Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra today [11 May] announces its 2022/23 season filled with performances across the South West and beyond. From an innovative collaboration between two of the UK’s leading inclusive ensembles to world premieres celebrating lesser-heard voices, the Orchestra presents an exhilarating symphonic season packed with music to ignite the imagination.
The BSO’s 2022/23 season, which is supported by Season Sponsor Investec, is led by Chief Conductor Kirill Karabits, Principal Guest Conductor Mark Wigglesworth, Associate Guest Conductor David Hill and the Orchestra’s new Assistant Conductor who will be announced in the summer, alongside a host of guest conductors.
As well as symphonic performances in venues throughout the South West, the BSO’s popular livestreamed broadcasts continue throughout 2022/23, having reached an estimated 100,000 global viewers in 18 months.
The Orchestra’s Artist-in-Residence for the season is horn player Felix Klieser, who is the first BSO Artist-in-Residence to bridge two seasons (2021/22 and 2022/23).
Dougie Scarfe, Chief Executive of the BSO, said “We’re gearing up to bring this full symphonic season of live music out on the road, reaching more venues throughout the South West as well as viewers at home, as we build on the success of our livestreamed broadcasts from our base in Poole. It promises to be an impressive season featuring some of the most exciting names — and we’re deeply grateful to Investec for coming on board once again as Season Sponsor, marking a decade of support of the BSO’s live music-making.
“I’m proud that we’ve been able to commission new music by Kate Whitley and Anna Korsun to empower lesser-heard voices this season, and that we’re bringing together inclusive ensembles BSO Resound and RNS Moves — alongside musicians from the BSO and Royal Northern Sinfonia — in performances in Poole and Gateshead. As we share these performances to audiences at both ends of the country, I hope it’ll re-ignite conversations — and most importantly, actions — around the ongoing challenge to build a more inclusive musical world.”
Kirill Karabits, Chief Conductor of the BSO, said “I can’t wait to share our 2022/23 symphonic season with BSO audiences in halls and online. I’m especially looking forward to bringing new and previously unknown music to life as part of our ongoing Voices from the East series, and to reuniting with Artist-in-Residence Felix Klieser and violinist Stefan Jackiw for concertos by Glière. I’m also excited to conduct Elgar’s Second Symphony for the first time.
“Originally due to have received its world premiere this year in Kharkiv, Ukraine (the birthplace of the composer), Akimenko’s Cello Concerto was written 100 years ago and had remained unknown. Unfortunately, because of the current situation in the Ukraine, the performance will have to be postponed, so Poole audiences will have the opportunity to hear the piece for the very first time. Having discovered the score in Paris, I’m excited to share this extraordinary work alongside cellist Victor Julien-Laferrière this autumn. Bringing Voices from the East to the present day, we’ll explore the music of another Ukrainian composer, Anna Korsun, who experiments with orchestral colours and unusual techniques to create music that is inventive and fresh. I can’t wait to conduct Anna’s new work, which has been commissioned by the BSO, in January.”
Unearthing further Voices from the East
As part of the BSO’s ongoing Voices from the East series, which is spearheaded by Kirill Karabits and is known for championing lesser-known symphonic works from countries of the former Soviet Union, the Orchestra will perform world premieres by Ukrainian composers Feodor Akimenko and Anna Korsun. It also focuses on several works by Reinhold Glière in 2022/23.
Akimenko’s Cello Concerto was written 100 years ago, and opens the Poole season [5 Oct — Poole]. Akimenko (1876-1945) was a student of Rimsky-Korsakov and the first composition teacher of Stravinsky, though his own works are largely undiscovered. Akimenko has been described as a late-Romantic voice reminiscent of Scriabin, and the Orchestra performed his Angel: Poem Nocturne as part of their 2020 season.
Later in the season, Karabits conducts the world premiere of a new work by Ukrainian composer and sound artist Anna Korsun [11 Jan — Poole], which has been commissioned by the BSO. Originally from the Donbass, Korsun becomes the BSO’s Composer-in-Residence in 2023 establishing a relationship with the Orchestra with further performances of chamber and orchestral works in the year. Her output is known for including both professional and amateur musicians, as well as non-musicians, and her works have been performed throughout Europe and Canada.
Inclusive ensembles BSO Resound and RNS Moves join forces in unique new commission
Both BSO Resound and RNS Moves — an inclusive ensemble which brings together disabled and non-disabled musicians including members of Royal Northern Sinfonia — have made headlines in recent years for championing the inclusion of disabled musicians.
The two ensembles unite in 2023 to present two performances which feature a new commission by award-winning composer Kate Whitley, who is known for co-founding The Multi-Story Orchestra. Whitley’s new work features in a programme of symphonic music, in which the two ensembles perform as part of Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra [22 Feb — Poole], and Royal Northern Sinfonia [3 March — Gateshead].
Both groups feature accessible electronic instruments that have not historically featured in the traditional symphony orchestra. BSO Resound features a Linnstrument and RNS Moves features Headspace; the former using touch and the latter using head movements and breath to create sound. Both are MIDI-based instruments.
Felix Klieser – Artist-in-Residence
Horn player Felix Klieser continues his residency with the Orchestra having made his UK concerto debut with the BSO in November 2021, which received five-star reviews and saw him described as “one of the most inspiring figures on the concert scene today” by The Times.
The 2022/23 season sees Klieser tour to Barnstaple, Bradford-on-Avon, Southampton and Plymouth [15-23 Sept] before performing with BSO Principals in a chamber recital in Poole [23 November]. In January he returns to Poole to perform Glière’s Horn Concerto conducted by Kirill Karabits [11 January]. In addition to his performances, Klieser will be working with the Orchestra on multiple outreach projects around the South West.
Reaching out further: into more venues and via livestream
The Orchestra’s symphonic touring of the South West continues in 2022/23, with full orchestral performances in venues throughout the region, from Truro to Basingstoke.
With residencies in Bournemouth, Bristol, Exeter, Portsmouth and Poole, the BSO also continues its ongoing series of ‘BSO On Your Doorstep’ smaller-scale performances, which includes Relaxed Concerts throughout the South West.
The BSO became one of the first British orchestras to return to the stage when it began livestreaming its concerts in the autumn of 2020 in order to reach its audiences despite the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions at the time. The Orchestra has reached an estimated 100,000 people through its livestreams over the past 18 months, and this season 17 concerts will be livestreamed from the Orchestra’s home, the Lighthouse in Poole, which audiences worldwide will be able to watch for just £10.
Kirill Karabits conducts 16 performances in the Orchestra’s 2022/23 season, including the opening concert with a performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 alongside the world premiere of Akimenko’s Cello Concerto with cellist Victor Julien-Laferrière who makes his BSO debut [5 & 6 Oct]. Karabits returns the following week to conduct Bartok’s Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste, a work Karabits has paired with Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with violinist Fedor Rudin who also makes his BSO debut [12-14 Oct].
Several works by Glière appear under Karabits’ baton in 2022/23: the Horn Concerto with Artist-in-Residence Felix Klieser [11 Jan], and the Violin Concerto with Stefan Jackiw and symphonic poem Les Sirenes [10 May]. Elsewhere in the season, Karabits will collaborate with violinist Ning Feng [16 & 19 Nov], with pianists Sunwook Kim [1-3 Feb] and Alexander Malofeev [3 May], and with Bournemouth Symphony Chorus with a programme that includes Taneyev’s John of Damascus Cantata [8 Feb].
Mark Wigglesworth, the Orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor, returns in November to conduct a programme of Mahler, Ravel and Humperdinck with Dame Sarah Connolly [9-10 Nov]. Wigglesworth joins the Orchestra again in January with cellist Laura van der Heijden who makes her debut performing Elgar’s Cello Concerto [25-26 Jan]. Associate Guest Conductor David Hill conducts the Orchestra and Bournemouth Symphony Chorus in an Easter programme that includes Coleridge-Taylor’s Solemn Prelude and Hill’s arrangement of Balfour Gardiner’s Evening Hymn.
The Orchestra is currently recruiting for a new Assistant Conductor, a one-year bursary supported role. The last conductor to take the role (formerly called Young Conductor in Association) was Marta Gardolińska who captured international attention during her time with BSO [2018-2020] and has since taken on major roles at the Opéra national de Lorraine and the Orquestra Sinfònica de Barcelona. Gardolińska will be conducting the BSO in March in a programme including Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 [29-31 March].
The Orchestra’s 2022/23 season features BSO debuts from an array of soloists, including cellist Victor Julien-Laferrière who performs the UK premiere of Akimenko’s Cello Concerto in the opening concert [5-6 Oct], violinist Fedor Rudin in a performance of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto [12-14 Oct] and cellist Laura van der Heijden who performs Elgar’s Cello Concerto [25-26 Jan].
Also making BSO debuts are: soprano Slávka Zámečníková [1-3 Mar]; bass baritone Božidar Smiljanić [22 Mar]; pianist Marie-Ange Nguci [19-20 Apr]; cellist István Várdai [15-17 Feb]; violinist Pavel Šporcl [19-20 Oct]; and conductors Mihhail Gerts [26 Oct], Finnegan Downie Dear [30 Nov] and Gábor Káli [19-20 Apr].
World-class soloists and conductors
Returning conductors in the autumn include Robert Trevino conducting a programme of Respighi, Glazunov and Elgar [19 & 21 Oct], Chloé van Soeterstède conducting the Orchestra both at its home in Poole as well as the new Hall for Cornwall in Truro [2 & 4 Nov] and Laurence Cummings conducting Handel’s Messiah [14 Dec].
Later in the season, Jac van Steen returns with a programme of Smetana, Korngold and Dvořák with violinist Kristóf Baráti [18-19 Jan], BSO regular Sunwook Kim, who made his European conducting debut with the BSO in 2021/22, returns to conduct them once more [15-16 Feb] following performances as soloist a fortnight earlier [1-3 Feb], and Alexander Soddy conducts Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 [1-3 Mar].
Soloists joining the Orchestra in the 2022/23 season include: pianists Vadym Kholodenko [30 Nov] with Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.3; Louis Schwizgebel, who performs Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.1 [26 Oct]; and Alexander Malofeev, who made his UK debut with the BSO in 2022, and returns with Grieg’s Piano Concerto [3 May].
World-renowned mezzo-soprano Dame Sarah Connolly sings Mahler’s Der Knaben Wunderhorn [9-10 Nov]. Meanwhile, fans of the violin are also in for a treat: James Ehnes returns with Prokofiev’s Second Violin Concerto [29-31 Mar]; Kristóf Baráti performs Korngold’s Violin Concerto [18-19 Jan]; Ning Feng with Walton’s Violin Concerto [16, 18 & 19 November]; Tobias Feldmann [2 & 4 Nov] with Bruch’s Violin Concerto No.1; and Stefan Jackiw [10 May] with Glière’s Violin Concerto.
Further symphonic performances of film and light music take place in Bournemouth, Cheltenham, Exeter, Poole, Portsmouth, Taunton, and Weymouth — including Christmas Proms, New Year’s Day performances, and much more! Audiences can look forward to Smooth Classics celebrating the Magic of the Violin, a special Valentine’s concert, and an exploration of the music of Star Wars.
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s 2022/23 season goes on sale on Wednesday 15 June. Full details and tickets: bsolive.com.