The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) is the national symphony orchestra for Scotland. The orchestra performed the music for the Shadows of the Empire soundtrack, which was composed by Joel McNeely. The 89-strong professional orchestra is based in Glasgow, but also performs often in Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, and abroad. The orchestra was formed in 1981 as the Scottish Orchestra and began performing full-time in 1950, the year it took the name Scottish National Orchestra. The company was awarded royal patronage in 1991 and shortly after briefly used the title Royal Scottish Orchestra before reverting to its present name.
The orchestra began to develope an international profile under the leadership of its first Scottish-born, and longest serving conductor, Sir Alexander Gibson. The orchestra became known for its interpretations of Scandinavian composers, notably Jean Sibelius and Carl Nielsen, due to Gibson's own specialisms. This was consolidated in the tenure of Neeme Järvi who also led the orchestra through its first complete Gustav Mahler cycle. The second Scot to lead the orchestra, the late Bryden Thomson, maintained the Nordic link with a memorable cycle of Nielsen symphonies, with the recordings of the Fourth and Sixth symphonies generally regarded as amongst the finest available.