Friday 12 April 2024

Turkey's leading orchestra, the German national youth orchestra plus ensembles from Tokyo, Prague, Vienna, Buenos Aires: 2024/25 Zurich International Orchestra Series at Cadogan Hall

Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra
Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra

The 2024/25 Zurich International Orchestra Series at Cadogan Hall has recently been announced and as ever it is a chance to hear orchestras that do not always make it to London's bigger halls. The season opens on 7 October with Theodore Kuchar conducting the Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine in a programme of Sibelius, Brahms and Beethoven but which begins with Ukrainian composer Yevhen Stankovych's Chamber Symphony No. 3.

2024 also sees visits from the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra of Tokyo with Christian Tetzlaff in Beethoven's Violin Concerto, plus the 'Dance of the Seven Veils' from the ballet, Salome by Japanese composer Akira Ifukube (1914-2006), known also for his film scores including the 1954 Godzilla; Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra with its British chief conductor Jonathan Darlington; Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Rachmaninov, Beethoven and Liszt.

Moving to 2025, however, and we get some real highlights. First off, the German National Orchestra which, rather confusingly, is actually a youth orchestra, founded in 1969 and with players aged 14 to 19. Wayne Marshall conducts and plays the piano in Gershwin, Britten and Holst. The Prague Symphony Orchestra is next. The orchestra was founded in 1934 and originally played for Czech films but Václav Smetáček was chief conductor for 30 years, and later Jiří Bělohlávek was. Now that role is taken by Tomáš Brauner and he conducts a programme of Dvorak and Prokofiev.  

The visit from Turkey's leading the orchestra, the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra must be regarded as a real highlight [I heard them live in Istanbul in 2015, see my review, and look forward to hearing them again]. Their newly appointed artistic director, Carlo Tenan conducts them in Schubert, Saint-Saens, Beethoven and 20th-century Turkish composer Ferit Tüzün (1929-1977).

Other visitors include the Vienna Tonkünstler Orchestra in Sibelius, Mozart and Brahms and Buenos Aires Symphony Orchestra of Colon Opera in an eclectic programme of Piazzolla, Wagner, Bizet and Tchaikovsky.

Full details from the Cadogan Hall website.

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