Swedish composer B Tommy Andersson starts a year-long term with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales this October, as his piece The Garden of Delights is given its Welsh premiere in Cardiff.

Joining BBC NOW’s artistic team as Composer-in-Association, B Tommy Andersson will have a total of six pieces performed by the Orchestra during their 2014-15 season – part of the Orchestra’s ongoing commitment to contemporary music.

At the opening concert of BBC NOW’s St David’s Hall season – on Friday 3 October, 7.30pm - Principal Conductor Thomas Søndergård conducts the Orchestra for B Tommy Andersson’s The Garden of Delights. Andersson was inspired to write the work after visiting the Museo del Prado in Madrid, and seeing Bosch’s powerful triptych of the same name.

B Tommy Andersson describes the painting that became his inspiration: “It’s a stunning picture – it’s so huge, so modern in many ways. My piece is not really trying to tell the story of the pictures; it’s just inspired by the atmospheres, the turbulence and energy.”

Thomas Søndergård, the Orchestra’s Principal Conductor, is looking forward to working on The Garden of Delights: “I’ve performed this beautiful piece before – the audience love it, the musicians enjoy playing it, and I love working with it!

“It’s always a treat to work with B Tommy’s music, as he writes so incredibly well for Orchestra. His music is full of colour and vibrancy, and always brings the subject to life. I can’t think of a better piece to open an exciting season of B Tommy’s works.”

Conducted by Thomas Søndergård, the Orchestra’s concert on 3 October also includes Sibelius’s fiercely nationalistic second symphony; plus Danish soprano Ann Petersen joins the Orchestra on stage for a passionate performance of Richard Strauss’s Four Last Songs. Ann Petersen will be known to opera fans – particularly for her acclaimed interpretation of Isolde in WNO’s 2012 production of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde.

B Tommy Andersson will feature in three further concerts throughout the Orchestra’s 2014-15 season:

  • B Tommy Andersson conducts the Orchestra for the first time, for an afternoon concert at BBC Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff Bay, on 20 January 2015 – exploring works from his native Sweden.
  • The Orchestra explores Andersson’s works in greater depth with a Composer Portrait at BBC Hoddinott Hall on 25 February 2015.
  • The closing concert of the Orchestra’s St David’s Hall season (Friday 5 June) includes B Tommy Andersson’s Satyricon, based on the extraordinary ancient Latin tale by writer Petronius.

    The concert will be broadcast on Live in Concert on BBC Radio 3, and will be available for seven days after broadcast via BBC iPlayer Radio.


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