The BBC Symphony Orchestra today announced that Semyon Bychkov – who conducts the Orchestra at the BBC Proms this Wednesday, August 8th - will join their roster of conductors with a position created especially for him by the Orchestra. The title of the Günter Wand Conducting Chair was chosen in recognition of the affection and respect that the Orchestra held for the conductor who was appointed their Principal Guest Conductor exactly 30 years ago, and is mirrored in the relationship they enjoy with Bychkov.

Semyon Bychkov said: “I am deeply honoured by the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s gesture. The relationship it had with Günter Wand resulted in many memorable achievements, which live in the minds of those who witnessed them. To be asked to join in this tradition holds a very special meaning to me.”

The Günter Wand Conducting Chair recognises the mutual wish of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Semyon Bychkov to collaborate on significant projects, and reflects the warmth of their relationship since they first collaborated at the BBC Proms five years ago. Of their magnificent performance of Rachmaninov’s Symphony No. 2, the Guardian commented: “Bychkov’s outstanding interpretation rose above the excitement and heady nostalgia of the piece to uncover underlying tragic nobility. With the BBC musicians playing for him like angels, this was one of the highlights of the season so far.”

Bychkov has subsequently conducted the Orchestra on numerous occasions, both as part of the BBC SO’s Barbican season and, as a guest at the BBC Proms, bringing memorable performances of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 11, Mahler’s Symphony No. 6 and Verdi’s Requiem, as well as many other works. This year’s BBC Prom opens with a performance of Schubert’s Symphony No. 8 followed by the UK premiere of Richard Dubugnon’s Battlefield Concerto, with its dedicatees Katia and Marielle Labèque as soloists. Following the interval, Bychkov conducts a performance of Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben, a composer with whom he is particularly associated - his first recording with WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln was Ein Heldenleben coupled with Metamorphosen (2003) and he made his Covent Garden debut with Elektra (2005).

Paul Hughes, General Manager, BBC Symphony Orchestra said: “I am delighted that Semyon has accepted our invitation to join the BBC Symphony’s artistic team, headed by Sakari Oramo. The projects we have undertaken so far, and those planned for coming seasons, promise a thrilling future for him with the Orchestra.”

The title begins with immediate effect.


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