Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s richly-filled 2012-13 season is built around ten programmes led by itsacclaimed Principal Conductor, Kirill Karabits.
With ticket sales for 2011-12 up 11% on the previous season, the Orchestra’s extraordinary geographical reach - attracting an audience of 5,000 concert-goers per week across 10,000 square miles of the south and south west of England - continues with multiple residencies in Poole, Bournemouth, Bristol, Exeter and Portsmouth.
Karabits’ critically-acclaimed interpretation of Russian repertoire continues with his exploration of Prokofiev’s symphonic works alongside central works by Rachmaninov, Shostakovich, and Tchaikovsky. This season Karabits conducts Prokofiev’s Sinfonietta, Symphony No. 3 and the composer’s final, melancholic Seventh Symphony. This series is recorded by Onyx for release starting in 2013.
Pointing ahead to the Britten centenary in 2013, Karabits and the BSO begin a focus on Britten’s Russian Friendships, exploring the musical relationships between Britten, Shostakovich and Rostropovich following the meeting of the three musical icons at the UK premiere of Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto in 1960. James Ehnes joins the Orchestra to perform the violin concertos of both Shostakovich and Britten, another major BSO project to be recorded by Onyx.
British music also features in the season’s opening concert, as Karabits pairs Mozart’s final ‘Jupiter’ Symphony with Holst’s The Planets.
Karabits’ acclaimed Beethoven symphony cycle concludes with Symphony Nos. 7, 8 and 9, the last of which brings the 2012-13 season to a close with soloists Susan Gritton, Jennifer Johnston, Toby Spence and Neil Davies.
Paying tribute to the birth centenary of Polish composer Lutoslawski, Karabits conducts German-Canadian cellist Johannes Moser in Lutoslawski’s Cello Concerto, which was written for and dedicated to Rostropovich who gave the world premiere with BSO in 1970. The piece was commissioned by the RPS which celebrates its bicentenary in the same week. In the same programme, Karabits puts the spotlight on Boris Lyatoshynsky, a leading figure in 20th century Ukrainian music, with his symphonic ballad, Grazhyna, and Tchaikovsky’s rarely-performed Third Symphony, the ‘Polish’.
Kirill Karabits says:
“The positive energy from the brilliant musicians of the BSO has been so strong over the past year and I think the Orchestra is more responsive, more flexible and more exciting to work with and to hear than ever. I am looking forward to the climax of our Beethoven Symphony cycle and exploring Prokofiev more deeply in concert and on CD. I hope our work together on style, sound, phrasing and tempi will bring a different understanding to audiences of this great composer’s work, his extraordinary orchestration and symphonic colour.
Among the many other highlights of the season (Lutoslawski, Mozart, Dorman and more among them), I am particularly excited about special celebrations for the centenary of Benjamin Britten which centre on his relationship with Shostakovich, and the friendship both composers had with the cellist Rostropovich. I think it will be a deeply satisfying and rewarding season.”
The Lutoslawski Cello Concerto is at the heart of a cello celebration across the season, which also includes Steven Isserlis with Haydn’s Cello Concerto in D; Paul Watkins in the Delius Cello Concerto; Natalie Clein performing Elgar’s beloved Cello Concerto; and the BSO’s own principal cellist, Jesper Svedberg, as soloist in the Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto No. 1.
Guest conductors include James MacMillan, who brings his own work, The World’s Ransoming, and Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto; Shuntaro Sato, who conducts Poulenc’s Concerto for Two Pianos with Frank Braley and Eric Le Sage; and Karl-Heinz Steffens, who brings Brahms’ First Symphony and Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto with soloist John Lill. American conductor James Gaffigan also makes his fourth appearance with the Orchestra.
Associate Guest Conductor David Hill conducts two concerts featuring the music of Copland and Bernstein, and Elgar’s First Symphony; former Principal Conductor Andrew Litton and former Principal Guest Conductor Kees Bakels make a welcome return, as do Danail Rachev, Owain Arwel Hughes, and José Serebrier, who conducts Dvořák’s New World Symphony and his own arrangements of Gershwin works.
The Orchestra continues to foster the talent of the future with a line-up of young maestros who are becoming increasingly well-established on the international stage. BSO debuts include Nicholas Collon, who brings an all-Mozart programme; Ainars Rubikis who was appointed Musical Director of the Novosibirsk State Opera House shortly after winning the Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award; and up and coming British conductor Michael Francis.
Other names to watch joining the orchestra this season are sought-after Austrian percussionist Martin Grubinger who makes his UK debut with the UK premiere of Dorman’s percussion showpiece Frozen in Time before the Orchestra takes the same work on a German tour; rising young violinist Vilde Frang who makes her BSO debut with the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto; Finnish pianist Juho Pohjonen performing Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto; and Korean pianist Sunwook Kim who became the youngest winner of the Leeds International Piano Competition in 2006 at the age of 18.
The popular Saturday Nights at Seven series hosted by Petroc Trelawny at the Bournemouth Pavilion come to a climax with a special gala concert to mark the Orchestra’s 120th anniversary, almost to the day. Star violinist Nicola Benedetti joins Karabits for a programme of music that has been particularly associated with the Orchestra over the years, including some works from the very first BSO concert conducted by Dan Godfrey on 22 May 1893, including Wagner’s Tannhäuser Overture.
Popular highlights of the season include Handel’s Messiah conducted by Nicholas McGegan; Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker; a programme of Hollywood Blockbusters; a Viennese New Year’s Gala; a concert of Chilled Out Classics, and the on-going series of Mini BSO family concerts help to bring the work of the Orchestra to ever wider and younger audiences across the south of England.
The Orchestra continues to reach more than 125,000 children and adults each year through its extensive education and community work, which includes national curriculum based workshops in schools through to tea dances for the elderly and song writing projects for homeless young people. The BSO will be key to the work undertaken by the 17 newly created Music Hubs across the south and south west and is looking forward to engaging with these. Nationwide Building Society is to maintain its support of the Orchestra’s work in the coming year through funding the work of BSO Resonate in the community.
The 2012/13 season marks the Orchestra’s new Chief Executive, Dougie Scarfe’s, first season at the helm. Mr Scarfe commented:
“This is an immensely exciting time to be joining the BSO, unique among English orchestras in its sheer reach and output. As it approaches 120 years of music-making the Orchestra remains on an artistic high, acclaimed by critics and with unwavering support from its many different audiences. This year it will continue its remit to bring live music to as many people as possible, its flexibility and reach endorsing its position as an orchestra for the 21st Century.”
BBC Radio 3 will broadcast a selection of concerts live.