• The series of 12 concerts will livestream each Wednesday from the Orchestra’s base at Lighthouse, Poole, thanks to continued support from Series Sponsor, Investec.
  • The concerts follow the Orchestra’s inaugural livestreamed series, in which almost 16,000 digital tickets were sold to households globally.
  • Chief Conductor Kirill Karabits opens the series and conducts a further five performances.
  • Highlights include the UK premiere of American composer and DJ Mason Bates’ Auditorium and the continuation of the Orchestra’s Voices from the East series, with performances of Nurymov’s Symphony No.2 (UK premiere), Rimsky-Korsakov’s rarely performed Symphonic Suite ‘Antar’ (Symphony No.2) and Penderecki’s Prelude for Peace.
  • Sir John Eliot Gardiner will conduct Brahms and Schumann, and there are welcome returns for Marta Gardolińska, David Hill, Karl-Heinz Steffens and Mark Wigglesworth.
  • Pianist Benjamin Grosvenor returns as Artist-in-Residence in a recital programme with duo partner violinist Hyeyoon Park. Horn player Felix Klieser makes his UK concerto debut, and there are performances from mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnston and pianists Stephen Hough and Sunwook Kim.
  • The BSO’s ever popular programmes of film and pop music return to the Orchestra’s calendar with Hollywood Classics [Sat 13 Mar] and Symphonic Abba [Sat 20 Feb].  

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO) announces a series of 12 livestreamed symphonic concerts broadcast from its home venue, Lighthouse, Poole, from 6 January to 24 March 2021.

The Orchestra sold almost 16,000 digital tickets for its livestreamed autumn season in addition to over 2,000 spectators who watched the concerts live from a limited-capacity audience at Lighthouse, Poole. Taking into account those who watched in groups, the Orchestra reached greater than a sell-out capacity through these streams.

Audiences will be able to experience the live performances by digital subscription, which is available for individual concerts or season bundle. Limited seating will be available for socially distanced audiences in the concert hall in accordance with current government guidance.

As a touring orchestra, which ordinarily performs around 150 concerts in 40 venues in the South West, the restrictions necessitated in tackling the pandemic have had a particular impact on its work. Whilst maintaining audiences through its livestreamed work from Poole, the Orchestra is now actively exploring how it can get back on the road to bring BSO on your Doorstep.

BSO Chief Executive, Dougie Scarfe, says, “The level of support shown for the Orchestra during its inaugural livestream series has been astonishing. These symphonic performances have had a huge impact on audiences at home in the South West, and all around the globe — and for the Orchestra it’s been truly special to know that even in lockdown we have performed to more than a full hall online.

“We can’t wait to deliver this second series in partnership with our colleagues at Lighthouse, Poole, and Series Sponsor Investec, and are pleased to be able to present such an extraordinary line-up. From Sir John Eliot Gardiner conducting Brahms and Schumann to the UK premiere of Mason Bates’ Auditorium and further Voices from the East discoveries — we look forward to sharing more live music.”

Kirill Karabits, the Orchestra’s Chief Conductor, opens the series in a programme of Ravel, Couperin and Richard Strauss [Wed 6 Jan] before conducting five further performances. Known for his ability to discover fine musical rarities, Karabits returns with a lesser-known work in the Orchestra’s Voices from the East series: the UK premiere of Nurymov’s Second Symphony. Elsewhere, Karabits and the Orchestra pay homage to late composer Krzysztof Penderecki with Penderecki’s Prelude for Peace and Haydn’s Seven Last Words from the Cross.

Karabits says, “I’m excited to be joining my BSO colleagues for this new series. I’m especially pleased that we’re able to present a number of interesting lesser-known works for audiences in the South West and around the world to explore. I look forward to paying homage to the late Krzysztof Penderecki, a key figure of symphonic music in the past and present century who means a great deal to me personally. We will conclude our series with his Prelude for Peace on 24 March, almost exactly a year on from when he passed away.”

Mason Bates’s Auditorium (UK premiere)
The BSO will give the UK premiere of Mason Bates’ Auditorium [Wed 3 Feb]. Bates is an American composer and DJ whose symphonic music has received widespread acceptance for its unique integration of electronic sounds. Bates’ work has been championed by the world’s leading conductors, from Riccardo Muti to Michael Tilson Thomas, and he is Composer-in-Residence at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony, Auditorium features an electronically enhanced Baroque ensemble which haunts the live orchestra on stage, suggesting that an orchestra, like a person, can be possessed. Kirill Karabits conducts Auditorium in an all-American programme featuring Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man and Gershwin’s Catfish Row Suite.

Voices from the East series
Known for championing the music of former Soviet countries through its Voices from the East series, the Orchestra presents the UK premiere of Chary Nurymov’s Symphony No.2 [Wed 10 Feb]. Nurymov was one of the most prominent figures in Turkmenistan’s cultural output, yet his work is little-known in the west. His music is heavily infused with folklore and eastern intonations, expressing the deepest feelings and reflections on the human existence. His Symphony No.2 appears alongside Rimsky-Korsakov’s Symphonic Suite ‘Antar’ (Symphony No.2), the rarely performed work is often regarded as his ‘other Scheherazade’. Borodin’s In the Steppes of Central Asia completes the programme, performed under the baton of Kirill Karabits.

Karabits closes the series paying homage to Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki [Wed 24 Mar], who died in March 2020.  The BSO pair Penderecki’s Prelude for Peace with Haydn’s Seven Last Words from the Cross.

Guest soloists
Horn player Felix Klieser [Wed 17 Feb] makes his UK concerto debut with a performance of Mozart’s Horn Concerto No.4 K.495, in a concert that also features Bruckner’s Symphony No.0 in D minor ‘Die Nullte’ under Kirill Karabits.

Artist-in-Residence, Benjamin Grosvenor [Wed 10 Mar] returns to perform a recital with duo partner, violinist Hyeyoon Park; together they perform Cesar Franck’s mighty duet, the Sonata in A major, and Clara Schumann’s Romances. Grosvenor opens the programme with Robert Schumann’s Kreisleriana, and appears courtesy of Decca Classics.

Mezzo soprano Jennifer Johnston [Wed 13 Jan] is the soloist in Mahler’s song cycle, Songs of a Wayfarer, in a programme of Richard Strauss and Brahms with the Orchestra’s Associate Guest Conductor David Hill.  Pianist Stephen Hough [Wed 24 Feb] returns to perform Brahms’ Piano Concerto No.1 with Sir John Eliot Gardiner, and Sunwook Kim [Wed 17 Mar] performs Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.4 with Kirill Karabits.

Guest conductors
Sir John Eliot Gardiner [Wed 24 Feb] makes an anticipated return to the Orchestra with a programme of Schumann’s Genoveva Overture and Brahms’ Piano Concerto No.1 with pianist Stephen Hough.  

There are also returns for: David Hill [Wed 21 Oct] in a programme of Haydn and Brahms; Marta Gardolińska [Wed 3 Mar] with Schubert, Liadov and Shostakovich; Karl-Heinz Steffans [Wed 20 Jan] with Fauré and Beethoven; and Mark Wigglesworth [Wed 27 Jan] in Wagner and Vaughan Williams.

Investec’s series sponsorship of the Orchestra’s inaugural livestream series enabled the BSO to be at the forefront of the sector, trailblazing a 12-concert digital series to great acclaim. Investec is a proud partner of the Orchestra and is excited to return as Series Sponsor.

In addition to its main season performances, the Orchestra will present two additional programmes for audiences in the South West and beyond: Symphonic Abba [Sat 20 Feb] and Hollywood Classics [Sat 13 Mar].

All performances are livestreamed through the BSO website (bsolive.com) and are available for 30 days. For full details and tickets visit bsolive.com.