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BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra 2017/2018 Season

BBC SSO Season 2017/2018 Preview

BBC SSO Chief Conductor Thomas Dausgaard introduces the orchestra's 2017/2018 season.

  • Composer Roots: a major series of concerts programmed by Thomas Dausgaard, exploring influences on the music of Beethoven, Rachmaninov and more, including a three-concert exploration of Bartók.
  • Collaborations with folk musicians from across Europe as part of Composer Roots.
  • New Scottish Inspirations, a second year of works commissioned by the BBC inspired by Scottish culture, from Anna Clyne, David Fennessy and William Sweeney.
  • The orchestra’s Tippett Symphony Cycle concludes with the first professional performance of the composer’s withdrawn Symphony in B flat.
  • A rare performance of Sibelius’s choral symphony Kullervo.
  • Guest soloists including Behzod Abduraimov, Martin Fröst, the Danish String Quartet, Karen Cargill, Steven Osborne and François Leleux.
  • Family concerts including Ten Pieces in Aberdeen, and in Glasgow an exploration of music and science: Music, the Universe and Everything.
  • Contemporary music performances include works by Tenney, Maceda, Vivier, Jaehyuck Choi, Diana Burrell, Charlotte Bray, Cassandra Miller, Thomas Hyde and more
  • Tectonics Glasgow festival returns for 2018.

Composer Roots concerts are at the heart of the 2017/18 Season. Chief Conductor Thomas Dausgaard has programmed and will conduct a major series of evening and afternoon concerts exploring musical influences on Beethoven, Rachmaninov, Bartók, Nielsen, and Sibelius, including contributions by folk musicians from across Europe. The concerts will reveal how Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto was influenced by Russian Orthodox Gregorian Chant, for example, and how Sibelius’s Kullervo reflects traditional Finnish singing and playing.

Thomas Dausgaard says: “How can we as musicians and music-lovers get closer to the mystery of what makes the composer’s pen move? What are the sources of inspiration that audiences in the past would have picked up on? These are some of the questions that we’ll be trying to answer in the ‘Composer Roots’ concerts, helping us to perform and listen to milestones of the repertoire in new ways.”

Scottish Inspirations, returns for a second year of new BBC commissions showcasing the work of composers energised by Scotland and Scottish identity. Thomas Dausgaard will conduct the world premiere of Eòlas nan Ribheid (The Wisdom of the Reeds) by Scottish composer William Sweeney, based on the pibroch, as well as a new work by composers David Fennessy and Anna Clyne, the latter’s new piece inspired by the Beltane Fire Festival.

Martyn Brabbins returns to conclude his two season exploration of Tippett’s symphonies with Symphony No.3 and Symphony No.4 as well as the first professional performance of Tippett’s early Symphony in B flat - a piece originally withdrawn by the composer. The Symphony in B flat is performed alongside Stravinsky’s Pertrushka and Mozart’s Fourth Horn Concerto performed by the BBC SSO’s own award-winning Principal Horn, Alberto Menéndez Escribano.

How can we as musicians and music-lovers get closer to the mystery of what makes the composer’s pen move? What are the sources of inspiration that audiences in the past would have picked up on?
Thomas Dausgaard

A host of titled and guest conductors join the orchestra throughout the season. Principal Guest Conductor Ilan Volkov conducts Beethoven’s ‘Eroica’ with Cassandra Miller’s Round and Salvatore Sciarrino’s Allegoria della notte, as well as an edition of BBC Radio 3’s Hear and Now featuring works by Tenney and Maceda. Matthias Pintscher conducts an all Asian programme with works by Hosokawa and Takemitsu, a new piece by South Korean composer Jaehyuck Choi, and Vivier’s Siddhartha. Associate Guest Conductor, John Wilson, teams up with cellist Leonard Elschenbroich to perform Elgar’s Cello Concerto, and Conductor Emeritus Donald Runnicles returns to conduct Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique. The BBC SSO’s Leader Laura Samuel completes the list, directing the orchestra in an afternoon performance of Mozart’s ‘Jupiter’ Symphony.

Donalda MacKinnon, Director of BBC Scotland says, “The BBC SSO has a rich history of innovative programming and the new season once again demonstrates the range and virtuosity of this incredible orchestra. The BBC SSO plays a vital role in contributing to programmes across the BBC, entertaining and enlightening audiences throughout Scotland, the UK and beyond.”

“The BBC SSO has a rich history of innovative programming and the new season once again demonstrates the range and virtuosity of this incredible orchestra. The BBC SSO plays a vital role in contributing to programmes across the BBC, entertaining and enlightening audiences throughout Scotland, the UK and beyond.”
Donalda MacKinnon, Director of BBC Scotland

Dominic Parker, Director of the BBC SSO says, “This is a season that thrives on the infectious creative curiosity of our Chief Conductor Thomas Dausgaard to explore the roots and influences of a number of great composers. Along with shaking up the concert format, we are bringing musicians from around the world to help us in that exploration – great folk musicians from Hungary to illuminate Bartók, and the Danish String Quartet to highlight Nielsen’s folk influences. At the same time we perform premieres and works by some of the most exciting living composers. We really hope that our audiences explore these with us.”

Broadcasts

As an integral part of BBC Scotland’s output, the BBC SSO contributes to many programmes, including live and recorded broadcasts during afternoons and evenings for BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio Scotland.

All concerts are currently scheduled to be broadcast live or recorded for future broadcast on BBC Radio 3.