Main content

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra Launches 2018/19 Season

2018/19 Season Preview

BBC SSO Chief Conductor Thomas Dausgaard on the orchestra's new season

Highlights include:

  • Rued Langgaard’s Music of the Spheres performed in Glasgow Cathedral
  • Berlioz’s rarely-performed Lélio to mark the 150th anniversary of the composer’s death
  • A week-long residency in Campbeltown - featuring community events, school workshops and a public concert
  • Performances to mark centenaries of Bernstein and Debussy
  • Concerts dedicated to the music of Gloria Coates and Thea Musgrave
  • New music performances including a World Premiere from David Fennessy, a European Premiere from Augusta Read Thomas, and UK Premieres from Simon Steen-Andersen and Dai Fujikura
  • Guest soloists including Elisabeth Leonskaja, Colin Currie, Karen Cargill, Rowan Pierce, Steven Osborne, James Ehnes and Jian Wang
  • Two performances at the 2018 Edinburgh International Festival
  • A tour of The Netherlands and Belgium with conductor Martyn Brabbins
  • Tectonics Glasgow festival returns for 2019
  • New discounted ticket offer for Under 26s

In his third Season as BBC SSO Chief Conductor, Thomas Dausgaard conducts major works by Bernstein and Debussy to mark the composers' centenaries as well as a rare performance of Rued Langgaard’s Music of the Spheres. The 2018/19 Season opens with Bernstein’s Songfest, originally written for the US Bicentennial celebrations, and the following week the BBC SSO steps outside the concert hall to perform Langgaard’s Music of the Spheres at Glasgow Cathedral.

Thomas Dausgaard says: “I was lucky to be in a mind-blowing two-week masterclass with Bernstein in 1988, where he also conducted Songfest - one of his key works combining two of his greatest talents: music and words. Debussy opened up unknown doors to what an orchestra can sound like, and we devote one concert to each of his loves: France and Spain. In his apocalyptical vision, Music of the Spheres, Langgaard wrote collage-music and minimalism long before we had words for it. Its spatial qualities will be felt when we spread out the orchestra and chorus in most of Glasgow Cathedral”

Composer Roots concerts continue in the 2018/19 Season as Dausgaard conducts Mahler’s First Symphony, with contributions from klezmer ensemble She'Koyokh revealing influences on the symphony from the composer’s Jewish heritage.

A host of titled and guest conductors join the orchestra throughout the season: Ilan Volkov, Principal Guest Conductor, conducts works by Frank Zappa, Bruckner, Stravinsky and Ives as well as an edition of BBC Radio 3’s Hear and Now dedicated to the music of Gloria Coates; Matthias Pintscher, the orchestra’s Artist-in-Association, conducts his recent cello concerto Un despertar performed by Bruno Delepelaire, first principal with the Berlin Philharmonic, alongside works by Ravel and Mozart; Associate Guest Conductor John Wilson presentsRespighi’s Roman triptych with works by Donizetti and Puccini; and Conductor Emeritus Donald Runnicles takes on Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde featuring mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor. Guest conductor Joana Carneiro also conducts a rare performance of Berlioz’s Lélio to mark the 150th anniversary of his death.

New Music features throughout the 2018/19 Season including the World Premiere of David Fennessy’s The Ground, the European Premiere of Augusta Read Thomas’s Brio, and the UK Premieres of Simon Steen-Andersen’s Piano Concerto and Dai Fujikura’s Impulse – Piano Concerto No.3. There are also recent works by Anna Clyne, Julian Anderson, Matthias Pintscher, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Per Nørgård, Sir James MacMillan and Toshio Hosokawa. Andjust a few weeks after her 90 birthday, there is a special portrait-concert celebrating the music of one of Scotland’s most beloved composers Thea Musgrave.

Once again the BBC SSO is joined by soloists from across the world including, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Karen Cargill, Colin Currie, Rowan Pierce, Steven Osborne, James Ehnes, Jian Wang, Marc-André Hamelin, Barnabás Kelemen, Bruno Delepelaire, Joaquín Achúcarro, Jörgen van Rijen, Carolin Widmann, Javier Perianes, Kelley O’Connor, Paul Groves, David Webb, Nicolas Hodges, Christine Rice, Pablo Ferrández, Stephen Hough, Elizabeth Reiter, Yu Kosuge, Vadym Kholodenko and jazz singer Clare Teal, who joins the orchestra for a special Christmas concert.

Dominic Parker, Director of the BBC SSO says, “Musically we take inspiration this season from the events of 100 years ago – we infuse our programmes with remembrance of the end of the First World War, and remember both the birth of Leonard Bernstein and the death of Claude Debussy in 1918 with strong American and French themes. For the first time in Scotland we play Langgaard’s Music of the Spheres in Glasgow Cathedral, a piece written in 1918 but which sounds far more contemporary.

“The BBC SSO has once again produced a season of rich and ambitious programming, demonstrating the range and virtuosity of this incredible orchestra. The BBC SSO continues to entertain and enlighten audiences throughout Scotland, the UK and beyond
Donalda MacKinnon, Director of BBC Scotland

We present Scottish premieres of concertos from living composers Sir James MacMillan, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Julian Anderson and Simon Steen-Anderson, and are looking forward to welcoming international soloists and conductors and taking this great music across Scotland. We are particularly looking forward to our plans this autumn for a residency in Campbeltown, working with the primary schools and Campbeltown Grammar School and the wider community.”

Donalda MacKinnon, Director of BBC Scotland says, “The BBC SSO has once again produced a season of rich and ambitious programming, demonstrating the range and virtuosity of this incredible orchestra. The BBC SSO continues to entertain and enlighten audiences throughout Scotland, the UK and beyond.”

Across Scotland
Later this year, the orchestra takes up a six-day residency in Campbeltown from 29 September to 4 October 2018. The residency comprises of several community events including a ‘Come and Sing’ session and school workshops in Campbeltown and the surrounding area, including on Gigha. The residency concludes with a public concert in Campbeltown’s Victoria Hall. In addition to the Glasgow season, the orchestra will present concerts in Edinburgh, Ayr, Inverness and Perth and will return to Aberdeen’s newly refurbished Music Hall from February 2019.

Touring
This year the orchestra follows up its successful tour of Germany and Austria with a tour of The Netherlands and Belgium with conductor Martyn Brabbins and cellist Nicolas Altstaedt. The tour starts on 30 May 2018 and visits Einhoven, Heerlen and Bruges and includes a performance of Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius in Rotterdam. The orchestra then returns to the UK and heads south with John Wilson to open this year’s Aldeburgh Festival with two concerts celebrating the music of Bernstein and Britten on Friday 8 and Saturday 9 June.

Edinburgh International Festival 2018
The BBC SSO will give two performances at this year’s Edinburgh International Festival. Martyn Brabbins conducts Thea Musgrave’s Turbulent Landscapes and Vaughan Williams’s Symphony No. 1 on Thursday 9 August, and Thomas Dausgaard directs the orchestra in the Eurovision Young Musician final on Thursday 23 August.

Tectonics Glasgow
Details of Tectonics Glasgow 2019 will be announced in February 2019. The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra’s Tectonics festival 2018 takes place from 5-6 May at the City Halls and Old Fruitmarket.

£6 Tickets for U26’s
The BBC SSO is delighted to announce new discounted tickets at £6 for everyone under the age of 26. The Orchestra will continue to offer students and unemployed £6 tickets, committing to making live orchestral concerts accessible to everyone.