The BBC Proms Last Night Celebrations in Scotland will return to Glasgow on Saturday 8 September, for a roof-raising evening of music and song with a distinctive jazz influence.
Pianist Joanna MacGregor, Scottish saxophonist Tommy Smith and celebrated soprano Carolyn Sampson join the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and conductor Stephen Bell at Glasgow’s City Halls to mark the final night of the world’s greatest classical music festival.
As well as favourites by Bizet, Mozart and Mendelssohn, there’s a touch of jazz to this year’s proceedings: Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue will showcase Joanna MacGregor’s unique keyboard virtuosity while Tommy Smith performs some of Chick Corea’s Children’s Songs in his own special arrangement for saxophone and orchestra. The line-up also includes Bernstein’s Prelude, Fugue and Riffs for jazz ensemble (with MacGregor on piano) and Jule Styne’s rip-roaring overture to Gypsy. There’s even room for the white-tie sophistication of Irving Berlin and Noël Coward.
As in previous years the evening will link-up live with the Last Night celebrations in Cardiff, Belfast, Hyde Park and the Royal Albert Hall in London, which this year features Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti as soloist.
The concert will be presented by tenor Jamie MacDougall and with the first half of the concert broadcast live on BBC Two Scotland.
Tickets are now on sale from the City Halls Box Office on 0141 353 8000 or via www.glasgowconcerthalls.com
BBC Proms Last Night Celebrations in Scotland
Saturday 8 August, 7.30pm
City Halls, Glasgow
Box Office: 0141 353 8000
All tickets £10 (no concessions). Booking fee may apply.
Audience are requested to be seated by 7.15pm
Notes to Editors
STEPHEN BELL, conductor
Born in Bury, Lancashire, Stephen Bell studied conducting at the Royal College of Music under the renowned conductor Norman Del Mar before taking up the position of Principal French horn with the BBC Concert Orchestra. In recent years, Stephen has found himself increasingly in demand as a conductor for a wide variety of leading orchestras whom he now regularly conducts, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Halle, Britten Sinfonia, Ulster Orchestra, Guildford Philharmonic, Brighton Philharmonic, London Gala Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, London Concert Orchestra, Manchester Concert Orchestra, Southbank Sinfonia and Elgar Chamber Orchestra. A busy conducting schedule now affords Stephen the opportunity to conduct a diverse repertoire both at home and abroad, in venues such as Istanbul, Athens, Toronto and London.
He also has extensive broadcasting experience, frequently conducting orchestras such as the BBC Concert Orchestra, Halle and Ulster Orchestra for BBC Radio, Classic FM and BBC television, for programmes such as the well-loved Friday Night is Music Night, BBC Children in Need and recently with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra for Music Nation: A Sporting Fanfare at the Clyde Auditorium in March of this year.
JOANNA MACGREGOR OBE, piano
One of the world’s most innovative musicians, Joanna MacGregor is committed to expressing musical connections through diverse and original programming. Currently Head of Piano at The Royal Academy of Music, she was Artistic Director of Bath International Music Festival (2006-2012) and curated the multi-arts Deloitte Ignite Festival at the Royal Opera House in 2010. She was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s Jubilee Honours 2012.
As a solo artist Joanna MacGregor has appeared with many of the world's leading orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Netherlands Radio and Oslo Philharmonic Orchestras and Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She made her conducting debut in 2002 and has solo-directed concerts with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Liverpool Philharmonic, Manchester Camerata and the Hallé, and enjoys a close artistic partnership with Britten Sinfonia. She has made over 30 solo recordings, ranging from Bach, Scarlatti, Ravel and Debussy, to jazz and contemporary music and has collaborated with artists such as Moses Molelekwa, pop artist and tabla player Talvin Singh, Brian Eno, folk artist Kathryn Tickell, jazz saxophonist Andy Sheppard and Arabic singer and oud virtuoso Dhafer Youssef.
She will also appear at the 2012 BBC Proms for a performance of the Turangalîla Symphony with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain conducted by Vasily Petrenko and the Hugh Wood Piano Concerto with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
CAROLYN SAMPSON, soprano
Equally at home on the concert and opera stages, Carolyn Sampson has enjoyed notable successes in the UK as well as throughout Europe and the US performing with ENO, Glyndebourne, Scottish Opera, The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, The English Concert, Bach Collegium Japan, Manchester Camerata, the Hallé, the City of London Sinfonia, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestras and at the BBC Proms.
In Europe and America she has appeared with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra of the Bayerische Rundfunk, WDR Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony.
A consummate recitalist, Carolyn Sampson appears regularly at the Wigmore Hall and the Saintes Festival, and made her recital debuts at the Concertgebouw in 2007 and at Aldeburgh in 2008.
Her many recordings for Hyperion with The King’s Consort include the music of Kuhnau, Knüpfer, Vivaldi, Zelenka, Monteverdi, Handel and Mozart and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and Riccardo Chailly for the Decca label. Her recording of Purcell songs for BIS was selected as Editor’s Choice in the December 2007 issue of Gramophone Magazine.
TOMMY SMITH, saxophone
Born in Edinburgh in 1967, Tommy Smith won best soloist and best group titles at Edinburgh International Jazz Festival, aged 14, and recorded his 1st album at 15. After studying at Berklee College of Music he joined Gary Burton’s group, touring worldwide and recording the Whiz Kids album on ECM Records.
He signed to Blue Note Records in 1989, recorded 4 albums then signed with Linn Records for 7 more releases, and having formed his own record company in 2000, Spartacus, has now released twenty-five solo albums. He has presented television and radio programmes for the BBC and Channel Four and has received awards and honours including a BBC Heart of Jazz award, Best Woodwind at the inaugural Scottish Jazz Awards (2008), the Scottish Jazz Expo Award (2009), honorary doctorates from Heriot-Watt and Glasgow Caledonian universities, and a distinguished professorship from the Royal Academy of Music & Drama.
His many compositions include four saxophone concertos, two sonatas, the symphonic work Edinburgh for Edinburgh Youth Orchestra, Hiroshima for the Orchestra of St. John’s Smith Square, The Morning of the Imminent for Dame Cleo Laine and Sir John Dankworth, the Glasgow Jazz Festival commission Beasts of Scotland, and a series of large scale works, including Planet Wave, Beauty and the Beast, Torah and the World of the Gods.
JAMIE MACDOUGALL, tenor and presenter
Jamie has presented the annual Last Night BBC Proms celebrations in Scotland since 2002 and is the presenter of BBC Radio Scotland’s Classics Unwrapped.
Away from broadcasting Jamie continues to have a busy performing career. He has toured extensively in North America, Australia and New Zealand with Caledon - Scotland's Tenors, a group that he helped to form in 2003. Their DVD, On a Beautiful Scottish Evening, was broadcast in 2004 on American television. They have appeared with the Scottish Opera Orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra and were given their own Proms concert by the RSNO.
As a soloist Jamie has appeared with many of the leading British opera companies, as well as in Europe and in North America. On the concert platform he has worked with some of the world's top baroque, chamber and symphony orchestras, including the BBC SSO, The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the St Louis and Houston Symphony Orchestras.
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra was formed in December 1935 and is a key contributor to BBC Scotland’s broadcasting and cultural role. Now in its 76th year, it performs to large and enthusiastic audiences in venues across Scotland, and carries out a busy schedule of concerts and broadcasts for BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio Scotland and BBC television.
Based at City Halls since 2006, the BBC SSO is Scotland’s leading champion of new music, and has established strong links with local communities through an innovative learning programme. A past recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society Award for best orchestra, it has received a number of prizes for its commercial recordings, including four Gramophone Awards.
Under the artistic leadership of its Chief Conductor, Donald Runnicles, and Principal Guest Conductor Ilan Volkov, it appears annually at the BBC Proms and the Edinburgh International Festival, as well as at major festivals throughout the world.