The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra – one of the UK’s busiest orchestras – today announces its 2015/16 season as newly-designated Chief Conductor Kirill Karabits enters his seventh season. His renewed contract with the BSO will see Karabits conduct more than 20 concerts in 2015/16 season. More widely, the Orchestra continues its work delivering the highest quality music making across 10,000 square miles of the South and South West, reaching over 5,000 concert-goers per week and many more through live broadcasts on BBC Radio 3 and its partnership with Classic FM.
Dougie Scarfe, Chief Executive, says: “With Kirill Karabits, our Chief Conductor, leading the continued artistic development of the BSO, these are exciting times as we build the long-term future for this great orchestra. Kirill has developed an extraordinary bond with audiences and musicians alike through his inspiring performances with the BSO and the sense of excitement and momentum is palpable. This impetus is sure to continue in the new season and I am delighted that alongside Kirill we have an outstanding artistic roster, with many performers new to the BSO joining those we have known and loved for many years. For me it is this combination that builds a season into a memorable journey for musicians and audiences alike. We are delighted to welcome Augustin Hadelich as our Artist-in-Residence for the season.”
Kirill Karabits, Chief Conductor, says: “I am thrilled to be leading such a varied and dynamic season with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra as their newly-designated Chief Conductor. The Orchestra continues to go from strength to strength, building on the exceptional trust we have built between players and our loyal audiences. I am particularly looking forward to three firsts with the Orchestra – Salome in September with a stunning cast; my first main-season Elgar and finally my first Mahler symphony with the BSO.”
The season opens and closes with two firsts for Karabits. Richard Strauss’ epic Salome begins the season, with Karabits leading an all-star cast including American soprano and Metropolitan Opera favourite Lise Lindstrom in the title role joined by James Rutherford, Kim Begley, Birgit Remmert, Andrew Staples, David Soar and Anna Burford (30 Sept: Poole, 2 Oct: Birmingham). In May 2016, Karabits conducts his first ever Mahler symphony – No. 1, ‘Titan’ – closing an auspicious season. Karabits will also conduct his first main-season Elgar – the Enigma Variations – with the Orchestra, alongside Mendelssohn’s concert overture Calm Sea & Prosperous Voyage and James MacMillan’s Little Mass, a co-commission with the RLPO and RSNO (10 Feb: Poole, 11 Feb: Bristol), described by the Guardian as “a vast tapestry of orchestral colour.” A particular highlight will be Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1 with Steven Isserlis which will travel from Poole (11 Nov) to Bristol and Portsmouth (12 & 13 Nov).
Following the Premiere of Kirill Karabits’ arrangement of the CPE Bach’s St John Passion last year, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra presents four concerts exploring the Classical period, including two programmes including music by Haydn, Mozart and JS Bach conducted by Karabits, who has often brought his expertise as a harpsichordist and scholar to the BSO to develop idiomatic playing of music in the Classical style (11 Nov & 6 Apr). Historical performance specialist Reinhard Goebel makes his BSO debut with an all-Classical programme including Mozart’s Violin Concerto K271a with Mirijam Contzen and Symphony No. 31, and JC Bach’s Overture and Suite from Amadis des Gaules (21 Oct: Poole, 22 Oct: Exeter). Simon Halsey conducts soprano Sarah Tynan in Mozart’s ravishing Exsultate Jubilate in a concert putting a spotlight on the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus for Brahms’ popular Ein deutsches Requiem.
Louis Lortie performing Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1 (7 Oct: Poole, 9 Oct: Exeter) opens a series of eight concerts this season featuring internationally-acclaimed pianists. Three of Beethoven’s timeless Piano Concertos are featured, including No. 3 with BSO favourite John Lill (27 Jan: Poole, 28 Jan: Portsmouth), No. 4 with Kirill Gerstein (25 Nov: Poole, 26 Nov: Exeter, 27 Nov: Basingstoke) and No. 5 with Simon Trpčeski (13 Apr: Poole, 14 Apr: Portsmouth). Russian pianist Yevgeny Sudbin plays Scriabin’s early Piano Concerto (24 Feb: Poole, 25 Feb: Portsmouth, 26 Feb: Basingstoke) and Alexander Gavrylyuk returns for Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in a concert featuring Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 11 and Beethoven’s Egmont Overture, conducted by James Gaffigan (28 Oct: Poole, 29 Oct: Bristol, 30 Oct: Portsmouth). In a Sibelius-focused programme conducted by Karabits, Finnish pianist Joho Pohjonen performs Grieg’s enigmatic Concerto (2 Dec: Poole, 3 Dec: Portsmouth, 10 Dec: Bristol, 11 Dec: Exeter).
German violinist Augustin Hadelich, described by the Sunday Times as “both a virtuoso violinist and a deeply thoughtful one” joins as Artist-in-Residence for the new season, giving three concerts as well as workshops and masterclasses. Hadelich performs Sibelius’ Violin Concerto alongside Strauss’ Don Juan and Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4 (27 Apr: Poole, 28 Apr: Portsmouth) and joins Chief Conductor Kirill Karabits for Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, alongside Stravinsky’s chamber concerto Dumbarton Oaks and Schumann’s Spring Symphony No. 1 (17 Feb: Poole, 18 Feb: Exeter, 19 Feb: Cheltenham). BSO’s Artist-in-Residence for the 2014/15 season, Sunwook Kim joins him and members of the BSO for a chamber programme of Mozart’s Piano Quintet, and Mendelssohn’s Octet, as well as solo violin sonatas by Ysaÿe and Janáček (16 Mar: Poole).
The BSO’s strong Sibelius tradition is celebrated in a programme of the composer’s last three works: the Tempest Suite, the symphonic poem Tapiola and the enigmatic Symphony No. 7. In the same programme, Finnish pianist Juho Pohjonen performs Grieg’s Piano Concerto (2 Dec: Poole, 3 Dec: Portsmouth, Bristol: 10 Dec, Exeter: 11 Dec). Later in the season, Jac van Steen conducts Symphony No. 2 (20 Apr: Poole, 21 Apr: Exeter) and Thomas Dausgaard is joined by the BSO’s new Artist-in-Residence Augustin Hadelich for the virtuosic Violin Concerto; the only concerto Sibelius wrote (27 Apr: Poole, 28 Apr: Portsmouth).
Kokoro, the BSO’s contemporary music ensemble, becomes resident ensemble at Bristol University’s International Composition Competition taking place over 2016-17. Kokoro will workshop a number of works submitted, from which three composers will be invited to write pieces for performance in spring 2017. This season sees the final year of Hywel Davies’ three-year residency, culminating in the premiere of a new dramatic scena for two singers and Kokoro. The ensemble will once again be collaborating with Arts University Bournemouth and it will be continuing its pioneering work of taking 20th-century masterworks and new work to rural venues in Dorset.
The BSO continues its award-winning community and participation programme ‘BSO Participate’ working with the 18 Music Hubs across the South and South West of England; a specific response to the national music plan. In addition to over 120 public performances, Bournemouth Symphony will also undertake around 300 separate school workshops, recitals, tea dances and other community activity across the South and South West of England. More than 125,000 people are expected to attend a BSO concert and BSO Participate will engage with more than 30,000 children, students and community groups including working with people with dementia, special ‘meet the music’ seminars and free concerts for primary schools which will enable more than 6,000 youngsters to experience high-quality live orchestral music. BSO’s innovative ‘Kids for a Quid’ scheme continues, having engaging over 3,000 under 18s to see live symphonic music last season.
In addition to extensive broadcasting by BBC Radio 3 and a televised BBC Proms concert this Summer, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra reaches out further with a continuing partnership as Classic FM’s Orchestra in the South of England and releases the final instalment of its acclaimed series of Prokofiev Symphonies on Onyx Classics.