Scottish soprano Alison McNeill and Iranian-Scottish guitarist Sasha Savaloni are the recipients of Enterprise Music Scotland’s 2015-2017 Artists in Residence Award. Both Masters graduates of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland the Duo they made their debut in 2011 at the Big Guitar Weekend Festival gaining a mention in the Classical Guitar Magazine and have since established themselves as the foremost voice & guitar duo in Scotland. They have performed recitals in Spain and throughout Scotland, at prestigious events such as Clasicos en Verano Chamber Music Series in Madrid, Westbourne Music Series, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Big Guitar Weekend Festival and were recorded and interviewed for the prestigious BBC Radio Scotland Classics Unwrapped series. Their performances have received great praise and have been described as “Quality music at its best – classical guitar and a voice to die for”.
I was immediately taken by their understanding of the style and how they captured the mood and dynamic of the songs with enormous ease. Alison’s poise as an artist, her ability to tell and put across a varied programme of Spanish songs was way beyond her years and experience, and this is aided by a solid vocal technique which allows her plenty of scope for colour and range to paint the pictures she able to do with her voice. Although I know she enjoys performing a wide range of repertoire she has a special connection with Spanish.Sasha is a world class soloist in his own right, but he is also an excellent accompanist and has an innate capacity to listen and follow, and was there for every nuance that Alison delivered. They complement each other perfectly on stage, Sasha’s slightly reserved approach is balanced by Alison’s warm and natural delivery both are excellent communicators. Repertoire is something they work hard at, arranging much of what they perform.
Jamie McDougall, BBC Radio Scotland.