Langgaard’s Music of the Spheres will be performed at Glasgow Cathedral
Langgaard’s Music of the Spheres will be performed at Glasgow Cathedral

A symphonic spectacular year is ahead for BBC SSO

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra has today unveiled its 2018/19 concert season.

In his third Season as BBC SSO Chief Conductor, Thomas Dausgaard conducts major works by Bernstein and Debussy to mark the composer’s 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.

Other highlights include:

· 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;

· Concerts dedicated to the music of Gloria Coates and Thea Musgrave;

Langgaard’s Music of the Spheres will be performed at Glasgow Cathedral

· 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;

· A new discounted ticket offer for under-26s;

· New branding including a new BBC SSO logo/.

Thomas Dausgaard said: ‘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.’

A variety of concerts are scheduled throughout the 18/19 season

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 presents Respighi’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. And just a few weeks after her 90th 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, added: ‘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.

‘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, concluded: ‘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.’

The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra as founded in December 1935. Based at City Halls in Glasgow (since 2006), it is a key contributor to the BBC’s broadcasting and cultural role and performs to large and enthusiastic audiences in venues throughout Scotland, as well as carrying out a busy schedule of recordings, concerts and broadcasts for BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Television, and online.