Press Office

Thursday 24 Apr 2014

Press Release

Donald Runnicles extends contract to BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra till 2015

The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra today announced that Donald Runnicles will continue as its Chief Conductor with a contract that runs through 2015. The announcement comes as the BBC SSO opens its 2011-12 Concert season on 29 September with the Scottish premiere of James MacMillan's St. John Passion under Runnicles' baton.

Donald Runnicles said: "Each time I rejoin this remarkable orchestra, I am struck and delighted by their extraordinary passion and commitment. It is not a gift they give only to me, they share their infectious enthusiasm with our other artistic partners, our guests and above-all they show it through the respect they give each other. I am honoured and happy to renew our association and to build on the foundation we began laying just two seasons ago. We can all look forward to wonderful music making in the future."

Roger Wright, Controller BBC Radio 3 and Director BBC Proms, said: "I think there is something particularly distinctive about the work of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, which at its heart is about the relationships it has with particular artists. The appointment of Donald Runnicles to the senior position with the orchestra was a really vital next stage in the orchestra's artistic development, and the success of that partnership, already seen and heard, is I think one of the great stories in British music of recent years."

Ken MacQuarrie, Director of BBC Scotland, said: "The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra is one of our most valuable cultural assets and I can think of no finer international ambassador than Donald Runnicles to stand at the helm of BBC Scotland's cultural flagship. I am delighted that he will continue his association with our fine band of musicians."

Gavin Reid, Director of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, said: "Since Donald began collaborating with the BBC SSO in 2001 he has brought nothing less than inspirational musical leadership to the orchestra, creating one incredible musical experience after another for audiences across Scotland and beyond, live in concert and through our many broadcasts. To say I am thrilled to know that Donald will be working with us until 2015 is something of an understatement."

The pre-eminent Scottish conductor first worked with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in 2001. He became Chief Conductor in 2009, and his appointment was seen as a major coup for the BBC.

Runnicles' continued commitment to the BBC SSO reaffirms his dedication to symphonic music, both core and contemporary. This versatility is particularly valuable to the BBC SSO and its commitment to providing audiences throughout Scotland and beyond with core repertoire, whilst also championing the works of new composers. Most recently, Runnicles and the orchestra performed at the BBC Proms and the Edinburgh International Festival.

Born in Edinburgh, Runnicles is also General Music Director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Music Director of the Grand Teton Music Festival, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. He was awarded the OBE in 2004.

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