Tuesday 23 May 2017

BBC NOW celebrates its 90th birthday and more

Thomas Søndergård, principal conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Thomas Søndergård, principal conductor of the
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
During the 2017/18 season the BBC National Orchestra of Wales celebrates its 90th anniversary in April 2018, and the orchestra is also joining with arts organisations across Wales for Russia 17, a series marking the centenary of the 1917 Russian Revolution. Principal conductor Thomas Søndergård opens the season with Mosolov’s Iron Foundry, Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 12 (The Year 1917) and closes it with Shostakovich's Symphony No. 4. Søndergård's other concerts with the orchestra include Sibelius's Symphony No. 5 and Dvořák’s The Golden Spinning Wheel.

Principal Guest Conductor Xian Zhang's inaugural season with the orchestra includes the start of a cycle of Beethoven symphonies which will be spread over two years and performed on tours of Wales, and she also performs music Verdi’s operas including II Trovatore and La Traviata, with Italian mezzo soprano Chiara Taigi. Conductor Laureate Tadaaki Otaka marks 30 years with the orchestra, as well as celebrating his 70th birthday, in two Elgar focused concerts in December. The orchestra will also be welcoming back former Principal Guest Conductors Jac van Steen and Joseph Swensen as part of the 90th Anniversary celebrations

The orchestra's composer in association, Huw Watkins, curates two concerts at BBC Hoddinott Hall this season, exploring the music that shaped him both as a composer and a performer. Conducted by Martyn Brabbins, Huw joins the orchestra for Britten’s Piano Concerto plus Tippett’s Suite for the Birthday of Prince Charles and Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra. And the orchestra is directed by Ryan Wigglesworth in music by living composers selected by Huw, including John Woolrich’s Oboe concerto which is performed by Nick Daniel. Two concerts feature music by former composers in association, Michael Berkeley, Simon Holt and B Tommy Andersson, and former composers in residence, Guto Puw and Mark Bowden.

The orchestra will be collaborating with the National Dance Company Wales for a performance of P.A.R.A.D.E at Wales Millennium Centre and Pontio, Bangor with Erik Satie’s pioneering score for a reimagined version of the Ballets Russes’ Parade which features a typewriter, foghorn and mop! The performance begins with outdoor artistry before the audience is taken through to the stage; dancers, musicians, artists and a renegade aerial robot unite for a revolutionary dance experience. BBC NOW presents Bernstein's glittering music for the stage at Brangwyn Hall, Swansea as part of the celebrations for the composer’s centenary, with clarinettist Annelien Van Wauwe led by Eric Stern.

Full details from the orchestra's website.

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