Highlights include:

  • Sir Roger Norrington conducts the SWR Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart as Conductor Emeritus with a programme of all Beethoven works
  • British pianists John Lill, Barry Douglas, Stephen Hough and Peter Donohoe give concerts throughout the series
  • The Würth Philharmonic Orchestra, which brings together some of the world’s most talented young musicians make its Cadogan Hall debut and closes the series
  • The Mariinsky Orchestra returns to the series with Valery Gergiev and violinist Kristóf Baráti for two concerts of music by Rimsky-Korsakov and Stravinsky
  • Rising-star Pavel Kolesnikov gives two concerts alongside internationally renowned orchestras including the Czech National Symphony and the Flanders Symphony Orchestra
  • Arabella Steinbacher performs Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto alongside Dresden Philharmonic and Chief Conductor Michael Sanderling
  • The St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, presents a programme of masterpieces by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov with Chief Conductor Alexander Dmitriev
  • Two concerts by the Brussels Philharmonic and Chief Conductor Stéphane Denève with violinists Nikolaj Znaider and James Ehnes
  • The first performance of Mahler’s Second symphony by an international orchestra at Cadogan Hall given by the Bruckner Orchester Linz

Cadogan Hall presents the eleventh Zurich International Orchestra Series with sixteen concerts performed by fourteen distinguished international orchestras. The series features an array of renowned conductors including Valery Gergiev, Stéphane Denève, Michael Sanderling and Sir Roger Norrington as well as critically-acclaimed soloists including four of the most popular and highly regarded British pianists John Lill, Barry Douglas, Stephen Hough and Peter Donohoe. Across the season the orchestras, conductors and soloists perform music from Mozart, Schubert and Beethoven, including the complete cycle of the composer’s piano concertos, to works of the 20th and 21st centuries.

The Basel Symphony Orchestra and acclaimed British conductor Ivor Bolton open the series on 6 October. The programme includes Busoni’s Lustspiel and Beethoven’s energetic Symphony No. 7, which the composer is said to have called one of his best works. The concert also features a performance of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in D minor by Swiss pianist Oliver Schnyder.

The Mariinsky Orchestra return to Cadogan Hall with Music Director Valery Gergiev and violinist Kristóf Baráti for two concerts of music by Rimsky-Korsakov and his most famous pupil, Stravinsky. On 8 October, the programme includes Stravinsky’s Symphony in C and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Suite from The Golden Cockerel and Scheherezade, a glorious symphonic poem based on Tales of the Arabian Nights.The second concert, on 9 October, opens with Rimsky-Korsakov’s Suite from The Tale of Tsar Saltan and Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto performed by Baráti. The concert concludes with a major work linked to the Mariinsky, Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, Stravinsky’s Suite from The Firebird.

On 16 October, one of the leading symphony orchestras of Russia, the St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, presents a programme of masterpieces by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov. Chief Conductor Alexander Dmitriev directs the orchestra in performances of Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony and Romeo & Juliet Overture, two pieces inspired by English writers Byron and Shakespeare. English pianist Peter Donohoe joins the orchestra for Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 4, a work very much of its time, incorporating not only the remnants of late Romanticism but also contemporary sounds of Ravel and Gershwin, reflecting Rachmaninov’s musical curiosity and evolving style.

The Brussels Philharmonic and Chief Conductor Stéphane Denève return to the series with two concerts this season. On 8 November, the orchestra and Denève, who made his Cadogan Hall debut last season, perform Mark-Anthony Turnage’s orchestral work, Passchendaele, which was written to commemorate the First World War and named after an iconic battle on Belgian soil fought in 1917. Violinist Nikolaj Znaider performs Bruch’s Violin Concerto, one of the most popular violin concertos in the repertoire. The programme also features two works written for ballet: Prokofiev’s Cinderella Suite and Ravel’s Daphnis & Chloe Suite No. 2. On 31 May the orchestra presents a programme full of romance and drama. Violinist James Ehnes opens the concert with Bernstein’s Serenade for Violin & Orchestra which is perhaps the composer’s most famous non-theatrical work. It is based on Plato’s Symposium, the text in which the philosopher introduced the concept of Platonic love. The programme also includes Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, an orchestral suite which follows the principal episodes of his modern-day adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. The concert ends with another interpretation of Shakespeare’s tragedy, Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet Suite.

On 20 November, the Basel Chamber Orchestra and conductor Heinz Holliger present a programme of Mendelssohn, Schubert and a short composition for strings, Meta Arca, by Holliger. Acclaimed concert pianist, writer, composer and painter Stephen Hough joins the orchestra for a performance of Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1. The concert also features Mendelssohn’s The Hebrides Overtureand Schubert’s final completely symphony, Symphony No. 9.

NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, founded in 1950s but with roots reaching back to the 1920s, are conducted by Principal Conductor Andrew Manze on 24 November for a programme of Beethoven and Brahms. Lars Vogt has established himself as one of the leading musicians of his generation and he joins the orchestra and Manze for Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2. His performance is bookended by Beethoven’s Egmont Overture and Brahms’s bucolic and rustic Symphony No. 2.

On 1 March, the Russian State Orchestra and Music Director Valery Polyansky perform Khachaturian’s Masquerade Suite and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, a piece saturated with the idea of fate, written soon after the breakdown of the composer’s marriage. Ukrainian-American pianist, Valentina Lisitsa joins the orchestra for a performance of one of the most difficult and physically demanding works for pianists - Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3.

Sir Roger Norrington, fêted for his historically informed performances of Beethoven, was the widely acclaimed Chief Conductor with the SWR Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart for 13 years and on 16 March returns to lead the orchestra as Conductor Emeritus. With a programme of all Beethoven works – Prometheus Overture, Piano Concerto No. 3 and Symphony No. 3 (Eroica) – this concert once again shows Norrington’s inquisitive and provocative approach to the composer, for which he is renowned. Swiss pianist Francesco Piemontesi is the soloist for Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto.

Cadogan Hall welcomes the Czech National Symphony back for two concert this series with conductor Petr Altrichter. On 16 April, the orchestra performs Schubert’s lyrical Eighth symphony, Dvořák‘s Symphony No. 7 and rising-star Pavel Kolesnikov joins the orchestra for Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4. Internationally renowned soloist Barry Douglas joins the orchestra on 18 April for Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, the last piano concerto written by the composer and dedicated to his patron and pupil, Archduke Rudolf. The concert also features Schubert’s Symphony No. 5 and much loved Dvořák’s Ninth Symphony.

On 3 May, the Bruckner Orchester Linz gives the first performance of Mahler’s Second Symphony by an international orchestra at the Hall. The piece explores the depths of human emotion, culminating with a powerful hymn to transcendent renewal; it was Mahler’s first major work that established his lifelong view of the beauty of afterlife and resurrection. The orchestra are conducted by Markus Poschner and joined by the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus.

The Flanders Symphony Orchestra and its Chief Conductor Jan Latham-Koenig return to the Hall with a typically beautiful programme on 17 May including Dvořák’s Two Slavonic Dances, Sibelius’ The Swan of Tuonela and Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suites 1 & 2, music that was the result of a successful collaboration between Norway’s two greatest creative artists of the late 19th century – Ibsen and Grieg. Pavel Kolesnikov gives his second concert of the series, joining the orchestra for a performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1.

On 22 May, the Dresden Philharmonic and Chief Conductor Michael Sanderling are joined by German violinist Arabella Steinbacher for a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, considered to be one of the most technically difficult works for the instrument. The concert also includes the overture to Weber’s opera Euryanthe, an example of the early German Romantic style heralding Wagner, and Shostakovich’s emotional Symphony No. 5.

The Würth Philharmonic Orchestra makes its Cadogan Hall debut on 6 June for the final concert in the series. The orchestra, named after the German philanthropist Professor Dr Reinhold Würth, brings together some of the world’s most talented young musicians and for this concert are conducted by Rumon Gamba. The programme includes Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, a visionary fusion of folksong and sacred music, and Elgar’s Enigma Variations, a series of affectionate musical sketches of the composer’s close friends and family. Pianist John Lill joins the orchestra for a performance of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2.


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