usher Hall, Edinburgh, November 2012 :-

"An oustanding five-star show with compelling performances by some to the UK's finest performers... the 65-piece orchestra and 160-strong choir performed beautifully...the evening was sensational.  It may have had a slow start... but the perfomances by stage stars Ruthie Henshall, John Owen Jones, Fiona Kelly and Keith Jack were engrossing, engaging and affecting.  Joining them for the evening were 12 year-old Jack Sullivan who is currently touring as Oliver in the musical of the same name and ten year-old Jessica of Duddingston Primary who won an Edinburgh-wide competition by the Aberlour Trust to perform a stunning rendition of 'I'm Walking in the Air' from The Snowman.  The ensemble received a well-deserved standing ovation from the audience for their efforts, uniting to perform an electric finale of 'One More Day' from Les Miserables." 

- The Scotsman, November 2012

  • Review (translated from the French) of Concert for Peace by the Capital Concert Band, Harmonie Musicale de Thierville and Altoberndorf Music Kapelle in the Theatre de Verdun, France, 22nd October 2011:-

"What an atmosphere!  What presence!  You had to be in the Theatre of Verdun on Saturday for the Concert for Peace put on by three very high quality bands.  These were the Harmonie Musicale de Thierville, the Altoberndorf Music Kapelle from Germany and the Capital Concert Band from Edinburgh in Scotland.  This concert, put on in the context of the 95th anniversary of the Battle of Verdun, captured all its significance but equally looked towards the future.  For more than a year, Mathieu Marchal, Director of the Harmonie Musicale and its Musical Director Paul Ewangue, not to mention members of the council, businessmen and sponsors, worked tirelessly to organise this occasion.  For nearly an hour, each band in turn revisited the great international classics, moving from Bizet to Offenbach, from Bernstein to Saint-Saens, from Latman to Hertzer amongst others.  Much applauded, the drummers of the Harmonie Musicale impressed with their great professionalism.  Also greatly anticipated, the piper of the Scottish band in a fine performance heightened the emotions of the audience.  Brought together in a masterly finale, the 150 musicians gave a joint interpretation of several pieces including Marche Lorraine and the European Hymn and were greatly applauded over and over again..."

 - from review in Est Republicain, 24 October 2011

         “…This warmly glowing piece, with its quivering strings and magical solo flute part (beautifully played by Lynne Bulmer), lyrically   
         evokes a sound picture of Olde England…”

         - John Swan, West Highland Free Press, 7 May 2010

  • Review of Petit Requiem pour Basil on Andrew Keeling's CD 'Blue Dawn', 2007:-

" ...The haunting sound of Rosalind Rawnsley's voice singing and narrating this requiem for the unexpected death of a colleague has a sense of immediacy and resonance like that of a voice in a dream, if that dream is in French. There is genuine shock and sadness in her voice, through the flute and piano work of TripleSec which is appropriately playful and somewhat suggestive in fleeting moments of Debussy's 'Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune'..."

- from review by Billy Sheppard at Billy's Bunker: Music Reviews from the Independent Underground