The BBC SSO’s series of concerts from its home at Glasgow City Halls will continue next week with a performance of Dvořák’s Cello Concerto by Sheku Kanneh-Mason. Recorded today (4 March 2021), the concert will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and made available on BBC iPlayer from 7.30pm on Thursday 11 March. The concert also features works by Augusta Read Thomas and Sir James MacMillan.

Its conductor, Martyn Brabbins, returns in April for a concert to mark [pictured] Steven Osborne’s 50th birthday, which sees the pianist tackle Shostakovich’s Second Piano Concerto (available on BBC Sounds and iPlayer from 22 April). In addition, Elena Urioste (violin) and Tom Poster (piano) will play and direct the orchestra in a concert to air on Radio 3 on 6 April that encompasses music by Clarice AssadArvo PärtFinzi and Mendelssohn.

Tunes for Tots, the orchestra’s musical storytime for young children, will return to iPlayer just in time for the Easter holidays with an adventure down on the farm, presented by Lucy Drever, the orchestra’s Associate Artist.   

Finally, Tectonics Glasgow, the BBC SSO’s festival of new and experimental music, will take place online and on-air on the weekend of 8 & 9 May 2021, with a mix of pre-recorded online performances and live late-night broadcasts on Radio 3.  Full programme to follow.


Thursday 11 March, 7.30pm

– Listen on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Sounds

–  Watch on BBC iPlayer 


AUGUSTA READ THOMAS            Plea for Peace (version for flute, oboe, trumpet and strings)

DVOŘÁK                                           Cello Concerto (reduced version, orch. George Morton)

SIR JAMES MACMILLAN                Tryst

Sheku Kanneh-Mason, cello

Martyn Brabbins, conductor

“I am just an ordinary Czech musician” said Antonín Dvořák: but great artists see whole worlds in everyday things, and the birdsong, horn calls and tender memories that he poured into his Cello Concerto only heighten its power. Former BBC Young Musician, now rising cellist superstar, Sheku Kanneh-Mason is our soloist for this much-loved work. ‘A meeting place of different music elements’ is how Sir James MacMillan describes Tryst which swaps moods, motifs and musical influences with a Stravinsky-like flair. And to open, a work whose title says it all; originally written as a vocalise for solo soprano, Augusta Read Thomas’s meditation is played here in a version for wind and strings.

From Wednesday 31 March, 10am

-Watch on BBC iPlayer


The BBC SSO’s musical storytime returns with an adventure down on the farm.  Created for young children, their parents, carers, and siblings, Tunes for Tots will bring out the musical side of everyone. Presented by the orchestra’s Associate Artist, Lucy Drever.   

Tuesday 6 April, 7.30pm

– Listen on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Sounds


ARVO PÄRT                                       Spiegel im Spiegel(for solo piano and violin)

FINZI                                                   Eclogue for Piano and Strings, Op.10

CLARICE ASSAD                                Dreamscapes

MENDELSSOHN                                Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Orchestra

Elena Urioste, violin/director

Tom Poster, piano/director

Arvo Pärt’s rapt, transfixing Spiegel im Spiegel (Mirror in the Mirror) sets the tone for this concert of music of dream-like, meditative beauty.  Clarice Assad’s Dreamscapes maps the brain’s journey into the world of sleep, while Finzi’s Eclogue – intended as the central movement of a never-completed piano concerto – finds moments of grand passion among its serene English pastoralism.  Elena Urioste (violin) and Tom Poster (piano) play and direct the orchestra, coming together as the joint soloists in Mendelssohn’s playful double concerto, written when he was just 14, and already brimming with his trademark grace and lyricism.      

Thursday 22 April, 7.30pm


-Listen on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Sounds

-Watch on BBC iPlayer 

COPLAND                          Appalachian Spring: Suite

SHOSTAKOVICH               Piano Concerto No.2

COPLAND                          Quiet City

SHOSTAKOVICH               Hamlet: Suite Op.32a

Steven Osborne, piano

Martyn Brabbins, conductor

Pianist Steven Osborne joins us to celebrate entering his 50th year with a work written as a birthday present for Shostakovich’s own son Maxim. It calls for youthful exuberance as well as depth of feeling – something our birthday boy has in spades. Happy Birthday, Steven! Shostakovich’s brilliant music for a stage version of Hamlet brings down the curtain but before then we cross the Atlantic for two of Aaron Copland’s rapturous visions of his home nation, both urban and in the wild: Quiet City and Appalachian Spring

Saturday 8 & Sunday 9 May

-Watch at

-Listen on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Sounds


An online and on-air version of the BBC SSO’s annual new and experimental music festival, with a mix of pre-recorded online performances and live late-night broadcasts on Radio 3.  Full programme to follow.