• Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 125th anniversary, with celebratory concerts in Dublin and the Concertgebouw in 2018
  • Season opens with Kirill Karabits conducting Messiaen’s monumental Turangalîla-Symphonie for the first time
  • Principal Clarinet of the Berlin Philharmonic and Decca recording artist Andreas Ottensamer appointed BSO Artist-in-Residence
  • A season focus on Tchaikovsky and his contemporaries, with eight concerts exploring the composer’s repertoire alongside Mussorgsky, Rachmaninov, Glinka and Kalinnikov
  • Two former BSO Artists-in-Residence make welcome returns: Nemanja Radulović with the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, and Leeds International Piano Competition winner Sunwook Kim in Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 and Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 2
  • A stellar year for pianists, with 12 across the Poole concert season including David Fray, Stephen Hough, Kirill Gerstein, Boris Giltburg, Sunwook Kim, Robert Levin, Gabriela Montero, Steven Osborne and Simon Trpčeski.
  • Chief Conductor Kirill Karabits continues his Bruckner series with Symphony No. 8
  • Debuts for conductors Matthew Halls, Richard Farnes, Mikhail Tatarnikov and Robert Trevino
  • First year of BSO ‘Change Makers’ – an 18 month mentorship for James Rose, a disabled conductor to create, curate and direct a disabled-led ensemble delivering a series of inspiring performances and workshops
  • BSO widens its extraordinary reach through its award-winning community and participation programme, working with Music Education Hubs across the South and South West
  • BSO will deliver 500 workshops and community projects and engage over 60,000 children, young people and community groups

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra announces its 2017-18 season, celebrating 125 years of bringing the highest quality music-making to the widest audience. The Orchestra presents over 120 public performances in 40 towns and cities across the South and South West, with 23 concerts in their main series at Lighthouse, Poole alongside 42 concerts in Bournemouth, Exeter, Bristol and Portsmouth. More than 125,000 people are expected to attend a BSO concert and BSO Participate will engage with more than 60,000 people across the BSO’s 10,000 square mile region through its concerts and award-winning Community, Participation and Ensemble programmes. In celebration of its anniversary year, the Orchestra also tours to Leeds, Dublin, and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam for performances with Chief Conductor Kirill Karabits.

Kirill Karabits, Chief Conductor, said: “In this, my ninth season with the Orchestra, I am thrilled to begin with Messiaen’s kaleidoscopic Turangalîla-Symphonie, a magnificent work of power and beauty, suitably fitting for our 125th anniversary season. I’m particularly delighted to conduct a UK premiere of Ukrainian composer Boris Lyatoshinsky’s Symphony No. 3. Lyatoshinsky's music is very important and personal to me not only because he was my Father’s teacher at the Kiev Conservatory, but Lyatoshinsky is one of the most significant composers of the 20th century. His place in Ukrainian music can be compared to that of Britten in British music.

Dougie Scarfe, Chief Executive, said: “As we approach our 125th anniversary in 2018, we are thrilled to welcome clarinettist Andreas Ottensamer as our new Artist in Residence and to welcome back previous Artists in Residence Sunwook Kim and Nemanja Radulović for three concerts across the series. Year on year we are continually reaching new audiences and expanding our reach across the South and South West. This year sees the first full year of our revolutionary ‘Change Makers’ project with the conductor James Rose and we are proud to be the Orchestra responsible for inspiring those with disabilities to engage with classical music.”

The season opens with the BSO continuing to show great artistic ambition by performing for the first time in a generation Turangalîla-Symphonie, Olivier Messiaen’s large-scale orchestral tour-de-force with Steven Osborne performing the virtuosic piano part and Cynthia Millar on the Ondes Martenot, led by Chief Conductor Kirill Karabits (Poole: 4 Oct). Other firsts for Karabits later on in the anniversary series include Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8 (Poole: 29 Nov) and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 (Poole: 7 Feb) in a programme alongside Schubert’s ‘Tragic’ Symphony No. 4.

Throughout the season, BSO explores Tchaikovsky and his contemporaries in a series of seven programmes. Works by the composer himself include Symphony No. 5 conducted by Russian Mikhail Tatarnikov, Musical Director of the Mikhailovsky Theatre (Poole: 24 Jan) andSymphony No. 6 conducted by former Principal Conductor of the BSO Andrew Litton (Poole: 21 Mar). Last year’s BSO Artist-in-Residence, the charismatic violinist Nemanja Radulović, performs the Violin Concerto (Poole: 18 Apr), and Macedonian pianist Simon Trpčeski makes a welcome return for Piano Concerto No. 1 (Poole: 9 May), both with Kirill Karabits.

Alongside these more familiar names associated with Tchaikovsky, Kees Bakels brings a rarity – Vasily Kalinnikov’s Symphony No. 1 – to a programme exploring Russian Masters (Poole: 1 Nov). Kalinnikov was a composer who knew Tchaikovsky but lived a very different life in Southern Crimea, dying from Tuberculosis at the age of 34. In the same programme, Bakels conducts two works – Ruslan & Ludmilla Overture and Valse from A Life for the Tsar – by Mikhail Glinka, who Tchaikovsky admired greatly and hailed as “the father of Russian Music.” Mussorgsky, another great advocate of Glinka, who described him as "the immortal creator of a Russian musical school who first pointed out the path of truth" is represented by his ever-popular Pictures at an Exhibition conducted by Carlos Miguel Prieto who makes his third appearance with the Orchestra. In this exuberant programme, the internet sensation Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero performs Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G, Ravel’s Rapsodie espagnole and Debussy’s (orchestrated by Ravel) Danse – Tarantelle styrienne, an homage to the 100th anniversary of Debussy’s death (Poole: 7 Mar).

Rachmaninov, another composer closely associated with Tchaikovsky, features in four programmes through the season. Queen Elisabeth Piano Competition winner Lukáš Vondráček performs the composer’s Piano Concerto No. 3 (Poole: 1 Nov) and Kirill Gerstein plays Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with Vassily Sinaisky, making a welcome return (Poole: 6 Dec). Kirill Karabits conducts the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus in The Bells (Poole: 15 Nov) and a programme featuring two early works which were lambasted by critics of the time, Symphony No. 1and the Caprice bohémien (Poole: 18 Apr).

Decca recording artist and international star soloist Andreas Ottensamer becomes this season’s Artist-in-Residence. Having performed with the Orchestra two seasons ago, Ottensamer presents two orchestral programmes performing his first Hindemith Clarinet Concerto (Poole: 11 Oct) with Kirill Karabits and two concertos by father and son Johann and Carl Stamitz which Ottensamer will direct from the clarinet. British conductor and Artistic Director of the Oregan Bach Festival, Matthew Halls, makes his debut with the Orchestra (Poole: 17 Jan). For his Artist-in-Residence Recital, Ottensamer brings together a varied programme ranging from Widor to Alec Templeton. He is joined by pianist José Gallardo (Poole: 21 Feb).

In a particularly strong year for pianists, BSO welcomes 12 to Poole for varied programmes across the season. Former Artist-in-Residence and Leeds International Piano Competition winner Sunwook Kim performs gives two programmes with Chief Conductor Kirill Karabits: Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 (Poole: 31 Jan) and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2 (Poole: 2 May). Other highlights include Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero making her debut with Ravel’s dazzling Piano Concerto in G (Poole: 7 Mar); Robert Levin in Mozart’sPiano Concerto No. 23 (Poole: 29 Nov); Stephen Hough in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 conducted by Thierry Fischer (Poole: 14 Mar) and Simon Trpčeski in Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 (Poole: 9 May). In two popular choral programmes, BSO favourite David Hill returns to conduct Haydn’s Die Schöpfung with Lucy Crowe, Christopher Purves, Benjamin Hulett and the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus (Poole: 28 Feb) Laurence Cummings makes a welcome return for the annual performance of The Messiah with a stellar list of soloists (Poole: 13 Dec).

The BSO is a cultural beacon for the South and South West, giving a diverse range of people across a myriad of communities the opportunity to experience the power of music. The BSO continues to deliver its award-winning community, participation and ensemble programme‘BSO Participate’ through its inspiring work developed for local communities. This work is delivered through five specifically tailored and distinct strands of activity; Bbs, Blast, Resonate, Rising Talent and Boost. These enable a fusion of activities which range from giving children under five their first taste of classical music, right through to delivering music to older people in longer term care. In collaboration with Music Education Hubs, groups and organisations BSO Participate will undertake 500 separate workshops, creative music-making sessions, tea dances, dementia friendly concerts and many other community activities.

More than 125,000 people are expected to attend a BSO concert and BSO Participate will engage with more than 60,000 children, young people and community groups including working with people living with dementia, special ‘meet the music’ seminars and free concerts for primary schools which will enable more than 10,000 seven to eleven year olds to experience high-quality live orchestral music. BSO’s innovative ‘Kids for a Quid’ scheme continues, having engaged over 3,000 under 18s to see live symphonic music last season.

This season, working in partnership with its Music Education Hubs, BSO will deliver two large-scale “Symphony for All” projects to raise awareness and engagement with classical music in March and May 2018, celebrating the month of the Orchestra’s anniversary.

2017 also sees the first full year of Change Makers, a training placement for James Rose, a disabled conductor identified by the BSO as its named leader of its new ensemble. The training placement aims to accelerate James’s development, experience and confidence as an artist. During the course of the 18 months, James will create, curate and direct a disabled-led ensemble which will deliver a series of inspiring performances and workshops to young people and adults with and without disabilities across the region. The project demonstrates the Orchestra’s ongoing mission to be accessible to as many people as possible and transform lives through music. James’ artistic journey and those of his fellow ensemble musicians will be documented in a film which will be released in January 2019.

In addition to extensive broadcasting by BBC Radio 3, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra reaches out further with a continuing partnership as Classic FM’s Orchestra in the South of England.


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