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BBC Symphony Orchestra

The BBC Symphony Orchestra has been at the heart of British musical life since it was founded in 1930. It plays a central role in the BBC Proms, performing around a dozen concerts at the festival each year, including the First and Last Nights.

The Orchestra performs an annual season of concerts at London’s Barbican Centre, where it is Associate Orchestra. The 2018/19 season includes concerts with Chief Conductor Sakari Oramo at the heart of the season, a fresh look at Holst’s The Planets with Professor Brian Cox, a celebration of the BBC Symphony Chorus at 90 featuring Ethel Smyth’s Mass in D and Bach’s Mass in B minor, plus new music from Richard Causton, Thomas Larcher, Cheryl Frances-Hoad and Augusta Read Thomas. Total Immersion days are devoted to the First World War, György Ligeti and Nadia and Lili Boulanger.

The BBC Symphony Orchestra works regularly with Semyon Bychkov, who holds the Günter Wand Conducting Chair, and Conductor Laureate Sir Andrew Davis. Central to the Orchestra’s life are studio recordings for BBC Radio 3 as well as performances around the world. With a strong
commitment to 20th-century and contemporary music, recent commissions and premieres have included works by composers Philip Cashian, Anna Clyne, Brett Dean, George Walker and Raymond Yiu.

The orchestra is also committed to innovative education work, with ongoing projects including the BBC’s Ten Pieces, Journey Through Music events, introducing families to classical music, and the BBC SO Family Orchestra and Chorus.

2018-19 Season