- In his second season as Chief Conductor, Ryan Wigglesworth continues journeys already begun, including a survey of Stravinsky’s ballet music with Orpheusand The Fairy’s Kiss.
- Wigglesworth opens the Glasgow Series with Mahler’s Fourth Symphony, plus his own brilliantly imaginative Piano Concerto with award-winning Scottish soloist Steven Osborne.
- The orchestra doubles down on its commitment to champion living composers, including BBC commissions by Lisa Illean, Roxanna Panufnik, Michael Parsons and Jörg Widmann.
- A celebration of 20 years of music-making with Principal Guest Conductor Ilan Volkov, with performances of Cassandra Miller’s Duet for Cello & Orchestra, Howard Skempton’s Piano Concerto, and popular blockbusters by Berlioz and Stravinsky.
- South Korean violinist Bomsori Kim is a 2023/24 Featured Artist, with performances of Sibelius’s Violin Concerto and Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No.1
- Familiar faces return throughout the season – including pianist Sir Stephen Hough and mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill – as well as many new, exciting artists including conductor Gemma New and BBC New Generation Artist, violinist Geneva Lewis.
- Performances of Verdi’s Requiem with the Edinburgh Festival Chorus and a stellar team of solo singers (Glasgow & Edinburgh).
- UK Premiere of a completed version of David Fennessy’s Conquest of the Useless, preceded by a screening of Burden of Dreams (1982).
- Tectonics Glasgow 2024 – the orchestra’sfestival of new and experimental music returns.
- Live broadcasts on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Sounds, with select performances also available on BBC Radio Scotland and BBC iPlayer.
Ryan Wigglesworth embarks on his second season as the orchestra’s Chief Conductor at Glasgow City Halls on Thursday 21 September, when award-winning Scottish pianist Steven Osborne performs Wigglesworth’s own, brilliantly imaginative Piano Concerto. The Opening Night Concert begins with Johanna Müller-Hermann’s Heroic Overture and concludes with a vision of heaven in Mahler’s Fourth Symphony, featuring soprano Sally Matthews.
There are bold juxtapositions and thrilling, familiar masterworks in Wigglesworth’s programmes. In October, ballet music from Stravinsky’s Orpheus is performed alongside Mark-Anthony Turnage’s saxophone concerto, Your Rockaby (soloist, Martin Robertson). And Beethoven’s Leonore Overture is paired with an explosive homage to the composer himself, by living composer Unsuk Chin.
Ryan Wigglesworth says: “A particular joy of this season – my second as Chief Conductor of the wonderful BBC SSO – is its continuation of several journeys already begun. Our ongoing survey of Stravinsky’s ballet music reaches two personal favourites – ‘Orpheus’ and ‘The Fairy’s Kiss’; we continue our voyage through Elgar’s masterworks with the majestic First Symphony; and we welcome back many important composers of today, including Hans Abrahamsen, our Composer-in-Association. I also look forward to such epic highlights as Verdi’s Requiem with the Edinburgh Festival Chorus and Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony.”
The orchestra celebrates 20 years of music-making with Principal Guest Conductor Ilan Volkov, championing and commissioning new music across the season. In Aberdeen and Glasgow, Volkov has paired Berlioz’s blockbuster Symphonie fantastique with Cassandra Miller’s Duet for Cello & Orchestra, a work that the orchestra premiered at the 2015 Tectonics Festival and was voted one of the best classical works of the 21st century(The Guardian). In January 2024, Volkov returns to conduct Stravinsky’s Petrushka, in a concert that includes aBBC commission and world premiere by Michael Parsons and Howard Skempton’s Piano Concerto (soloist, Joanna MacGregor).
Several conductors take to the BBC SSO podium for the first time including Gemma New and Tabita Berglund. And conductors Alpesh Chauhan, Sir Mark Elder and Michael Sanderling return for performances of Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony, Shostakovich Piano Concertos with pianist Federico Colli, and Dvořák’s New World Symphony (Glasgow and Edinburgh).
The orchestra welcomes South Korean violinist Bomsori Kim as its 2023/24 Featured Artist, one of the most dynamic and exciting soloists on the international circuit. Kim makes her BBC SSO debut on 14 December with Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No.1, in an Afternoon Performance celebrating Polish music with conductor Marta Gardolińska. And Kim returns to perform Sibelius’ Violin Concerto in the Glasgow and Aberdeen Closing Nights. Other artists in Glasgow’s Afternoon Performance series include composer and conductor Jörg Widmann, cellist Dai Miyata, guitarist Sean Shibe and conductor Delyana Lazarova.
Ilan Volkov will also return to co-curate the Tectonics Glasgow festival of new and experimental music on 4 and 5 May 2024.
Part-premiered by the orchestra at Glasgow’s first Tectonics Festival in 2013, the completed work of David Fennessy’s Conquest of the Useless receives its UK premiere at Glasgow City Halls on 4 November 2023, conducted by Jack Sheen. It is preceded by a discussion with the composer and a screening of Les Blank’s 1982 documentary, Burden of Dreams, about the shooting of Werner Herzog’s film Fitzarraldo in the Amazon.
For the first time the orchestra presents its festive feast of movie music, Christmas at the Movies, at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall (18 Dec), in addition to its annual performance in Glasgow (17 Dec). Christmas Classicsalso returns to Aberdeen (22 Dec). All three Christmas performances feature conductor Roderick Dunk and longstanding presenter and audience favourite Jamie MacDougall.
Dominic Parker, BBC SSO Director, says: “Our 2023/24 Seasons in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow are packed full of fantastic orchestral music: some familiar, some brand new, all of it bold and exciting – none more so than the programmes devised by Ryan Wigglesworth in his second season as our Chief Conductor, and Principal Guest Conductor Ilan Volkov in his twentieth year with the BBC SSO. Our brilliant players will also be joined by a great array of visiting soloists and conductors to take this music live to both new and loyal audiences around Scotland, as well as to our broadcast listeners across the BBC. I hope that everyone will discover music that will stay with them for a very long time.”
The majority of concerts will be recorded for BBC Radio 3 with some broadcast live, and some filmed to watch for free on BBC iPlayer across the season.
Booking for Aberdeen and Edinburgh opened on 13 April 2023 (bbc.co.uk/bbcsso)
Booking for Subscription Packages for the Glasgow Thursday Night Series opens on Monday 17 April at www.bbc.co.uk/ssosubscriptions
General booking for Glasgow, including for Afternoon Performances, opens Friday 5 May
Full details of the Season can be found now at bbc.co.uk/bbcsso
Glasgow 2023/24 Brochure is available here
Aberdeen 2023/24 Brochure is available here
Edinburgh 2023/24 Brochure is available here