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24 September 2014
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BBC Symphony Orchestra - Barbican season 2003-2004

New Music
BBC commissions from Magnus Lindberg and Vic Hoyland

International Soloists
Emanuel Ax, Christine Brewer, Karita Mattila, Leila Josefowicz and Willard W. White

John Cage Uncaged
The 2004 January Composer Weekend

The BBC Symphony Orchestra (SO) presents a programme of diverse concerts, which mix new works from some of the world's greatest living composers with masterpieces of the classical repertoire, in its fourth season as the Barbican's Associate Orchestra.

The BBC SO's Chief Conductor Leonard Slatkin, Principal Guest Conductor Jukka-Pekka Saraste and Conductor Laureate Sir Andrew Davis are joined this season by guest conductors Jiri Belohlávek, Michael Boder, Martyn Brabbins, Rumon Gamba, Oliver Knussen and David Robertson while international soloists Emanuel Ax, Christine Brewer, Susan Graham, Stephen Hough, Leila Josefowicz, Karita Mattila, Willard W White and Catherine Wyn-Rogers appear alongside rising young stars Julian Bliss, Lawrence Power and Simon Trpceski.

New music is once again central to the repertoire as the BBC SO, in association with BBC Radio 3, gives the premieres of two BBC commissions.

Magnus Lindberg's Concerto for Orchestra was performed on 30 September and Vic Hoyland's Qibti is coming up on 18 December, the second part of a trilogy which began with the tone poem Vixen which the BBC SO premiered at the Cheltenham International Festival of Music in 1997.

In addition there are UK premieres of Mark-Anthony Turnage's new Viola Concerto, On Opened Ground, (18 March) and Poul Ruders's Listening Earth (6 March) and two premieres by women composers, Unsuk Chin's Violin Concerto (20 February) and Jennifer Higdon's Concerto for Orchestra (2 April).

The 2004 January Composer Weekend (16-18 January) focuses on the music of American maverick John Cage. The weekend will explore music by Cage, those who influenced him and those whom he influenced.

As well as the concerts, talks and films that have become an integral part of the January Weekends, the BBC SO hopes to re-create the atmosphere of the 'happenings' that made this period in American musical history so distinctive.

In his second season as Principal Guest Conductor Jukka-Pekka Saraste conducts four concerts including an evening dedicated to the music of the late Luciano Berio (27 April) as part of the Royal Festival Hall's Berio Festival and three concerts in which he continues to explore the repertoire of his own country.

As well as the premiere of Magnus Lindberg's Concerto for Orchestra, these concerts include Sibelius's Symphonies Nos 4 and 6 and Karita Mattila singing Sibelius's rarely-performed vocal tone poem Höstkväll (1 November).

Saraste also curates a two-day Finnish Music Weekend (11-12 June) which explores the prolific musical output of his homeland over the last 100 years.

Following the success of Tristan und Isolde last season, the BBC SO builds on its growing reputation for opera in concert with a rare performance of Barber's neo-romantic masterpiece Vanessa (15 November) with Christine Brewer in the title role.

Other celebrations this season include the 70th birthday of Peter Maxwell Davies who is the subject of a composer portrait on 3 February 2004 and the BBC Symphony Chorus's 75th Anniversary.

Formed in 1928, the Chorus gave its inaugural concert on 23 November that year when it sang in the world premiere of Granville Bantock's The Pilgrim's Progress.

Since then it has given the world premieres of numerous important 20th Century works which have become staples of the choral repertoire.

During the 2003-2004 season the Chorus will perform with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in Berlioz's L'enfance du Christ in Westminster Cathedral under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis (12 December), Bartók's Cantata Profana (6 March) and Shostakovich's Symphony No. 13 (17 April).

The BBC SO continues to attract a glittering line-up of soloists who this season perform a number of well-loved concertos.

In a trio of Mozart concertos, Stephen Hough was the soloist in Mozart's Piano Concerto No 21 in C minor (6 November), Julian Bliss plays the Clarinet Concerto (17 April) and Emanuel Ax performs the Piano Concerto No 20 in D minor (12 May).

Other highlights include Leila Josefowicz playing Bruch's Violin Concerto (2 April), Simon Trpceski performing Rachmaninov's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (18 December) and BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist Lawrence Power is the soloist in Mark-Anthony Turnage's Viola Concerto, On Opened Ground (18 March).

Singers at Six, the BBC Singers's successful series of short pre-concert concerts in St Giles, Cripplegate, returns this season with choral works to complement the BBC Symphony Orchestra's concerts in the Barbican Hall.

This season the Singers perform music by Peter Maxwell Davis (3 February) and William Walton (2 April) and little-known choral repertoire from Denmark (6 March).

In addition to its Barbican season the BBC Symphony Orchestra presents another series of free concerts in its Maida Vale studios.

Highlights of this season's invitation concerts include composer portraits of Xenakis and Edison Denisov and new music from Britain, France and Germany.

The BBC Symphony Orchestra maintains its strong relationship with BBC Radio 3 and every concert the Orchestra performs is either broadcast live or recorded for broadcast at a later date.

Full details of all concerts can be found on the BBC SO website:

Notes to Editors

John Cage Uncaged: A weekend of musical mayhem (14.11.03)

BBC Symphony Chorus 75th anniversary season (14.11.03)

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