Tuesday 24 May 2016

Welcoming Xian Zhang - BBC NOW 2016-17 season

Xian Zhang - photo B Ealovega
Xian Zhang - photo B Ealovega
BBC National Orchestra of Wales new season sees Principal Conductor Thomas Søndergård returning, and Principal Guest Conductor Xian Zhang conducting her inaugural concert and a series of concerts celebrating important Welsh composers.
Thomas Søndergård will be continuing his Mahler series as well as conducting Stravinsky's Firebird and Rite of Spring as well as Prokofiev's Scythian Suite. These latter are part of a strand which explores storytelling throughout the season, with performances of Ravel's Daphnis and Chloe (conducted by Tadaaki Otaka), Bach's St John Passion (conducted by John Butt), Stravinsky's Petrushka (conducted by Mark Wigglesworth).

Xian Zhang performances include Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4 and Romeo and Juliet, Grieg's Peer Gynt, Gliere's Concerto for Harp and Orchestra, Britten's Four Sea Interludes, Shostakovich’s Concerto for piano, trumpet and strings with pianist Peter Donohoe and trumpeter Philippe Schartz, Rimsky Korsakov's Scheherezade, Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique and Tan Dun’s Internet Symphony: Eroica, commissioned in 2008 by Google and YouTube. Xian Zhang marks International Women’s Day on 8 March when she and the orchestra will be joined by Latvian violinist Baibe Skride and her sister, pianist Lauma Skride.

Three concerts at Hoddinott Hall celebrate three important Welsh composers: Alun Hoddinott (1929–2008), Daniel Jones (1912-1993) and William Mathias (1934-1992). There will be Alun Hoddinott's The Sun, The Great Luminary of the Universe, Horn Concerto (with Alec Frank-Gemmell), his final Symphony and Violin Concerto (with Jack Liebeck). William Matthias's music to be performed includes Symphony No. 1, Laudi and Piano Concerto No. 3 with Welsh pianist Llŷr Williams.

Cian Ciarán of the Welsh psych-pop band Super Furry Animals will be premiering his first live orchestral work Rhys a Meinir which features poetry by Gruffudd Antur.

Full details from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales' website.

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