For over 20 years the Guildhall School has collaborated with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in celebrating the work of contemporary composers, initially through its Composer Weekends and more recently in its celebrated ‘Total Immersion’ series, giving an ideal opportunity for the School’s musicians to explore the music of today’s living composers.
On 1 December 2012, the full forces of the Guildhall School’s Vocal Department join the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Jiří Bělohlávek to form the chorus for Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony. This opportunity comes at the special invitation of the BBC SO following a highly-acclaimed performance of the work by the School’s vocal students in 2011 under its Chorus Master David Vinden. The soloists are Swedish mezzo-soprano Katarina Karnéus and rising Israeli soprano Chen Reiss. Former BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist Francesco Piemontesi opens the concert with Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor.
In a landmark collaboration on 15 December, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and 6 final year actors from the Guildhall School perform Grieg’s complete Peer Gynt, with Alain Perroux’s script from Ibsen’s play of the same name. Soloists include mezzo-sopranos Miah Persson and Ann Hallenberg, alongside baritone Johannes Weisser and the BBC Singers conducted by Marc Minkowski.
Tōru Takemitsu was a pivotal figure in opening up an authentic creative dialogue between Western and Japanese music. He inspired two generations of uniquely cosmopolitan Japanese composers, whose works will appear alongside a fascinating exploration of Japanese traditional music in the BBC SO’s Total Immersion: Sounds from Japan. The Guildhall Chamber Ensemble performs works by Takemitsu, Dai Fujikura and Jo Kondo in LSO St Luke’s at 1pm on 2 February 2013.