Case Studies & Resources


Creating Symbiosis

Culture partner | Scottish Chamber Orchestra

Business partner | Aviva Investors

Sandy Butler, Creating Symbiosis, 2021


Community & social empowerment | Education & learning | Environment | International engagement | Health & wellbeing | Cultural Engagement


Business and/or brand name awareness | Corporate social responsibility (CSR) | Creative development | Developing community links | Image enhancement| Marketing | PR opportunities

The project

Glasgow’s hosting of COP26 in November 2021, presented a fantastic opportunity for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (SCO) to make a lasting contribution to the topic of climate change by commissioning and creating a musical response to this critical global issue. Thanks to sponsorship from Aviva Investors and match funding from the C&BS Fund, Symbiosis was written by composer Greg Lawson during the first lockdown and subsequently recorded by the SCO with Finnish violinist, Pekka Kuusisto, in Glasgow’s Clockwork Studios.

Working with Scottish videographer Sandy Butler, SCO also produced a short film that included both an insight into the compositional process, shot on location in beautiful Moniaive in Dumfries & Galloway, and the inspiring performance at Clockwork Studios. The world premiere of Symbiosis was broadcast via the SCO You Tube channel to coincide with the start of COP26 and Aviva separately licenced the film for six months, featuring it on the new Climate Hub on their website.

Although the restrictions of the pandemic negated the initially planned opportunity to perform Symbiosis ‘live’ at COP26, match funding from the C&BS Fund financed the short film that will live on in perpetuity on SCO’s YouTube channel, continuing to encourage people across the world to consider how their actions impact on our climate.

The partnership

Following an introduction from one of SCO’s Board members, who also works for Aviva, the potential for a partnership was realised and, after initial discussions, this unique artistic project was born. With climate change as a common theme of interest, one of the world’s leading musical organisations and a financial organisation leading the way in responsible investment quickly found common ground.

The positive outcomes

From SCO’s perspective, the partnership brought significant PR opportunities in terms of raising brand awareness with new audiences and the project also encouraged SCO to evaluate its own carbon footprint and the environmental impact it creates. Reputationally, the partnership with Aviva Investors and the matching funding from the C&BS Fund allowed the SCO to create something new emotive and highly accessible that is absolutely relevant to the world we live in now.

With just over 3,000 views on the SCO YouTube channel, the Symbiosis film is the ‘most liked’ SCO video ever produced. It also received just under 250,000 views through organic and paid promotion on the Aviva Investors’ LinkedIn page, receiving overwhelmingly positive comments such as: “Beautiful music for a beautiful planet that we love and must protect” and “… nothing like music to inspire us to take action”.

This has been an incredibly inspiring sponsorship project. We have learned so much from working with Aviva Investors and have started evaluating our own organisational approach to sustainability as a result of the partnership. Our Symbiosis film was made possible thanks to the support from the C&BS Fund and the collective creativity of everyone involved.
David Nelson | Partnerships Manager, Scottish Chamber Orchestra
We are delighted to have partnered the SCO to create a piece of music that inspired people to take action on climate change. It’s so powerful; really evocative. Sometimes words aren’t enough and music has the power to reach people in a different way and create a connection. Like so many sectors, it has been an incredibly tough time for the arts sector and to help musicians and artists is hugely fulfilling for us as an organisation.
Kelly Mikhailoff | Co-head of Marketing, Aviva Investors

Join the C&BS community!

Why not become part of our nationwide network of culture and business organisations?

Find out more