Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

BBC Philharmonic announces 2017/18 season

1:09, 6th June 2017

The BBC Philharmonic’s 2017/18 season will see the orchestra bid farewell to chief conductor Juanjo Mena after seven years, and welcome John Storgårds and Ben Gernon as chief guest conductor and principal guest conductor respectively.

Almost half of the concerts in the season contain new music, with Rodion Shchedrin’s Dialogues with Shostakovich, George Walker’s Lilacs, Anna Clyne’s This Midnight Hour and Wolfgang Rihm’s horn concerto among the featured UK premieres, and world premieres including Mark Simpson’s cello concerto and Arlene Sierra’s Nature Symphony.

The season includes a number of other contemporary works, including Sally Beamish’s third piano concerto ‘City Stanzas’, Brett Dean’s Testament, and Simon Holt’s percussion concerto a table of noises.

The season will open with a performance of Mahler’s third symphony, with Juanjo Mena and the BBC Philharmonic joined by the ladies of BBC National Chorus of Wales and choristers from Gloucester Cathedral.

Later in the season, Mena will also conduct Ginastera’s ballet Panambi, Tchaikovsky’s The Voyoveda, and the UK premiere of Shchedrin’s Dialogues with Shostakovich. For his final Bridgewater Hall concert as chief conductor, he will bring an all-Spanish programme of Albeniz and Falla’s one-hour opera La Vida Breve.

New chief guest conductor John Storgårds will present an American-themed programme featuring Schuller’s Seven Studies on Themes of Paul Klee, Ives’s Central Park in the Dark, Antheil’s sixth symphony, and the UK premiere of George Walker’s Lilacs, and will appear as both conductor and violinist in a programme comprising Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 14.

For his first Bridgewater Hall concert as principal guest conductor, Ben Gernon will present Anna Clyne’s This Midnight Hour, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 20, with soloist Richard Goode, and Mahler’s first symphony. He will return later in the season to conduct the UK premiere of Wolfgang Rihm’s horn concerto, performed by Stefan Dohr, and Beethoven’s seventh symphony.

Other highlights include Beethoven’s fifth symphony and Stravinsky’s Symphonies of Wind Instruments under Nicholas Collon, a programme of Szymanowski and Tchaikovsky conducted by Vassily Sinaisky, and a concert of Copland, Korngold and Vaughan Williams under John Wilson.


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