Orchestra reprises Principal Guest Conductor position for celebrated Dane
The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) has appointed 42-year-old Danish conductor Thomas Søndergård as its next Principal Guest Conductor.
The position is for an initial three years from the start of the 2012:13 Season and will require Thomas to lead the Orchestra in three programmes a year. Previous RSNO Principal Guest Conductors include Scottish conductor Garry Walker (2003 to 2007) and current Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Music Director Marin Alsop (2000 to 2003). Together with incoming Music Director Peter Oundjian (who also takes up his post in September 2012), Thomas will have influence in shaping the organisation’s artistic direction.
Søndergård will remain as Principal Conductor and Musical Adviser of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra until the end of the 2011/2012 season and, most unusually in the UK, will then hold his RSNO title concurrently with that of Principal Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
RSNO Chief Executive Michael Elliott: “I am immensely impressed with Thomas’ musicianship, passion and insight and his natural ability to inspire musicians and audiences. The RSNO thoroughly enjoyed working with him on the two programmes he has presented here so far and I understand he made quite an impression on our supporters.
“Thomas’ arrival brings a substantial opportunity to expand the experience and potential of the Orchestra’s artistic leadership team. Furthermore, the partnership has an added, intriguing dimension in that Thomas is soon to take over the principal artistic position of another national ensemble, BBC National Orchestra of Wales. We look forward to working with them to the benefit of Thomas, our orchestras and our nations.”
Thomas Søndergård: “Sheer serendipity! My introduction to the RSNO was as a short-notice substitute for the indisposed Yakov Kreizberg, but from the moment the musicians and I met, I felt a very special connection, one which the audience also seemed to pick up on. The sense of this was heightened when we met again last year and I am so much looking forward to discovering what we can achieve together.”
Thomas will next appear with the RSNO at the Usher Hall on Friday 21 October and at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Saturday 22 October, for concerts with British cellist Natalie Clein. The programme features Ravel’s Valses nobles et sentimentales, Haydn’s Cello Concerto No1 and Prokofiev’s Symphony No5.