Opening Concert: Daphnis et Chloé – Thursday 22 September, 7.30pm
Quartet for the End of Time – Friday 23 September, 8.00pm
Ryan Wigglesworth will take to both the piano and the podium next month when he becomes the new Chief Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
Wigglesworth, an acclaimed pianist as well as a composer and conductor, will join three of the orchestra’s principals to play Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time on the evening after he’s conducted the Opening Concert of the BBC SSO’s 2022/23 Season.
Messiaen was a prisoner of war in Germany when he wrote this extraordinary quartet for his fellow captives. Inspired by the Book of Revelation, it is a profoundly beautiful testament to the human spirit in the face of the overwhelming horrors of the Second World War.
Its performance marks the 30th anniversary of Messiaen’s death, with the Opening Concert also featuring a song cycle written by the composer for his wife, Poèmes pour Mi, sung by Sophie Bevan, and his short choral work O sacrum convivium, sung by the BBC Singers. Later in the season there’s also a chance to hear a section from the composer’s rarely-performed opera Saint François d’Assise.
The Opening Concert is Wigglesworth’s first official appearance with the BBC SSO as Chief Conductor. In addition to the works by Messiaen, he will direct Ravel’s complete ballet music for Daphnis et Chloé and the world premiere of Symphonic Message in memory of L. R, a new commission from former BBC Young Composer Johnathan Woolgar. The concert will be broadcast live from Glasgow on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Sounds, and filmed for transmission on BBC Four and iPlayer at a later date.
Later in the season Wigglesworth and the BBC SSO give a UK premiere by the orchestra’s new Composer-in-Association, Hans Abrahamsen; the world premiere of a Cello Concerto by Cheryl Frances-Hoad; two concerts that explore connections between Stravinsky and Bach; and works by Beethoven, Wagner, Elgar and Richard Strauss.