The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra today (19 August 2020) announced Alpesh Chauhan as its new Associate Conductor. The Birmingham-born conductor is currently in Glasgow at City Halls, the orchestra’s home, recording for BBC Radio 3.  He is the first conductor to direct the players since lockdown and next week audiences can watch them perform a socially-distanced concert on the BBC SSO’s website.     

Chauhan and the BBC SSO have had a close relationship since he stepped in at the last minute for the orchestra’s then Chief Conductor, Donald Runnicles, in May 2015. He has returned to conduct many times, including at the re-opening of Aberdeen’s Music Hall in 2018 and the launch of the BBC SSO’s 2019/20 season.  

Alpesh Chauhan said: “I’m so excited to be taking up this position with the BBC SSO. I’ve had a wonderful relationship with the orchestra over the last few years, right from the very beginning of my career when I stepped in for a last-minute cancellation. The orchestra was so welcoming, and from our first rehearsals together, I immediately felt a powerful musical connection. I’m looking forward to developing exciting programmes, working on our musical ideas and giving memorable concerts together. It’s a privilege to be able to conduct the BBC SSO these two weeks as we come out of this moment of unease with Covid-19 and we’re all looking forward to making music together as a group once again.”

Dominic Parker, Director BBC SSO, said: “Alpesh Chauhan is one of the most talented young conductors around and he has developed a warm musical relationship with the orchestra and our audiences over several seasons. I am very happy we can finally make this announcement, which has been delayed throughout lockdown, and we are really looking forward to welcoming him as our Associate Conductor. We celebrate next week with a concert conducted by Alpesh from City Halls, available online from Wednesday 26th August.”

Chauhan has performed a wide range of repertoire with the orchestra including works by Shostakovich, Mahler, Britten, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Sibelius, Janáček and Chaya Czernowin. His position will run until autumn 2023. 

He was scheduled to open the BBC SSO’s 2020/21 Season next month, but the current COVID-19 restrictions have meant that the orchestra’s immediate plans are still being revised.  

He joins the orchestra’s distinguished line-up of conductors and artists: Thomas Dausgaard, Chief Conductor; Ilan Volkov, Principal Guest Conductor; Lucy Drever, Associate Artist; and Conductor Emeritus, Donald Runnicles.

Next week he will perform the following works with the BBC SSO, without an audience and available from 8pm at :

Wednesday 26th August, available from 8.00pm

HINDEMITH        Concert Music for Strings and Brass 

WAGNER             Siegfried Idyll

SCHÖNBERG       Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night)