RSNO’s upward trajectory set to continue with Søndergård and Chan

Season highlights include:

Beethoven symphonies, concertos, chamber and solo works to mark 250th anniversary

The Golden Age of Vienna explored, including pairing of Mahler and Richard Strauss greats

Scottish pianist Steven Osborne RSNO Artist in Residence for 2019:20

Scottish mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill in opening concert and chamber recital

World premiered reimagining of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker with Scottish actor Alan Cumming

Nicola Benedetti performs Bartók’s Second Violin Concerto for the first time in Scotland

Increased choral offerings at the RSNO Centre

Premieres of works by Vaughan Williams, Fazíl Say, Danny Elfman

Choral: Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols, Brahms’ German Requiem and Verdi’s Requiem

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) announces a Season designed to capitalise on the success of its first with Music Director Thomas Søndergård and Principal Guest Conductor Elim Chan.

This Season attendance has increased in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen by an average of 12%. In terms of audience figures for their first year in-post, Thomas Søndergård is the most popular RSNO Music Director for over twenty years.

RSNO audiences are comprised of more young people than since records began, with those under-26 who take advantage of the RSNO’s free and discounted ticket schemes accounting for 15% of the attendance, and over 20% when including film and festive programmes.

The ‘Pops’ programmes continue to provide the first access point to RSNO performances for many, with 65% of the audience for the recent Sci Fi Spectacular first-time attenders, but significantly many are choosing to attend further RSNO concerts following their first experience.

The 2019:20 Season marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven with performances of his symphonic, chamber and sonata works. The forthcoming Beethoven Revolution programme strand joins Beethoven’s standard-bearing and epoch-defining music with composers who followed and whose music created revolutions of their own.

The new Season also reflects on the Golden Age of Vienna, during the 1900s when the city was home to musicians, philosophers, poets, painters and scientists. Across three programmes, Søndergård pairs the tone poems of Richard Strauss with three of Gustav Mahler’s greatest works, simultaneously continuing Søndergård’s Mahler symphonic cycle.

Thomas Søndergård will conduct twenty-four concerts in Scotland for his second Season as Music Director of the RSNO, an orchestral year that brings the continuation of the Mahler symphonic cycle, pairing Mahler with the works of Richard Strauss, as well as exploring the Russian symphonic repertoire of Rachmaninov, Shostakovich and concludes with Verdi’s momentous Requiem.

Junping Qian, appointed Assistant Conductor in the summer of 2018, makes his first regular Season appearances on the podium, with the Viennese Gala programme, Classic FM Hall of Fame and two Children’s’ Classic Concerts presentations.

RSNO Music Director Thomas Søndergård: “Since my appointment to Music Director my colleagues and I have performed a lot of great music together; at home, abroad and in the recording studio. Personally – and I hope I speak on behalf of the musicians and chorus members - the bond between us has become noticeably stronger over the past year, something which will benefit our music-making in the future. I sense this connection extends to the relationship between the orchestra and you, our audience. From across Scotland we feel blessed by the generous spirit we are met with each time we visit.

“My sincere wish is that those who choose to join us in the concert halls of an evening see that we are fully committed to providing the very best performances we can. It is immensely gratifying to see us grow and learn together, and I am delighted that so many of you choose to join us and approve of what we do. On behalf of my colleagues I would like to thank you for your continued support. I believe we have much to look forward to!”

Director of Artistic Planning and Engagement Bill Chandler: “I’m very excited with the RSNO’s presentation of its epic 2019:20 Season, giving concert-goers the chance to catch a ride with the most exciting thing to happen in classical music in Scotland. We hope audiences will continue to enjoy the magical chemistry between Music Director, Thomas Søndergård and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra as they embark on their second Season together."


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