Tuesday, 12 May 2015

New music, chorus anniversary, Brahms and more - Scottish Chamber Orchestra new season

Lotta Wennäkoski
Lotta Wennäkoski
The Scottish Chamber Orchestra's 2015/16 season will be continuing the group's policy of performing new work, and both new commissions this season have a Nordic theme. Finnish composer Lotta Wennäkoski is writing new work to be performed as part of an all-Nordic programme conducted by Tuomas Hannikainen, with Nielsen’s Violin Concerto (soloist Pekka Kuusisto) and the UK premiere of the conductor’s own arrangement of Sibelius’ Maiden in the Tower Orchestral Suite. Icelandic composer Hafliđi Hallgrímsson's new piece will be sung by the Finnish soprano Helena Juntunen, conducted by John Storgårds in a programme which also includes RVW's Symphony No. 5

Other contemporary music in the season includes Kurtág’s Movement for Viola and Orchestra with the orchestra's principal viola Jane Atkins as soloist, Brett Dean’s Testament, and the Scottish Premiere of Jorg Widmann’s Ikarische Klage. Six Speechless Songs by Martin Suckling, the orchestra's Associate Composer, was commissioned by the orchestra in its 40th year and the piece returns in a programme conducted by Oliver Knussen which also includes Britten's Lachrymae, with Jane Atkins, and music by Henze and Mendelssohn.

In October 2015 the strings of the orchestra will be decamping to Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh to perform a programme of organ concertos. Conductor Alexandre Bloch and soloists David Briggs will be coupling the well known Poulenc concerto with the Organ Concerto by Kenneth Leighton who taught at Edinburgh University for many years.

The orchestra has also developed something of a tradition of performing Brahms, having performed the symphonies extensively with Sir Charles Mackerras (with whom they recorded them, see Amazon box to right), Joseph Swenson and Paavo Berglund. Now the orchestra's principal conductor Robin Ticciati will be performing all the symphonies, two overtures and the Deutsches Requiem (with Kate Royal and Matthias Goerne).

The SCO Chorus, which will be singing in the Deutsches Requiem, is celebrating its 25th anniversary and will be performing Handel's Theodora, with Richard Egarr and soloists including Stefanie True, Renata Pokupic, Iestyn Davies, Neal Davies and Samuel Boden, and Egarr will return to conduct the orchestra and chorus in Bach's Magnificat and Mendelssohn's Reformation Symphony.

John Butt, of the Dunedin Consort, conducts an all Bach programme with music by JSB as well as his sons , including CPE Bach's Bassoon Concerto and a WF Bach sinfonia.

French conductor Emmanuel Krivine will take up his post as principal guest conductor and conducts a number of concerts during the season, including Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder with Karen Cargill and Beethoven's Eroica Symphony. Guest conductors returning this season include Olari Elts, John Storgårds and Joseph Swensen.

All this and a lot more besides at Glasgow City Halls, Edinburgh's Usher Hall, Aberdeen Music Hall, Ayr Town Hall, Perth Concert Hall, and St Andrews Younger Hall. Full details and further information from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra website.

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