Bryn Terfel to lead BBC NOW's St David's Day celebrations in 2015

Since joining the Orchestra in December I have been truly amazed by the breadth and diversity that we deliver.Michael Garvey, Director, BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales
Date: 07.05.2014     Last updated: 07.05.2014 at 17.06

• BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales’s most ambitious and varied season to date, with over 50 concerts across Wales and the UK

• Bryn Terfel performs as part of St David’s Day 2015 celebrations

• World premiere of Mark Bowden’s A Violence Of Gifts, with libretto by Welsh poet Owen Sheers

• Swedish composer B Tommy Andersson joins the Orchestra as Composer-in-Association

• A six-date season in the newly refurbished Brangwyn Hall in Swansea, including appearances from pianists Benjamin Grosvenor, Igor Levit and Stephen Hough

• A full programme of touring to venues around Wales, including Brecon, Aberystwyth, Bangor, Wrexham, Llandudno, Newtown and Haverfordwest

• Principal Conductor Thomas Søndergård conducts powerful symphonies including Mahler 2, Bruckner 8, Shostakovich 10 and Sibelius 2

• Concerts for all of the family, including the return of popular Halloween Spooktacular in collaboration with National Youth Orchestra of Wales.

BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales have today announced the details of their 2014-15 season across Wales, including a special performance with Welsh opera star Bryn Terfel on St David’s Day 2015.

One of the world’s best-loved singers, Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel is a frequent visitor to all the major opera companies and concert halls in the world. He was awarded a CBE in 2003, and then the prestigious Queen’s Medal for Music in 2006.

He will be working alongside conductor Gareth Jones on St David’s Day 2015, celebrating Welsh music as part of the Orchestra and Chorus’s annual gala concert at St David’s Hall - one of the foremost events in Cardiff’s calendar.

Speaking about the St David’s Day celebrations, Bryn Terfel said: “I’m very excited about my performance with BBC NOW as part of their St David’s Day celebrations. I always enjoy coming home to Wales to perform, especially for such a special occasion as St David’s Day.

“With Gareth Jones on the conductor’s podium, whom I work with regularly, we’re set for a great concert – and I’m looking forward to celebrating all things Welsh with the fantastic musicians of BBC National Orchestra of Wales!”

This special event is just one part of the Orchestra’s extensive range of activity, reaching every corner of Wales. The Orchestra continues as Orchestra-in-Residence at St David’s Hall, Cardiff, and returns to Brangwyn Hall in Swansea for six concerts in the newly-refurbished hall.

In addition, they will be touring regularly to venues across Wales, and will make over a dozen appearances at festivals throughout Wales and the South West of England.

Speaking about the new season, the Orchestra and Chorus’s Director Michael Garvey said: “Since joining the Orchestra in December I have been truly amazed by the breadth and diversity that we deliver. From the best in symphonic music and the latest contemporary works, through to family concerts and TV soundtracks, we’re proud of the variety and the quality of work that we offer our audiences right across Wales and the UK.

“We are thrilled that Welsh superstar Bryn Terfel will be joining us for our St David’s Day celebrations, as we celebrate the best of Welsh music and culture. He is surely one of the world’s best vocalists, and to have him on stage in Cardiff on St David’s Day will be a real privilege for our Orchestra and Chorus.

“Plus, with our Principal Conductor Thomas Søndergård leading a fantastic year of music, there are plenty of inspiring concerts, with something for everyone in our season across Wales – and we hope that our audiences will enjoy a wonderful year of music with BBC NOW.”

Thomas Søndergård enters his third season as Principal Conductor, leading the Orchestra for a number of spectacular concerts in Cardiff and Swansea, with powerful symphonies including Mahler 2 and Sibelius 2 in Cardiff; and Bruckner 8 and Shostakovich 10 in Swansea.

With his formative years spent working with opera, Thomas Søndergård also introduces the Orchestra and Chorus’s Voice season, showcasing some of the world’s best singers alongside some gems of the choral repertoire. Highlights include Elgar’s masterpiece The Dream of Gerontius (7 November); and soprano Ann Petersen performing Strauss’s Four Last Songs (3 October).

Thomas Søndergård will also introduce the music of B Tommy Andersson to audiences in Cardiff, as he is appointed Composer-in-Association for the 2014-15 season. His works The Garden of Delights and Satyricon will feature in the opening and closing concerts of the St David’s Hall season (on 3 October and 5 June); plus at BBC Hoddinott Hall the Orchestra will explore more of his music in a Composer Portrait (on 25 February).

The Orchestra will also give the world premiere of A Violence Of Gifts (18 April), composed by their Resident Composer Mark Bowden and with a libretto by Welsh poet Owen Sheers. The work is written as an alternative, modern version of Haydn’s classic Creation, and takes the latest scientific knowledge from the Large Hadron Collider at CERN as inspiration.

This will be part of a season exploring the creation of the Earth, which will include a performance of Haydn’s The Creation (8 May) conducted by Stephen Layton. Keeping with the celestial theme, esteemed conductor Martyn Brabbins will be bringing Holst’s classic The Planets to Cardiff (17 April) and Swansea (18 April).

In Swansea, the Orchestra will return to a newly refurbished Brangwyn Hall for their 2014-15 season. The season of six concerts will include a series of piano concertos from some of the world’s best pianists, where Thomas Søndergård will collaborate with Benjamin Grosvenor (Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto, 4 February), Igor Levit (Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto, 12 March) and Stephen Hough (Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto, 12 June).

Thomas Søndergård, the Orchestra’s Principal Conductor, said about the launch: “We have many wonderful concerts in store next season for our audiences across Wales. As we enter our third season together, we are performing major pieces by composers including Mahler, Bruckner, Shostakovich and Strauss to name but a few - the next chapter in our journey together as an ensemble"

“I’m also very excited to introduce the music of fellow Scandinavian B Tommy Andersson, our new Composer-in-Association. I have known Tommy’s work for a long time, and have been waiting for the right moment to share his brilliantly insightful work with our audiences.

“With so many artists joining us, including the fantastic Bryn Terfel and Stephen Hough, it’s going to be a memorable season of incredible music. I hope that our audiences throughout Wales will enjoy the new season, and I look forward to another year of spectacular music.”

The Orchestra will also be continuing their popular series of accessible family concerts. This year, the Orchestra will be collaborating with the National Youth Orchestra of Wales for a Halloween Spooktacular concert (St David’s Hall, Cardiff, 26 October); plus the Orchestra’s popular Christmas Celebrations concerts will tour to Cardiff (18 December), Swansea (19 December) and Haverfordwest (20 December).

Full listings for all of the Orchestras’s concerts will be available on their website, bbc.co.uk/now, from 10am today (Wednesday 7 May). Subscription packages can be booked from tomorrow (Thursday 8 May) direct through the Orchestra’s Audience Line, by calling 0800 052 1812. Subscribers can save up to 20% on the standard ticket price by booking in advance.

From Wednesday 28 May, tickets for individual concerts will be on general sale to the public. Tickets for all of the Orchestra’s concerts can be booked through the Orchestra’s Audience Line, with no fees or charges. Alternatively, tickets can be booked through the individual box offices.

Almost all of the orchestra’s concerts are scheduled to be recorded for future transmission, or broadcast live, on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio Wales or BBC Radio Cymru.

Notes to Editors

From Wednesday 28 May, tickets will go on general sale at Cardiff and Swansea.

Tickets are available from the Orchestra’s Audience Line (0800 052 1812), and from the individual venues.

- St David’s Hall Box Office can be called on 02920 878444.

- The Brangwyn Hall Box Office can be called on 01792 475715.

Please note that subscriptions cannot be booked through venue box offices.

DH