Carpenter Holidays

Culture & Leisure
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Stephen Carpenter has enjoyed a 35-year career in orchestral management. In the early 1980s, he worked with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra before moving on to be Chief Executive firstly of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, then the City of London Sinfonia in the 1990s and most recently, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Stephen left the OAE at the end of 2014 to pursue a freelance career including developing his passion for Felix Mendelssohn and his journey through Scotland in 1829 which inspired the composer to write two of his best-loved works, the Hebrides Overture and Scottish Symphony. Stephen’s research into Mendelssohn’s Scottish journey can be seen at

Following his Mendelssohn research, Stephen planned and led in association with Travel for the Arts, a successful “Mendelssohn in Scotland Holiday” in September 2015. This holiday went to all the beautiful venues in Scotland which Mendelssohn visited 188 years ago, starting and ending in Edinburgh, and taking in Abbotsford (the home of Sir Walter Scott, who was one of the main reasons why Mendelssohn went to Scotland), the Highlands, Fort William, Oban and the Islands of Mull and Staffa (with its spectacular Fingal’s Cave) and Loch Lomond. Reactions to the “Mendelssohn in Scotland Holiday” are included among the testimonials and the holiday will be repeated in September 2017.

With his experience of taking orchestras to every major music festival in the UK and many abroad, and the success of the first “Mendelssohn in Scotland Holiday”, Stephen has collaborated with Travel for the Arts in planning further holidays, all of which he will lead, and which he looks forward to sharing with you in 2016 and beyond.