Tuesday 18 April 2023

Ryan Wigglesworth's second season and Ilan Volkov's 20th: celebrations for BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra's 2023/24 season

The 2023/24 season marks Ryan Wigglesworth's second year as chief conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and they open the season with a bang, with Wigglesworth's Piano Concerto (premiered at the 2019 BBC Proms with Wigglesworth conducting Marc-Andre Hamelin and Britten Sinfonia), with soloist Steven Osborne, plus Johanna Müller-Hermann’s Heroic Overture and Mahler's Symphony No. 4.  Wigglesworth's other programmes include Stravinsky's ballets,  Orpheus and The Fairy's Kiss, Mark-Anthony Turnage's Your Rockaby, with saxophonist Martin Robinson, and music by Unsuk Chin.

The orchestra is also celebrating 20 years of music-making with principal guest conductor, Ilan Volkov, and Volkov's programmes include Cassandra Miller’s Duet for Cello & Orchestra, a work that the orchestra premiered at the 2015 Tectonics Festival,  Howard Skempton’s Piano Concerto, with soloist Joanna MacGregor. and a new work by Michael Parsons, alongside music by Berlioz, and Stravinsky. Volkov will also return to co-curate the Tectonics Glasgow festival of new and experimental music on 4 and 5 May 2024.

David Fennessy’s Conquest of the Useless was part-premiered at the first Tectonics Festival in 2013. The epic, three-part work was inspired by German film-director Werner Herzog's diary of his struggle to make his film Fitzcarraldo in the Amazon in the 1980s. The title of Fennessy's piece is directly lifted from the title of Herzog's diary. Now in November 2023, Jack Sheen will be conducting the UK premiere of Fennessy's completed work. It is preceded by a discussion with the composer and a screening of Les Blank’s 1982 documentary, Burden of Dreams, about the shooting of Fitzcarraldo.

Other contemporary music in the season includes BBC commissions from Lisa Illean, Roxanna Panufnik, and Jörg Widmann.

South Korean violinist Bomsori Kim is the orchestra's featured artist for the season, She makes her debut in December 2023 in Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No.1 conducted by Marta Gardolińska as part of a programme celebrating Polish music. Kim returns for Sibelius' Violin Concerto.

Full details of the season from the BBC SSO website.

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