HK Gruber, the renowned Austrian composer is to succeed James MacMillan as the BBC Philharmonic’s next Composer/Conductor, starting in September 2009. He will make his Bridgewater Hall debut in his new role with the BBC Philharmonic in February 2010.
He follows in the footsteps of the eminent Scottish composer James MacMillan who took up the post in September 2000. Before that Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, who is now Master of the Queen’s Music, held the title for ten years.
The position will see Gruber conduct the BBC Philharmonic in two concert dates per season in its Bridgewater Hall series in Manchester , as well as recording his own music and that of others for Chandos Records. The BBC Philharmonic will give the UK premiere of Busking, Gruber’s concerto for trumpet, accordion, banjo and string orchestra. Plans are also in progress for Gruber to conduct the Orchestra in his home city of Vienna , at The Konzerthaus.
Gruber will be involved in the BBC Philharmonic’s learning work, specifically in the many varied communities of Salford which will be the Orchestra’s new home from 2011, when the BBC’s new base in the North opens there at mediacity: uk . He will also work with composition students at the Royal Northern College of Music.
Born in 1943, HK Gruber (or Nali as he is often known) is the composer of the celebrated work Frankenstein!! which is based on gruesome children’s rhymes by H.C. Artmann. It was premiered in Liverpool in 1978 under a young Sir Simon Rattle and has gone on to receive hundreds of acclaimed performances worldwide.
Gruber and the BBC Philharmonic have worked together many times before. Highlights include their recording of his most famous composition Frankenstein!! for Chandos in 2005, which was paired with Perpetuum Mobile, Charivari and Dancing in the Dark. The BBC Philharmonic also gave the UK premiere of Dancing in the Dark at the BBC Proms in 2003.