Ryan Wigglesworth appointed Chief Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

The BBC SSO has appointed Ryan Wigglesworth as its new Chief Conductor from September 2022.  As a world renowned conductor, composer and pianist, Wigglesworth is one of the foremost musicians of his generation.

Ryan Wigglesworth said: 

I feel immensely privileged to be starting this journey with the wonderful and uniquely versatile musicians of the BBC SSO, a journey which I hope will prove to be long, fruitful and ever adventurous. I look forward to making this beautiful and vibrant city my musical home, and to connecting with all of our audiences across Scotland in the coming seasons.

Dominic Parker, Director, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, said

Ryan Wigglesworth is an exceptionally fine musician whose creativity and musical responsiveness is already hugely admired by the players in the BBC SSO. As a conductor who is also a leading composer and a brilliant pianist, he brings a level of musical versatility, range and eloquence that I think our audiences will really enjoy. I am incredibly excited about working with him as we plan future seasons.

Alan Davey, Controller, BBC Radio 3, said:   

This is a great new relationship – the BBC SSO is  a fantastic orchestra with great traditions of excellence and deep strengths. I know Ryan will build on those strengths and allow it to grow to even greater heights and to explore what glorious music, played with authentic knowledge and depth of feeling, can do.  I am really looking forward to seeing the work he and the orchestra produce over future seasons for our live audiences in Scotland, around the UK and at the BBC Proms, and for all our audiences the world over on the BBC.

In previous years, Wigglesworth has appeared with the BBC SSO in concert at its home in City Halls and at the Aldeburgh Festival. Together they have recorded a broad range of repertoire including works by Bach, Mozart, Berlioz, Brahms, Tippett, Knussen, Betsy Jolas, Rebecca Saunders and Elliot Carter. His relationship with the orchestra blossomed during a number of recording sessions last year, including a performance of Elgar’s Symphony No.1 at Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall, the orchestra’s first public appearance with an audience since the start of the pandemic. 

Laura Samuel, leader of the BBC SSO, said: 

In Ryan the BBC SSO has found a very special conductor. It is such a joy to see him embrace the orchestra with such generosity and sincerity. His inclusive approach to every aspect of music making is refreshing and hugely inspiring for us all. I am so excited about our future collaborations and look forward to welcoming Ryan to the BBC SSO family.

Audiences can see Wigglesworth conduct the orchestra this Sunday as part of a weekend of live concerts from the BBC Orchestras and Choirs to mark the BBC’s centenary. The concert will also be broadcast live on Radio 3 and BBC Sounds at 7.30pm. He returns to City Halls in May to play and direct Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.12 and to conduct the world premiere of a new BBC commission from the orchestra’s Artist in Residence, Jörg Widmann.

Wigglesworth will make his debut as Chief Conductor when he opens the orchestra’s 2022/23 Season on 22 September, succeeding Thomas Dausgaard who continues in the post until the autumn.  Full details of the orchestra’s 22/23 Season will be unveiled in the late spring.  

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